UCLA has been ranked ahead of rival school USC according to the U.S. News & World Report’s annual list of university rankings and UC Berkeley has again been placed as the top public university overall.
The list, which was released on Tuesday ranks Princeton, Harvard, and Yale in first, second and third places consecutively. Columbia, Stanford, and the University of Chicago were all tied in fourth place. UCLA came in 23rd place (tied with the University of Virginia) and USC in 25th place (tied with Carnegie Mellon).
UCLA, UC Berkeley, USC and Columbia University topped the list for schools with the greatest economic diversity among the top 25 ranked institutions.
For this first time, the report included information on campus crimes and federal loan default rates which are located on each school’s profile page, according to the Los Angeles Times. This year, the federal government launched a probe into 55 colleges nationwide over their handling of sexual abuse complaints; UC Berkeley, USC, and Occidental College were three California schools on that list.
A release which accompanied the report notes that “Many experts believe that campus crime is significantly underreported by many colleges,” according to the Times.
The magazine says its goal with the release of the data is not to rank institutions, but rather to help parents and students make better college choices, writes the Times.
According to Matthew Chingos who is a senior fellow at the Brooking’s Institution’s Brown Center for Education Policy, for better or worse, people will always have a vested interest in these educational institution rankings: “You can shut down the U.S. News rankings tomorrow and someone else will step right up to take that role because the demand is there. Whether it should be is another question.”