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Ohio State ranked No. 56 on best college list

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After a drop in the ranking of best colleges, some Ohio State students and faculty said they don’t think the rankings influence prospective students much.
OSU dropped one spot to No. 56 in “U.S. News & World Report’s” recently released list of the 2013 best colleges in the nation.
Within the 281 national universities on “U.S. World & News Report’s” list, five Big Ten colleges were ranked higher than OSU. Northwestern University, The University of Michigan, University of Wisconsin, Penn State, and University of Illinois were placed at No. 12, No. 29, No. 41, and a tie for No. 46, respectively.
The three highest ranked universities on the national list were Harvard, Princeton and Yale.
OSU is tied at No. 56 with Northeastern University in Boston.
Dolan Evanovich, the vice president for strategic enrollment planning, said despite various shifts in OSU’s ranking in the past, application numbers have grown to more than 28,000 applications from 16,000 to 17,000 applications in previous years.
“In any given year, your ranking could go up one or two spaces or down one or two space,” Evanovich said. “So in the big scheme of things, you just have to keep it in perspective.”
The factors that measure academic quality for the rankings include peer assessment, retention and graduation of students, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, alumni giving and graduation rate performance, according to “U.S. News and World Report’s” website, The data for the list was gathered in winter 2011, spring 2012 and summer 2012.
Evanovich said students typically focus their decision on the quality and cost of different universities.
According to the “U.S. News & World Report” ranking summary for each university, Northwestern charges $43,779 in tuition and fees per academic year, Michigan charges $13,437 for in-state students and $39,109 for out-of-state students, and Wisconsin’s in-state tuition is $10,384 and $26,634 for out-of-state.
Penn State’s tuition for an academic year is $16,444 in-state and $28,746 for out-of-state, and Illinois charges $14,428 in-state and $28,570 for out-of-state. OSU’s tuition is $10,037 for in-state students and $25,445 for out-of-state students.
Evanovich said while he feels the rankings are not necessarily ignored by students, they are not usually the main focus.
“I think it is something families consider initially, maybe early in the process,” Evanovich said. “But when they make their decision to apply or to enroll, it’s more based on the strength of the academic program and the opportunities students have when they are here and when they graduate.”
Joe Wille, a first-year in biology from Michigan, chose OSU based on the atmosphere rather than its specific ranking.
“I think it would look better to graduate from a higher school, but I think anything in the top 100 would be a very good school,” Wille said.
Sarah ModicBradley, a second-year in business, said she personally took the rankings into consideration.
“I definitely wanted to go to a school that had a high ranking, not some unknown college, so I did pick it based off that,” ModicBradley said. “I mean, I applied to all schools in Ohio, so Ohio State was definitely the highest ranked.”

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