Molloy College in Rockville Centre is seen in this photo...

Molloy College in Rockville Centre is seen in this photo from Aug. 6, 2013. Credit: Ian J. Stark

Stony Brook University and Binghamton University were tied along with five others for the 89th national slot in U.S. News & World Report's 2016 Best Colleges rankings published Wednesday.

Hofstra University came in at 135th in the same category and Adelphi University placed 153rd.

Molloy College came in 36th among regional universities of the North, tied with four others. New York Institute of Technology was 41st and St. Joseph's College, which has campuses in Patchogue and Brooklyn, was 74th.

Officials at Molloy said the Rockville Centre school's ranking was the highest it has achieved in that category, and attributed its placement at least in part to an average freshman retention rate of 89 percent. Officials also said the school's graduation rate was 13 percentage points higher than the predicted level based on test scores and the proportion of students receiving Pell grants.

"We are pleased that Molloy has earned its highest ranking ever as one of the top universities in the North," Molloy College president Drew Bogner said. "We also take pride in the fact that our strong retention and graduation rates were recognized in these rankings."

Another high note for Long Island: Farmingdale State College ranked 32nd among regional colleges in the North and was 11th among the top public schools in that category.

Stony Brook slipped by a single spot in the national ratings, from 88th last year. The university was ranked 63rd among engineering schools where the highest degree is a doctorate and shared a rank of 37th with Binghamton in the top public schools category for national universities.

"This distinction further highlights the work of our award-winning faculty, accomplished students, rigorous and innovative academic programs and reinforces the university's efforts in continuing to increase the value of a Stony Brook degree," president Samuel L. Stanley Jr. said.

Lori Duggan Gold, vice president for communications at Adelphi, said the rankings are "one of many tools available for students and families in the college selection process, and we are pleased to be on the list of best national universities in the country."

The rankings for LIU Post, which has campuses in Brookville and Brooklyn, and Dowling College were not published.

U.S. News & World Report categorizes colleges and universities across the country, gathering data from each "on up to 16 indicators of academic excellence," according to the magazine's website. The institutions then are "assigned a weight that reflects our judgment about how much that measure matters."

After that, the schools are ranked against their peers in each category, based on their composite weighted score.

One key change in the 2016 rankings involved the amount of data that was used.

"This year, the academic peer scores are based on the two most recent sets of survey results, collected in spring 2014 and spring 2015," it said. "Using two years of data reduces year-to-year volatility in the results."

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