West Point cracks top 25, barely, in U.S. News annual college rankings

The U.S. Military Academy slipped seven spots in the annual U.S. News college rankings. (Army photo)

The U.S. Military Academy dropped to 24th in this year’s U.S. News college rankings. (Army photo)

Despite continuing, stellar support from America’s high school guidance counselors, the U.S. Military Academy slipped seven spots on this year’s U.S. News Best Colleges rankings for national liberal arts colleges, falling out of a three-way tie for 17th last year and into a three-way tie for 24th with Macalester College of St. Paul, Minnesota, and Scripps College of Claremont, California.

West Point finished second in the service-academy race, with the Naval Academy ranking 13th (down from 12th last year). The schools also finished 1-2 in selectivity: Annapolis accepted just 7.4 percent of its 2013 applicant pool, according to U.S. News, while West Point let in 9 percent. The Air Force Academy was the 10th-toughest liberal arts college for applicants (15.4 percent accepted) and was 27th in the overall rankings.

The academies took the top three spots among high school guidance counselors, with USMA and USNA tying for first in a nationwide survey and Air Force splitting third place with Williams College of Massachusetts, the overall liberal arts rankings champion. They were also 1-2-3 on last year’s list.

U.S. News explains its methodology here. Its rankings don’t account for tuition costs, which may explain why every school aside from the academies in the top 25 comes with a yearly price tag of $44,724 or higher. A student attending either of the schools tied with West Point on the list would shell out more than $47,000 annually.

Plus, there’s the matter of the academy’s fairly thorough job placement program. And there’s no mention in the criteria of any bonus points awarded for mandatory obstacle courses.

The list does not include “national universities,” which U.S. News identifies as “schools that emphasize research and offer bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs.” That list had its usual Ivy-colored top three, featuring Princeton, Harvard and Yale, in that order.

Get the full rundown on West Point, at least from the U.S. News perspective, here. Leave your take on the academy’s spot in the rankings in the comments below.


About Author


  1. George Adamakos on

    I am a graduate of USMA. It’s not a liberal arts college, it’s a school of sciences and engineering. I understand that one can major in a liberal arts subject there now, but the majority of cadets don’t. Ranking the Academy 25th when it comes to liberal arts is a feather in their cap since they are not known for that. If you want a liberal arts degree, go to Williams.

  2. The ‘poll’ is rigged and highly inaccurate. It does not take into account all the ‘extras’ a cadet must perform and endure at the Academies. Skewed polls by skewed pollsters.

Leave A Reply