Looks like the admissions office is going to have to do more than just revamp their Instagram. The Economist just published its first-ever college rankings last week, and those bitches put us at #623. No, that’s not a typo: SIX HUNDRED. TWENTY. THREE.
The Economist says that the formula behind their rankings is “simple:”
The economic value of a university is equal to the gap between how much money its graduates earn, and how much they might have made had they studied elsewhere.
Of course, while the former is easy to find nowadays, the latter is where things turn into something out of NUMB3RS. The Economist says it uses some fancy “multiple regression analysis” and runs it through a shit ton of software and *poof* there’s your ranking. Whatevs, Economist.
But if you think our ranking is bad, I’m here to make it worse: Here’s a list of schools with “Wesleyan” in their names that beat us:
Paying tuition never looked so bucolic
Please put your iPhone back in your Patagonia sweatshirt pocket for a second. Apparently it’s time to rethink the idea that the Wesleyan student body is entirely made up of students from upper-class families, at least according to new data from the New York Times. In conjunction with an article on colleges recruiting from an increasingly diverse set of economic backgrounds, the Times has published a chart comparing the economic diversity of various schools. And Wesleyan has come out at number 13 on the list.
The chart ranks colleges according to a College Access Index, which is based on the percent of the past few freshman classes who came from low-income families (measured by the share receiving a Pell grant) and on the net price of attendance for low- and middle-income families. The data states that 18% of freshman classes arriving 2012-14 have received Pell grants, and that the average cost for low- and middle-income students is $8,700 a year. This gives Wesleyan a College Access Ranking of 1.5, putting us below Amherst and above Williams, for reference.
For those of you who haven’t been following the buttload of obnoxious college rankings that come out every August/September, you’re in luck: Wesleyan is faring pretty damn well. A couple of the highlights and interesting tidbits:
1. Forbes ranked Wes number 15 on its 2014 list of best colleges in America. Impressive colleges we’re ranked higher than include Dartmouth, Northwestern, Columbia, Duke, and University of Chicago. Cue the awkward moment this summer when I used “So we beat you in the Forbes rankings” as a conversation starter with a current Dartmouth student. Whoops.
The days of WesTech might finally be over. Wesleyan, once rumored to be a haven for unattractiveness, has just been ranked twelfth in a national ranking of colleges “where the students are both hot and smart.” The list—published by Business Insider, which only last month questioned “What’s wrong with Wesleyan?”—was compiled by College Prowler and based on an averaging of individual lists created for each factor. Business Insider notes that College Prowler ranks schools “based on input from real students at the schools.” This seemingly results in a methodology that is not very quantitative and subject to many confounding factors, a methodology which might be referred to as highly sketchy. Accordingly, a number of commentators have voiced their objections via social media.
Middlebury, a fellow NESCACer, came in one spot behind us at 13. When @inthecac tweeted about the debate over the inclusion of Wes and Mid, some asked about Williams’ place on the list. But neither Williams nor any other NESCAC school made the cut, though Vassar comes in at 23, and Yale, at 15:
Why so serious, USNWR?
Not that anyone cares, because these things don’t mean anything, and they’re all just so arbitrary, and because rankings do not even matter unless Wesleyan scores high, in which case it’s super-exciting and you can disregard all that other stuff, but…
Unfortunately, it’s just not our year. The U.S. News and World Report—which by the way, has ranked as the #1 most useless publication three years in a row in this list I keep in the top drawer of my desk—had the gall to rank the prestigious Wellesleyan College at #17, down five slots from last year (or really up, does anyone else ever think about that, because 17 is actually a greater number than 12, mathematically speaking?).
Here’s the list, but instead of focusing on why or how we dropped this year (cough overenrollment cough endowment-per-student figure), I thought instead I’d focus instead on what it means to be number 17. I didn’t get very far, so instead I thought about what it might mean to be a liberal arts college (not in like a 21st century-cost-efficient-MRoth sort of way).
We all know that Wesleyan bleeds cardinal red with conservatism, and now there’s yet another ranking to prove it. As an alum puts it, “we were out-leftied by a school in Arkansas,” coming in at #15 of the Newsweek/College Prowler Most Liberal Colleges Ranking. This comes only a year after the Princeton Review induced a campus-wide identity crisis by implying that Wesleyan is no longer weird. To comfort your faint liberal to very liberal heart, please observe the reassuring photographic evidence of our liberalness above and repeatedly watch footage of Andrew Beritbart taking a swing at our good ole Methodist name.
Warren Wilson College in Swannanoa, NC comes in as the most liberal school in America. College Prowler tells us that the best things at Warren Wilson include the view of the mountains and the farm. Meanwhile, the worst include such unrelatable things as the cost of tuition and “getting trapped in the Wilson bubble.” Transfer applications are due November 15.
Newsweek, with financial problems that make Wesleyan look profitable, has been trying lately to seduce readers with everything from asparagus to college rankings (why not? everyone else is doing it!). The Huffington Post’s thoughtful analysis of these results describes the process: “Newsweek said it partnered with College Prowler to have students rank their schools by how liberal they felt the philosophy on campus was.” They’ve got our numbers though:
Earlier this week Business Insider published a list of the 20 Most Expensive Colleges in America. Wesleyan made the cut at #5—$56,006 for tuition, fees, room and board in 2011-2012—topped only by Harvey Mudd, Columbia, NYU, and finally Sarah Lawrence, the tiny Yonkers campus whose total fees have been inching steadily closer to $60k. No surprise when you consider Wesleyan’s rising tuition, uncertain need-blind status (not considered in this ranking, but topically relevant), and other topics of discussion at April’s Affordability Forum. Last spring Wes was #2 on the list.
What should come as a surprising is the photo the magazine placed beneath Wesleyan’s name. Grander than Olin, the building appears nowhere on Wesleyan’s campus (and if it does, it’s been kept even more hidden than the Art Studio tunnels). What gives?
We’ve come to learn more and more how tremendously hilarious college rankings are, and here’s a new one to get you through the wee hours of Sunday night. Unigo, whose founder might just happen be an alumnus of this fine institution, recently included Wesleyan on its list of the most “Intellectually Endowed” Schools in the country. The Huffington Post has taken that ranking and turned it into one of their amazing slideshows, deeming us one of “The Brainiest Colleges.” Rather than just copy and paste the text, however, I’ll take the liberty of relaying the information in the style of our precious Admissions website:
Are you…“driven, hyper-intelligent, and liberal-minded”? Do you question…“every single thing in society”? Can you not just…“go with the flow and accept life the way that it is“? Do you “harbor a strong…desire for knowledge”? Does work…come first? Is there no…“pressure to go out and party”? Do you not spend all four days of reading week…partying?
Click here to read the actual text.
There is nothing even vaguely meaningful being conveyed in this post, but I’m sick of hearing about Irene, too. Happy travels, incoming frosh.
If you bother putting stock in any silly college rankings, then you may as well put stock in all college rankings—and why not pay attention to this college ranking?
The Daily Beast has taken the liberty of ranking the 25 horniest college nationwide. Miracle of all miracles, Wes has taken the lead spot, one slot ahead of our neighbor Yalies.
Male-female ratio grade: A+
Campus strictness: A+
Is it the long-rumored but rarely experienced naked parties (which had little to do with sex, even when Art House was flourishing)? The New York Times’ mythical naked dorm? Our porn-drenched curriculum? I dunno. Maybe we really are that much hornier than every other school in, um, the country.
The moment we’ve all been waiting for is here. The new 2012 Princeton Review College Rankings are out! So wipe away those tears of joy, and actually take a look at the ratings. You’re probably wondering what we ranked as this year. Maybe #15 Reefer Madness and #11 Least Religious Students like we did in 2009? How about #13 Birkenstock-Wearing, Tree-Hugging, Clove-Smoking Vegetarians and #16 Least Religious Students like in 2010? At least #10 Best College Library and #19 Best College Theater like in 2011, right?
Wrong. We’re not reefer-mad, politically active liberal vegetarians with awesome acting skills in a luxurious library anymore. We’re not any one of those things. Wesleyan did not rank in the top 20 in any of these categories we performed so well in previously, but we do have a new honor. We can thank Middletown for this one, because Wesleyan is now…