Guide buries NIU in lowest ranking

By Lelsey Rogers

NIU was ranked along with other universities in a recent U.S. News and World Report college guide.

More than 2,650 college presidents and deans rated the nation’s colleges for the seventh annual edition of “America’s Best Colleges.”

Over 200 national universities across the United States were ranked in four quartiles. NIU was placed in the fourth quartile, with schools ranked from 154 to 204.

NIU had an academic reputation rank of 170 out of 204 schools. The universities were ranked according to academic reputation, selectivity, faculty resources, financial resources, graduation rate and alumni satisfaction.

The education program cost per student was listed at $5,972, which was on the relatively low end, compared to the other universities in the fourth quartile. The money amount is a school’s total fiscal 1992 spending on instruction, student services, administration and academic support, including computers and libraries.

The alumni giving rate was reported to be 12 percent, which helped determine alumni satisfaction. The rate is the percentage of living alumni who gave to their school’s fund drives in 1991 and 1992.

NIU has a 53 percent graduation rate, which appears to be higher than most of the other universities in the fourth quartile. The rate is determined by the average percent of 1983-86 freshmen who graduated within six years.

The average ACT score for NIU students is 23. Twelve percent of NIU freshmen were in the top 10 percent of their high school class.

The student to faculty ratio was listed as 18 to one. Eighty-one percent of faculty members at NIU have their Ph.D., the survey reported.

The acceptance rate at NIU is 67 percent, which is relatively lower than other universities.

NIU Provost J. Carroll Moody did not wish to comment on the report because he had not read the issue.

The first-ranked research-oriented national university is Harvard University, followed by Princeton University, then Yale University.

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign was ranked 16th in terms of academic reputation and was placed in the first quartile.

Southern Illinois University at Carbondale also was ranked in the fourth quartile, and placed 131th for academic reputation.

U.S. News and World Report also examined student priorities when choosing a college.

Women look for the sense of community, liberal arts orientation, safety and security, leadership opportunities, compatible students and the campus atmosphere.

The report said men look for the prestige of the school and lean toward science and engineering and computers and information technology. Men also look at athletics and social life when choosing a college.