Fordham Moves Up on National College Rankings


FORDHAM – One week after being named “Hottest Catholic School” by Kaplan and Newsweek’s “How to Get Into College Guide,” Fordham appeared at number 67 in U.S. News and World Report’s annual college rankings, three places higher than last year’s ranking.

“We are, of course, pleased that Fordham’s reputation is catching up with its accomplishments,” the Rev. Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham, said in a statement.


After being placed at number 68 in U.S. News rankings two years ago, Fordham fell two places to number 70 in last year’s rankings. This year, Fordham is in a four-way tie for number 67, along with Miami University of Ohio, Clemson University, and Southern Methodist University.

According to Fordham Public Affairs, Fordham has moved up 17 places on the U.S. News rankings in the last four years.  “It’s definitely in the Strategic Plan,” said the Rev. Robert R. Grimes, S.J., dean of Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC), referring to Fordham’s goal to move up in the rankings. “Obviously, it is an institutional goal,” Grimes said.

The Strategic Plan, the planning process for Fordham to achieve the goals it has set for the next 20 years, carries the vision that Fordham will become the pre-eminent Catholic institution of higher education in the United States.

Grimes said, however, that he is personally not a fan of the U.S. News and World Report rankings. “So many of the categories and standards that they use seem to me to be quite arbitrary,” he said. “For example, they don’t look at the size of the classes, but the percentage of classes that have 19 or fewer students. Why is ‘19’ a magic number?”

“I’m sure it’s great publicity when you go up [in the rankings],” Grimes added.

As for being chosen as one of the “25 Hottest Schools in America” and being named “Hottest Catholic School” by Kaplan and Newsweek, Grimes said it is reflective of the growing interest that high school seniors have in Fordham.

“‘We’ve been particularly influenced by the views of high school counselors, the people most in tune to what matters to the latest wave of college applicants,” Grimes quoted from the Newsweek issue. “So from that standpoint, it doesn’t surprise me,” Grimes said, “because our number of applications has been growing phenomenally.’”

Dave De La Fuente, FCLC ’10, president of United Student Government (USG), said he is happy about Fordham’s place in the rankings this year. “It shows that the school is moving forward,” he said. “It shows that future education here will be more valuable.”

De La Fuente added, however, that rankings had minimal effect on his choice of college. “The ratings are a little bloated,” he said. De La Fuente explained that some of the criteria used to judge the schools, such as endowment and SAT scores, do not accurately define a school.

The Washington Monthly, a political magazine based in Washington, D.C., offers an alternative college rankings guide that uses different kind of criteria including social mobility, research and service. Factors considered include the percentage of students re

ceiving Pell Grants, number of PhDs awarded, and the percentage of students who go on to serve in the Peace Corps.

Fordham appears on this year’s Washington Monthly list at number 50, falling from number 41 last year. Fordham is ahead of NYU, Carnegie Mellon, Boston College, and Princeton University—U.S. News’ number one school.

Grimes said he is sorry to hear that Fordham has fallen on the Washington Monthly rankings.  He added that he would rather see Fordham do well in the Washington Monthly rankings than the U.S. News’. “It’s definitely not scientific, but at least these are good [criteria].  Are [these rankings] any more significant in the long run?” Grimes asked. “I doubt it.”