TCU drops in annual U.S. News college rankings


The Brown-Lupton University Union. Photo by TCU 360 Staff.

By Nikki Spellman

TCU fell 17 spots in a ranking of U.S. colleges – a drop that might be due to a slip in graduation rates and selectivity, as well as an increase in the number of schools surveyed.

After coming in at No. 80 in last year’s U.S. News and World Report list of America’s Best Colleges, TCU recently fell to No. 97. Their ranking is tied with Drexel University, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Saint Louis University, University of Denver, and the University of San Francisco.

University officials attributed the ranking to changes in how U.S. News compiles its data. 

“Texas Christian University maintains its reputation as one of the top universities in the country by focusing on our students, their academic experience and their preparation for the world,” Holly Ellman, associate director of communications, wrote in an email. “We appreciate the value of rankings as one of many measures, but [it’s] only one indicator of the success students achieve at TCU.”

The chief data strategist for U.S. News, Robert Morse, said that the addition of 90+ schools to the national universities category that pushed TCU down in the rankings.

In order to determine the ranking, U.S. News “sorts the schools into appropriate categories for comparison, gathers data on up to 15 indicators of academic quality from each school and tabulates them and ranks colleges in their category by their total weighted scores,” according to its website. 

Morse also said TCU also had a weak performance in social mobility, a factor that considers how well schools are enrolling and graduating low-income students, specifically those receiving Pell Grants. 

Pell Grants, according to Federal Student Aid, “usually are awarded only to undergraduate students who display exceptional financial need and have not earned a bachelor’s, graduate, or professional degree.”

TCU’s overview in the rankings can be found here.