ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - In the latest edition of the US News & World Report college rankings, you'll find Princeton, Harvard and Yale crowding the top of the list.
But it'll take some scrolling to find UNM. New Mexico's flagship university ranks tied for 181 among national universities. Among the 50 other flagship schools in each state, UNM ranks tied with Nevada for 47th.
Students weren't happy to see the low ranking.
"The people who do the rankings don't go to school here," said Evan White, a senior studying fine arts. "They don't know the instructors here and there's a lot of great teachers, a lot of great instructors."
Some of UNM's top leaders aren't a big fan of the ranking system either.
"It's a perverse ranking but it's a very common ranking. It's what people use these days," said UNM provost Chaouki Abdallah. "A lot of the students especially overseas, they look at this as a number, a simple number to rate things."
Abdallah's biggest gripes with the US News & World Report rankings have to do with some of what's taken into account and some of what's not.
For example, affordability isn't taken into account while a school's admission standards are.
"We're not going to tell everybody apply apply apply so that we can say, 'Well, we rejected 50 percent of them and our ranking will go up,' " Abdallah said.
Abdallah says a more valuable metric would be how a student improves and the value a university provides them during their time there.
But one place he agrees needs improvement is the school's six-year graduation rate, which sits below 50 percent.
What doesn't help is that 30 percent of incoming freshmen require remedial courses. Abdallah says next year, new students will be required to take summer classes.
"For next year if someone has a 17 on their ACT, we will actually make them go through the early start program so they start in the fall ready to do college work," Abdallah said.
At least one student who spoke to News 13 says raising the admission standards might help, too.
"The ACT score, I think that they said that you have to have a minimum of like 18 or 17 or something and I don't think that's really setting the bar too high honestly," said Kiera Newman, a UNM freshman.
While the overall ranking is low, some of UNM's individual programs get frequent praise. The medical school ranks in the top 20 in primary care and the school's photography program is fifth in the nation.
New Mexico State University didn't fare much better in the rankings. The school was tied for 190th.
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