Kiplinger’s magazine has just released its list of the 50 “best values” among private universities and colleges. Wesleyan was ranked 28th in the latter category, placing it
9th 8th of the 10 9 NESCAC liberal arts colleges on the list (only Trinity, at 30th, was lower). Not surprisingly, Wes has by far the highest yearly cost of the 50 schools ($52,235–almost $2000 higher than #2 Barnard and #3 Middlebury) and also leads the NESCAC (including Tufts) in average postgraduate debt ($21,464, 11th overall on the list).
On the bright side, Wes’s 9:1 student:faculty ratio is fourth in the NESCAC behind Williams (7:1), Tufts (7:1), and Amherst (8:1)–no small feat considering we’re the second-largest NESCAC institution–and our 27% selectivity rating is fourth in the conference (and tied for 10th overall), behind Williams (18%), Amherst (18%), Bowdoin (19%), and Middlebury (21%).
In spite of our decidely lower standing, these rankings seem significantly more credible than U.S. News (not that that’s saying much). It’s still a bit number-driven–part of the rankings are determined by the percentage of students scoring over 600 on the critical reading and math sections, or over a 24 on the ACT–and they don’t include the percentage of students receiving need-based aid. Still, the SAT/ACT threshold is pretty low, and at least there’s no peer assesment score.
View the full list of the top 50 LACs here.