Southern Illinois makes big leap in U.S. News' college rankings

Southern Illinois University leaps from No. 183 to No. 153 in Best Colleges Rankings.

Two Illinois universities made big leaps in U.S. News & World Report's Best Colleges Rankings for 2016, released Wednesday.

Southern Illinois University's Carbondale campus climbed 36 spots, one of the largest jumps on the annual list, to be ranked as the 153rd best school in the nation, tied with Adelphi University and St. John's University, both in New York.

Last year, Southern Illinois ranked No. 189 on the list, which every year ranks nearly 1,800 colleges and universities based on their academic prowess.

The University of Illinois at Chicago also soared, to No. 129 from a tie last year at No. 149. The school is tied this year with Arizona State University, Louisiana State University, SUNY Albany, the University of Kentucky and the University of Arkansas.

Princeton University again took the top spot on U.S. News' list, followed by Harvard in the No. 2 spot and Yale in third place. The survey considers up to 16 measures of academic strength at undergraduate institutions.

The list of the Top 10 universities in the country was virtually unchanged except for the University of Pennsylvania, which slid to No. 9, from No. 8 last year. The University of Chicago, a stalwart on the Top 10 list, came in at No. 4, tied with Stanford University in California and Columbia University in New York.

Northwestern University in Evanston was ranked No. 12, tied with Dartmouth College in New Hampshire.

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign ranked No. 41, in a six-way tie with rival University of Wisconsin at Madison, Boston University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Rensselaer, N.Y., University of California at Davis, and Tulane University in New Orleans.

Other well-known Chicago-area schools on the list were DePaul University at No. 123, alongside Catholic University in Washington, D.C., Seton Hall University in New Jersey and Michigan Technological Institute. Loyola University Chicago was ranked No. 99, tied with Drexel University in Pennsylvania and University of Buffalo, SUNY.

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