Fall is the time when many college and university rankings are published. While there is well-deserved skepticism about the value of such rankings, it remains the case that they matter. Prospective students and their families—both domestic and international—still use rankings to help them select the institutions they will consider as part of their college search. Of course, they make their decisions based on much more than rankings, but for us to ignore the impact of rankings would be a significant mistake.

With this in mind, I am excited to share that Suffolk continues to rise in the 2019 U.S. News & World Report “Best Colleges” rankings. For the third year in a row we have been ranked as a National University, moving up four places on the list to 177. We moved up 11 spots since we were first ranked as a National University in U.S. News’ 2017 rankings.

Suffolk also tied for third among the U.S. News’ National Universities in percentage of international students (last year we were tied for fifth). International students play an important role in our educational mission. This ranking helps reinforce the fact that Suffolk has an international makeup and that this is a place where international students are not just welcomed, but also included.

Our U.S. News & World Report ranking is something for us to celebrate, and it reflects the continued strengthening of our reputation. But I am even more excited by another ranking that was also recently released—the Washington Monthly College Rankings.

The Washington Monthly started ranking colleges and universities 13 years ago. Its focus is distinct. The publication ranks institutions based on their contributions to the public good in three areas: research, social mobility, and community service. The latter two of these three categories sit at our core. We create transformational pathways of opportunity that take many of our students from the bottom 40 percent of the income ladder to the top 40 percent. And throughout their Suffolk experience, we foster a spirit of service and civic engagement in our students in a variety of ways. We are a leader among universities in voter registration drives, service learning courses, law clinics and the promotion of volunteer opportunities. That spirit of service is something our graduates carry with them throughout their lives.

In other words, Washington Monthly measures things that we care a lot about. With that in mind, I am thrilled to share with you that Washington Monthly has ranked us at number 98 in the National University category. Suffolk shot up 142 places since last year to crack the top 100 on the strength of student voter engagement and our ability to graduate students with significant financial need who receive Pell grants. As we continue to build our reputation to ensure that the nation and the world understand our value proposition, this particular ranking is something to celebrate, and something of which we can all be very proud.


Marisa J. Kelly