They keep on comin’. In the past couple of weeks, we’ve been flooded with college rankings coming out. They mean so little yet so much. The Princeton Review and Forbes might have their rankings, but the most popular ones, from the U.S. News and World Report have arrived.
We come in 12th, tied with Vassar, in the Liberal Arts Rankings. The U.S. News & World Report rankings reflect more recent admissions statistics than Forbes used, such as our acceptance rate being 22% (that’s us 2013). We ranked #13 last year in the 2010 rankings, going up a spot this year. Read the page about Wesleyan there to see what they made of us and our several “sororities on campus.” It’s quite a unique portrayal of student life at Wesleyan.
On the list of Best Values for Liberal Arts Colleges we ranked #20, with almost 15% more students at #1 value Amherst receiving need-based aid. The average discount from total cost at Amherst was also almost 15% higher than at Wes.
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.