Binghamton University has jumped nine spots in U.S. News & World Report’s 2015 national college rankings list, landing in a seven-way tie for 88th place.
This year’s rankings, which were released on Tuesday, placed Binghamton University in the same slot as Stony Brook University, the University of Alabama, the University of Colorado–Boulder, the University of Denver, the University of Tulsa and the Colorado School of Mines.
The performance of BU and other SUNY schools on the list elicited praise from SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher.
“Again this year, we are proud to see so many of our SUNY campuses recognized as being among the best nationally by U.S. News and World Report,” she wrote in a press release. “In every community across New York State, SUNY colleges and universities like Binghamton offer students top quality degree programs and applied learning opportunities that prepare them for success in today’s 21st-century global economy.”
University President Harvey Stenger said he was pleased with the ranking, but admitted that there is room for improvement.
“The metric that they use that has the largest weight is the ‘academic reputation,’” he explained. “And because we don’t have a football team and we are not the flagship school of the state of New York, people don’t really know who we are. These are surveys that are sent out to presidents and provosts throughout the United States. They get this form, they fill it out, and if they’re in California or Florida or Texas, they probably haven’t heard of Binghamton University.”
Stenger said that the University must continue to market and brand itself so that people recognize the name “Binghamton.”
He added that the school could improve the percentage of alumni who give a financial gift to the University each year. Only 7 percent of BU alumni gave to the school last year, compared to 26 percent of alumni from the equally ranked University of Alabama.
“We’re a young school in a relatively expensive state,” Stenger said. “And people who graduate say ‘Hey, look, I’m paying a lot of income taxes in New York state, maybe I’m not going to give back to my school.’”
Students, however, were impressed with BU’s rankings.
“We could always do better, but 88th out of the nation is very good,” said Winnie Ng, a sophomore double-majoring in biology and business. “I think it makes the school more special, gives us something to be proud of.”
Stenger agreed that there is still a lot to be pleased about.
“Look at who we’re ranked above; look at the neighborhood that we’re in,” he said. “Look at the five or six schools above us and the five or six schools below us. You can look at that and say ‘I like being in this neighborhood.’”