While Binghamton University remained in the top 50 public universities in U.S. News & World Report’s rankings, Kiplinger’s dropped BU from the top spot as the best university for out-of-state value.
For the third consecutive year BU was ranked the 37th best public university by U.S. News & World Report. This is the 15th consecutive year the University has been among their top 50 public universities.
“Binghamton University consistently ranks among the elite Top 50 of public universities in the nation,” University spokesman Ryan Yarosh wrote in an email. “Our students are some of the best in the nation; our academic programs are superb, and our faculty and staff outstanding – all of which demonstrate our commitment to excellence.”
On U.S. News & World Report’s “Top National Universities” list, which includes both public and private schools, BU improved from 90th in 2011 to 89th this year.
However, on Kiplinger’s “Best Values in Public Colleges,” BU’s ranking dropped from last year. In 2011, the University placed first on the out-of-state list — its third year in a row — and sixth on the in-state list. This year it fell to second on the out-of-state list and 12th on the in-state list.
Yarosh attributed the disparity in rankings to differences in the way ranking sites weigh information.
“We submit our information and then they take that into account,” Yarosh said. “And they’re all different, too. They’re all looking at different things.”
Zsuzsanna Orban, a sophomore majoring in art history, acknowledged the difficulty of being among the top schools academically while remaining affordable.
“There are thousands of schools in this country, and we’re in the top 100,” she said. “The fact that we’re public makes it an even bigger accomplishment.”
Yarosh added that Binghamton University improved in several academic sub-categories this year as well.
“For example, ‘Freshman in the top 10 percent of their HS class’ increased to 57 percent (up from 50),” he said. “We also experienced increases in SAT/ACT Scores, percentage of faculty who are [full-time] and our freshman retention rate.”
William Costa, an undeclared freshman, said college rankings were part of the reason he chose BU.
“The fact that our rankings were so similar to other great schools and the value was so much better at Bing really made the decision easy for me,” he said.