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University of Chicago takes No. 3 spot on list of best universities in nation

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(Wikimedia Commons)

(Wikimedia Commons)

(Wikimedia Commons)

By Leonor Vivanco | Chicago Tribune

Three Illinois schools rank among the top 50 best national universities, according to U.S. News & World Report rankings to be released Tuesday.

The University of Chicago moved up a notch to No. 3 on the list, tied with Yale University. Princeton University was the top college, followed by Harvard University in second place on the 2017 Best Colleges list by U.S. News & World Report, which ranks more than 1,800 U.S.-based public and private schools annually in various categories.

Last year, the University of Chicago ended up in a three-way tie for fourth place alongside Columbia University in New York and Stanford University in California. This year, Northwestern University stayed in the same spot as last year, tied for 12th with the California Institute of Technology.

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The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign dropped from a six-way tie for 41st to another six-way tie for 44th place with its Big 10 rival, the University of Wisconsin at Madison, Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, University of California at Davis, University of California at San Diego and University of Miami.

The national universities category is based on academic excellence and includes higher education institutions that offer a variety of undergraduate, master’s and doctoral degrees and emphasize research. The rankings factor in the number of freshmen who return to campus for their sophomore year and eventually graduate, graduation rates, class size, student-to-teacher ratio, scores on admissions tests such as the ACT and SAT, and ratings by high school counselors and fellow college presidents, provosts and deans.

“In addition to considering factors like location and cost, families should pay close attention to graduation and retention rates. These are important indicators of how well a school supports its students both academically and financially,” Brian Kelly, editor and chief content officer of U.S. News, said in a news release. “Getting into a good school means nothing if you cannot graduate.”

Other schools in the state made the list. Loyola University Chicago tied at No. 99 with Auburn University in Alabama, State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, and the University of Buffalo-SUNY.

The Illinois Institute of Technology in Bronzeville got a boost from a seven-way tie for No. 108 last year to claim No. 103 this year, tied with the University of Alabama, University of Oregon and the University of Tennessee.

Chicago’s DePaul University dropped a spot and is tied at No. 124 with the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., Duquesne University in Pennsylvania, Howard University in Washington, D.C. and University of Arizona.

The University of Illinois at Chicago plummeted from a six-way tie for the 129th spot to No. 152 with Illinois State University in Normal, Immaculata University in Pennsylvania, Oklahoma State University, University of California at Merced, University of La Verne in California and the University of Massachusetts at Lowell.

In a six-way tie at No. 214 are Northern Illinois University in DeKalb and Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.

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(c) 2016 the Chicago Tribune

Visit the Chicago Tribune at www.chicagotribune.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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The student news site of Southern Illinois University