Howard University's ranking in the influential U.S. News and World Report annual college list has plummeted 22 spots to 142nd.
The drop in ranking comes less than a month into the new academic year.
The 146 year old historically black college has fallen in the well-known list, the second significant descent in a four year period.
"It's sad," says Howard University student Kyra Riggins . "We shouldn't be dropping, we should always be rising and rising to the occasion."
In 2009, the school was ranked 96 out of 200 schools. Three years later, it dropped to 120 and now to even further into the lower half of the ranking.
Among the factors U.S. News and world Report looks at are academic reputation, retention rates and financial resources.
Alumni Kathy Henderson says graduates need to step up and help their alma mater.
"This is a blip," she says. "This is certainly cause for concern This is a wakeup call for all of us."
Sophomore Joshua Andre feels the schools uncertain financial standing contributed to these results.
"Most people look at a school that if a school is really good it has financial security and since Howard University doesn't seem to have that right now," Andre says. "I think that's the reason for falling down."
The university president defended the school in a statement, saying the following:
"The US News and World Report rankings represent one indicator of academic quality. There are several indicators that speak to the exceptional quality of a Howard education including a steady increase in our graduation rates."