The 2014 U.S. News and World Report national universities rankings will be released Tuesday.
The 2013 rankings saw Duke climbing from 10th to eighth on the list of universities offering doctoral degrees—tying for the position with the University of Pennsylvania.
Eighth was the University’s highest position since 2008, though below the peak ranking of third in 1997.
This year, U.S. News and World Report announced a new system for evaluation that will minimize the weight of factors that reflect a university’s student body and increase the weight for factors that measure students’ success after graduation.
Less weight was given to the high school rankings of incoming freshmen, though the new methodology gave more weight to the SAT and ACT scores of the incoming class.
The importance of student selectivity decreased, but graduation rate performance is weighted higher in the new methodology.
Robert Morse, founder of the rankings system, wrote on his blog that the new system will result in major changes to the rankings.
In the past, Duke administrators have said that they do not hold much stock in the University’s movement within the top 10 spots.
“We know our programs are improving, our entering classes as well, but the annual fluctuations really are a mystery, reflective of not a great deal,” Provost Peter Lange told The Chronicle after the rankings were announced last year.
Michael Schoenfeld, vice president for public affairs and government relations, said that the University’s strong commitment to small classes and personal attention were likely big factors in Duke’s ranking jump last year. He noted, however, that the rankings do not greatly impact the reputation of the University.
“Our research every year shows that when you’re in the top 10, the rankings make far less of an impact on applications and yield than people think they do,” he said last year.