By Saumya Chopra, news correspondent
While US News and World Report ranked Northeastern 42nd on its list of best schools in the country, it appears students may not be quite as infatuated with the university. In the recently published 2015 list of the Top 100 Colleges by Student Choice, NU was ranked 90th.
“At GradReports, we care about what the students and graduates think of a particular college or university,” Sung Rhee, CEO of SR Education Group, said. “Therefore, it was only fitting we found a way to show which colleges students are choosing to attend most.”
In the last week, Northeastern’s campus has been buzzing with tour groups comprised of admitted students, but according to the rankings compiled by SR Education Group and published on the website GradReports.com, less than 25 percent of these students will actually enroll at the university.
Rankings were created by dividing a college or university’s enrollment rate by the square of the school’s acceptance rate. Universities and colleges that have rolling admissions or fewer than 200 students enrolled were not accounted for in the list.
Northeastern’s enrollment rate is 18.9 percent and its acceptance rate is 32.3 percent, which placed it 90th on the list that featured universities from around the country. The list aims to emphasize what students value in a school, such as financial aid policies, grants, scholarships and small class sizes.
“It compares all colleges evenly,” Kimberly Wetter, marketing manager at SR Education, said. “So small liberal arts schools, military schools, ivy leagues and large public universities are all ranked on the same list with the same metric.”
The list ranked Harvard and Stanford Universities in first and second, respectively, alongside schools such as the United States Naval Academy and the United States Military Academy, also featured in the top ten.
“I’m a little shocked. I thought people would be more excited to go here considering the acceptance rate is low,” Olivia Hajas, an undeclared freshman, said of NU’s spot on the list.
Northeastern is home to over 25,000 graduate and undergraduate students, and received 50,634 applications this year for a freshman class of only 2,800. While a high volume in applications would likely mean a high interest in attending, Student Choice’s findings were that, after applying to Northeastern, students are choosing not to enroll at the university.
“The location and the co-op program make Northeastern such a great school and I feel like I have a better chance of getting a job if I graduate from Northeastern,” Hajas said. “I’m not really sure why students are choosing not to enroll here.”
Co-op is a huge factor that plays into students choosing to attend Northeastern.
Photo by Scotty Schenck
Close to 9,000 undergraduate students go on co-op each year, and around 90 percent of graduating students from 2006-2013 were employed full time or enrolled in graduate school, according to Renata Nyul, director of communications at Northeastern. Fifty percent of students who graduated from the class of 2013 found employment with a company where they had previously co-oped.
For the administration, the lower ranking is not a concern.
“Moving up in rankings of any kind is never the goal. They are simply metrics based on the publication’s own methodology,” Nyul said in an email to The News.
While some prospective students take university rankings into high consideration when applying to colleges, others feel that different factors should play a larger role in the decision process.
“I don’t think any type of ranking is important,” Emma Recane, a freshman physical therapy major, said. “The prestige of the school and the accreditation of the program is what is important but at the same time enrollment is important too – you want to go to a school that others are choosing.”