Monday, Sept. 18, The College of William and Mary fell 12 spots in the U.S. News and World Report (USNWR) 2023-24 Best National University Rankings, dropping to No. 53 from No. 41. This marks the College’s largest single-year position change in the rankings since 1996. Since 2018, the College has dropped 21 spots.
This year’s rankings used a new methodology, marking the most significant change in the rankings’ four decades of existence. According to USNWR, the new rankings formula accounts for graduate salaries, first-generation student enrollment and graduation and faculty research productivity, while no longer incorporating alumni giving rate, class size, the high school class standing of new entrants, the proportion of graduates with debt and the proportion of faculty with terminal degrees.
The release follows discussions between the board of visitors and senior administration members in recent months regarding the College’s future participation in such rankings, including USNWR. In August, President Katherine Rowe announced a working group to assess the College’s options.
“William & Mary remains focused on what matters to us: providing students with a distinctive, personal educational experience aligned with our values,” Vice President for Strategy and Innovation Jeremy P. Martin said following the rankings release. “The data show that students now consider a range of sources for information when choosing a university. Meanwhile, U.S. News continues to cut key measures W&M has always cared about: small class size, strong alumni engagement and low student-debt ratio.”
In the National University Rankings, the College is tied at No. 53 with Case Western Reserve University, Florida State University, Northeastern University and the University of Minnesota.
The Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University surpassed the College this year, moving up to No. 47.
The working group at the College will present its recommendations to the board of visitors, which will meet next week from Sept. 27 to Sept. 29.