Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
October 22, 2021
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COURTESY OF LAURA WADSTEN

Students react to the the University’s renewed top-ten ranking. 

Hopkins ranked ninth in the nation according to the 2022 U.S. News & World Report national university rankings published earlier this week, maintaining its spot from last year. Hopkins is tied with California Institute of Technology, Duke University and Northwestern University.

According to its website, U.S. News & World Report uses independently weighted metrics ranging from graduation and retention rates to student selectivity and undergraduate reputation. While metrics like social mobility and financial resources are factored into the calculation, they are not weighted as much as other metrics.

In interviews with The News-Letter, students reacted to the updated rankings. 

Freshman Marco Azar praised the rankings, stating that the University put special emphasis on the undergraduate academic experience. He believed that the student-to-faculty ratio and the expertise of professors were significant factors in upholding the University’s ranking.  

The rankings also gave him a sense of pride, one that he expects will push him forward as a student.

“It makes me feel proud [to be at Hopkins], and it encourages me to take advantage of all the opportunities here,” Azar said. “I’m optimistic for the future because I know I will grow as a student at one of the best schools in the world.”

Junior Emily Javedan commended the various on-campus resources and extracurricular opportunities that Hopkins offers.

“[The rankings are] not surprising considering the number of resources that are available to us on campus,” Javedan said. “There is such a high volume of research opportunities and academic societies and clubs where we can foster our interests and find our own groups within the community.”

Earlier this month, Times Higher Education ranked Hopkins tenth nationally and 13th globally — both one rank below last year. Times Higher Education, like U.S. News & World Report, uses weighted metrics to determine its rankings, but its metrics place more emphasis on research influence and reputation, teaching and international outlook.

Sophomore Evan Edelman explained that the University’s ranking creates opportunities for undergraduates after they graduate. However, he argued that the prestige of Hopkins should not be affected by a small change in its rank.

“A higher ranking would improve one’s standing in a job market, [but] moving down one spot in the ranking might not have a massive effect on how an employer sees Hopkins,” Edelman said. “[It] still has that prestige.”

Hopkins also maintained its standing in individual undergraduate program rankings. U.S. News & World Report ranked the University’s undergraduate Biomedical Engineering (BME) program first in the nation, and the School of Engineering placed 13th in a tie with Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University for the second year in a row.

Sophomore BME major Andres Parra noted that the program’s caliber influenced his decision to attend Hopkins.

“Hopkins was literally number one in the country, so of course I wanted to come here for that,” Parra said. “Sure, they’re recognized as an amazing school, but it was mostly the fit for me — how well their goals in the [BME] program fit mine and the caliber of the BME program overall.”

Some students, like senior Ryan Hellinger, acknowledged the importance of such rankings and their implications for academic and extracurricular opportunities but suggested that other factors were equally important factors in the undergraduate experience at Hopkins.

“My academic experience from college comes from my peers,” Hellinger said. “The research and the rigor of the classes make it so highly ranked, but the student body and the way we all challenge each other make all of it come together.”

Edelman believes that although it is important for the University to maintain its standing, it should focus more on listening to student demands.

“[Hopkins] should prioritize what the students want rather than what improves its ranking,” Edelman said. “Obviously, the ranking is important, but I don’t think that is the [end all be all].”

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