Brandeis dropped five places in this year’s U.S. News & World Report ranking of the 2020 Best National Universities, moving down to 40th place from number 35 in 2019, per the report published on Monday. 

The University tied with five other schools — Boston University, Case Western Reserve University, College of William and Mary, Northeastern University and Tulane University. Last year, Brandeis tied with Georgia Institute of Technology and University of Florida at 35. This year, Georgia Institute of Technology ranked 29, and University of Florida ranked 34 in the nation.

U.S. News & World Report published an explanation of how the colleges were evaluated for the 2020 rankings, saying that there were several changes in the ranking process from previous years. The metrics have changed to put “a greater focus on outcome measures like graduation rates, retention rates and social mobility indicators,” but US News & World Report emphasized that its primary goal is still to help students pick the best school for them. For example, two new ranks used this year in determining a school’s overall score are social mobility rank and student outcomes. 

In the new ranking and breakdown system, 35 percent of a school’s score is “Outcomes.” This is specifically describing how successful a school is in retaining its students and the six-year graduation rate. Twenty-two percent of the 35 percent is specifically dedicated to graduation and retention, eight percent is graduation rate performance and five percent is how well a school helps in promoting social mobility through getting students awarded Pell Grants to enroll and graduate. 

20 percent of a school’s score is dedicated to faculty resources encompassing “class size, faculty salary, faculty with the highest degree in their fields, student-faculty ratio and proportion of faculty who are full time.” An additional 20 percent is based on “Expert Opinion.” This can include many factors, including innovative teaching practices. 

10 percent of a school’s rank is dedicated to financial resources and what programs and services are funded. Another 10 percent is based on student excellence — including the mathematics and evidence-based reading and writing sections of the SAT, the entire composite score on the ACT and the students’ high school class standing. The final 5 percent is how much alumni give back to their universities. 

Brandeis’ overall score was a 67 out of 100.

In addition to the overall national ranking, the US News & World Report ranked Brandeis in a number of different fields. The University is ranked 76 in Best Undergraduate Teaching, 33 for Best Value School and 138 for Top Performers in Social Mobility.