Capital University has been ranked 47 out of 167 Midwestern colleges, according to the U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges rankings for 2024.
This places the university eight spots lower than the previous year’s rankings. Despite the decline, Capital still remains in the top third of regional Midwest universities.
In addition to its high general ranking, Capital also ranked high for “Best Value Schools,” “Best Colleges for Veterans” and “Top Performers in Social Mobility.”
The U.S. News and World Report uses multiple factors to rank colleges, such as performance from all types of socioeconomic backgrounds, graduation rates, financial resources and peer assessment. This past year, multiple changes were made to the ranking system.
“The reworked formula assigned greater emphasis to graduation rates for students who received need-based Pell grants and retention,” the New York Times said. “It also introduced metrics tied to first-generation college students and to whether recent graduates were earning more than people who had completed only high school.”
Under this reworked formula, and in addition to the general methodology, Capital ultimately earned a 63 out of a possible 100.
According to Research.com, Capital also ranks as one of the best colleges in the United States and in the Columbus area.
In comparison to other Columbus-based universities, the university ranked higher than Ohio Dominican University and Franklin University, but ranked lower than Otterbein University and The Ohio State University.
While the university may rank high in the eyes of analytical critics, students have a more nuanced opinion on where they believe the university should stand.
In a poll released to the Chimes’s Instagram page, over 130 students responded with where they believed Capital had been ranked.
Approximately 16% of those polled believed Capital had placed in the top 20 ranked colleges, 25% believed Capital ranked somewhere between 21-40, 27% believed Capital ranked somewhere between 41-60 and the remaining 32% believed Capital ranked lower.
While it is possible that college rankings may affect some students’ decision to attend certain schools, they seem to not have any effect on job potential.
“I have never heard of any employer citing any college rankings when considering candidates for positions,” said Eric Anderson, director of Career Development. “Employers sometimes seek out students from specific schools, but that is typically based on past success with graduates from those schools.”
Ultimately, the scope of effects that college rankings have is not quite certain.
“Schools have said that the rankings have an outsize influence on students and parents, who use them as a proxy for prestige,” the New York Times said. “And critics say they can skew the priorities of colleges and how they admit students.”
It is unknown how much of an influence the new rankings will have on future campus enrollment. While private universities, according to the New York Times, are more susceptible to the new formula for ranking, Capital still remains a high-interest and high-engagement university, committed to its academic mantra of “Ask. Think. Lead.”
For more information on the university’s rankings in the state and among others in the country, visit usnews.com/education.