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Northwestern climbs to No. 9 in U.S. News 2020 Best Colleges rankings

For third straight year, University moves steadily up another notch

Northwestern University rose to the Number 9 spot in the U.S. News & World Report 2020 Best College rankings, yet another endorsement of the growing research prowess, academic leadership and faculty and student excellence that characterize the Big Ten university.

For each of the past three years, Northwestern has moved up in the ranks of the Best National Universities category -- from Number 12 to Number 11 in the 2018 rankings and Number 10 in the 2019 rankings. For 2020, the University moved to 9th place, continuing to rise.

The University’s steady climb is, in part, a reflection of its continued success in attracting top researchers and research funding.  On Friday, Northwestern announced it earned a record $797.8 million in sponsored research funding for the fiscal year that ended Aug. 31, an unprecedented achievement for the school.

“Northwestern University understands that rankings can rise and fall, but we are delighted with our steady ascent in the U.S. News survey,” said Provost Jonathan Holloway. “We see it as a wonderful external endorsement of what our extraordinarily talented community of faculty, staff and students does every day to make Northwestern one of the leading research universities in the world.”

The last time Northwestern was in the top 10 was when it held the 10th spot in 2002 . Before that, the University was ranked at 9 for two years in 1996 and 1997, in an era when the Wildcat football team made it to the Rose Bowl in 1996.