For the past couple of years, it seemed that USC was going to ascend national college rankings as quickly as UCLA was doomed to descend it.
Well, the dream has slowed down a bit.
In U.S. News and World Report’s latest rankings of national universities, USC and UCLA have tied for the twenty-fourth spot. This is one spot lower than USC ranked last year, but one spot higher for our cross-town rivals.
While some USC students might be concerned that our lead over UCLA isn’t as apparent as we thought it was, the tie in rankings isn’t a tragedy—by any means. As much as we hate to admit it, UCLA is a great school, with great students and programs. U.S. News consistently ranked them above us for years until 2010.
This year’s ranking is just reminding us that we may need to work a little harder if we really want to come out on top. The road to prestige in the college world is a long one, and no school is going to climb the rankings without occasionally dropping a little too.
In the meantime, however, this year’s ranking will only serve to inspire USC to do better. We’re the school that managed to (almost) change our image from pure rich kid party den to one of the leading academic universities in the world. We’re the school that emerged from a sanctioned football season as the most intimidating team in the league. USC doesn’t back down for anyone—we confront the obstacles in our way.
These new rankings are no different. They will push our school to have better classes, develop more engaging programming, and attract more and more talented applicants. They will add fervor to our already ambitious fundraising campaign. They will enhance the construction currently planned to make our campus an even more beautiful place to attend school.
UCLA is a great school. But we still really hate to lose to them—or tie them, for that matter. The rankings are thus the perfect reality check, letting us know what it takes to beat UCLA not just on the football field, but in the non-athletic world as well.