Case Western Reserve maintained its position as the nation’s 37th-ranked university in U.S. News & World Report’s list of “Best Colleges” released today, but made significant gains in categories involving admissions and undergraduate alumni.
The Case School of Engineering, for example, saw its undergraduate standing leap nine notches, from 44th in 2012 to 35th this year. In addition, the university’s overall selectivity ranking jumped from 47th to 34th, and the alumni participation ranking climbed from 48th to 44th.
“We are pleased with the progress we have made in specific areas,” President Barbara R. Snyder said, “but recognize that we have ample room to improve. We will continue to build momentum in areas of growth, and identify ways to strengthen our performance in other categories.”
Over the past five years, undergraduate applications have grown 150 percent, a trend that has allowed admissions officials to be increasingly selective in issuing acceptance letters. Recent classes have seen dramatic improvements in average scores on standardized tests as well as the proportion of students from the top 10 percent of their high school graduating classes. Meanwhile, the university’s alumni giving rank has catapulted ahead in recent years, moving 65 slots since 2008.
Less promising are the university’s graduation and retention rankings. This figure combines the university’s six-year graduation rate with the proportion of first-year students who return as sophomores. Case Western Reserve fell from 51st to 59th this year, with a nine-point gap between the actual rate and the figure the magazine predicted based on characteristics of the class that entered in 2006.
In addition, the undergraduate ranking for the Weatherhead School of Management fell from 31st to 34th. The university maintained its ranking of 26th in financial resources, and slipped one slot, to 34th, in faculty resources. For more information on the rankings, visit colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/rankings/national-universities.