SDSU moves up in top university rankings

by Ronald Penh, Contributor

San Diego State has continued its progression through the top university rankings, according to a 2019 release done by the U.S. News & World Report, making this year’s rankings the highest in the university’s history.

This year, SDSU jumped from being the 68th best public university to the 60th and from the 140th best national university to the 127th.

According to a university press release, the U.S. News & World Report’s calculations are done by measuring factors like social mobility, graduation and retention rates, graduation rate performance, faculty resources, expert opinions, financial resources, student excellence and alumni giving.

SDSU’s progression in national rankings has occurred since 2012, where the university saw a 30-spot jump in the top public universities list and a 38-spot jump in the rankings for the top national universities, according to the U.S. News & World Report.

Aside from the numerical ranking improvements that the school has made, SDSU President Adela de la Torre said she commends the development efforts the university has made in recent years, something she said is expressed beyond college ranking lists.

“Though the numbers only tell part of a bigger story, I believe they reflect SDSU’s commitment to providing our students with a truly transformational college experience, led by faculty and staff who are deeply invested in creating the social mobility pathways and resources needed to graduate the future global citizens, compassionate leaders and ethical innovators who will impact the world,” de la Torre said in a university press release.

Admissions Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management Sandra Cook said she praised the collective efforts of the students in helping SDSU improve as a university.

While the nation’s average for a university’s 6-year graduation rate stands at 57 percent, Cook said SDSU has been able to maintain a higher-than-average graduation rate at 75 percent. She said the competitive nature of applying to SDSU is also apparent with the university receiving a total of 93,600 undergrad applications, the highest in history.

“We do look at the rankings very carefully because, however we can help ourselves to be competitive, we do,” Cook said.

Cook said SDSU made a number of intentional efforts to move up the list by practicing methods that were noted to help schools improve their rankings. In 2013, former president Elliot Hirshman ordered applicants’ high school class ranks be collected during the admissions process because it was noted this helps with university rankings. When SDSU began this practice, the school’s rank jumped up 31 spots on the top national universities list.

Despite SDSU’s progression upward in national rankings, some students continue to emphasize some areas of the university they believe to have room for improvement. Civil engineering junior Tiffany Clonts said she has a problem with the way SDSU approaches student housing.

“I don’t like the change they made requiring sophomores to live on campus,” Clonts said. “I think it’s really expensive and financial aid pays for tuition, not rent. It makes it unnecessarily expensive for non-commuter students to go here.”

Business finance junior Elizabeth Curry said she is critical of some of the university’s academic resources.

“I think SDSU can improve with their career services and also helping make sure that students are actually retaining the information that they’re learning and being able to apply it in the real world,” Curry said.