Tag Archives: rankings

Wesleyan Ranked 4th in College Brand Equity

In case you’ve run out of ways to tell your parents, friends, and other muggles how great Wes is on this loooong winter break (for most of which you’ve been stranded inside), the Global Language Monitor just released its new 2011 MediaBuzz College ranking that puts Wes 4th among colleges for internet brand equity.  What does that mean, you ask? The Global Language Monitor tracks internet activity to determine shifts in language and culture around the world (Google does this too now. Go figure).  They have honed their internet scouring servers to create lists of colleges and universities based solely on internet buzz.  Is this the U.S. News killer we’ve all been waiting for? Probably not. But it’s an interesting take on the relative attractiveness of schools to the world at large.  From the GLM:

“The ‘flight to quality’ continues unabated.  The savvy consumer of the education marketplace appears centered on the price-sensitive ‘public ivies’ and technology-centered schools, as well as on-line alternatives.  The solidly performing ‘little Ivies’ are now now fairly well distributed across the country– and are holding their own,” said Paul JJ Payack, President of the Global Language Monitor.”  One  aftermath of the recent recession is that consumers understand that it is smart not to accept ‘retail pricing’ and that colleges are no different in this regard from any other institution.”

The TrendTopper MediaBuzz Rankings are a way of seeing the schools through the eyes of the world at large. It is a democratic, self-generating ratings system, since it captures the brand equity associated with each of these fine institutions. GLM’s TrendTopper MediaBuzz Rankings actually removes all bias inherent in each of the other published rankings, since they actually reflect what is being said and stated on the billions of web pages that we measure.

See the rankings and other interesting tidbits collected by the GLM after the jump.

Debt to Die With

With all this talk about rankings and all the fire that for-profit schools have come under recently, Gawker decided to try and rank the ‘real’ colleges whose students have amassed the most debt.  They took total debt, which made bigger schools come out on top, giving NYU a not-so-surprising win.

But what about Wesleyan? What about debt per student, which is probably a better measure in the first place? We’ve always know that Wesleyan is an expensive place to go to, with one of the highest tuitions and comprehensive costs in the nation, but let’s take a look at the debt burden it places on the students.  The “Median Federal Debt for Those Entering Repayment” for Wesleyan was $11,384.

Estimated Repayment Rates by Institution -- FY 2009 Wesleyan and Comparable Institutions

Yes, Wesleyan’s $11,384 median looks meager compared to NYU’s behemoth of $28,649 (which isn’t even the highest).  But what about comparable institutions? Our Little Three ‘frenemies’ Williams and Amherst have nearly identical medians at about $7,700 (are they even distinguishable schools anymore?), over $3,500 less than us.  Nearby Connecticut College, however, has a similar if higher load.  Vassar, who we seem to be compared to a lot, is also essentially similar to us in Median Federal Debt.  Our “Estimated Repayment Rate” is lower than any of our peers though.

The source information comes from the US Department of Education’s ED.gov, which has other useful information.  Click here for the relevant statistics directly from them.  Click here for Gawker’s Top Ten Universities for Student Debt.

Sorry for the awfully Argus-y post.

Wes ranks #12 in U.S. News Liberal Arts Colleges

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.

U.S. News and World Report Wesleyan 2010

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.

U.S. News & World Report Liberal Arts best Value 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.

More Rankings: Wesleyan #15 according to Forbes

As much as it pains me to do a rankings post, it’s the summer and well, rankings are rankings. Forbes has released its own top Colleges and Universities list. Williams, Princeton, and Amherst make up the top three, and Wesleyan falls in line at #15, right between Haverford and Whitman College. Forbes describes the idea behind its rankings as:

To our way of thinking, a good college is one that meets student needs. While other college rankings are based in large part on school reputation as evaluated by college administrators, we focus on factors that directly concern incoming students: Will my courses be interesting? Is it likely I will graduate in four years? Will I incur a ton of debt getting my degree? And once I get out of school, will I get a good job?

As always, the rankings seem fairly controversial (Cornell is at #70, John Hopkins is at #88, and NYU is all the way down at #173). To see the full list, click here; the full methodology is here.

Enjoy another way to re-live that college search process and feel good about your decision (or if it wasn’t your decision – feel good that Brown was 30 spots behind at #45). Or, you know, just ignore it all (Forbes is mainstream after all). Enjoy your last month of summer (sorry alums!).


Princeton Review Rankings 2011

Because they are the standards by which everyone should choose their college, here is how we ranked in the 2011 edition of the Princeton Review Best Colleges:

Wesleyan 2011 Princeton Review Rankings
Now, here are our rankings from last year:

2010 Princeton Review WesleyanWe essentially did worse in every category we were ranked in last year.  The only improvement comes in “Best College Theater,” where we squeezed in this year after not being ranked at all among the top 20 last year.

To be honest, the Princeton Review is insulting us.  They’re calling us mainstream.  

Middletown #39 Most Stoned City

According to a recent ranking from The Daily Beast in honor of National Weed Day on 4/20, Middletown is one of the Most Stoned Cities in the nation.  Here’s what they had to say:

Regular Users: 7.9%
Pot Culture: 7 out of 10
Arrests per 100,000 residents: 180
NORML chapter?: No

Academics: Home to Wesleyan University, which ranks No. 18 in the nation for marijuana use, according to The Princeton Review’s annual “Reefer Madness” ranking.

Seeing that Manhattan came out at #3, Boston at #4, and San Francisco at #5, it only makes sense that Wes was a major contributor to the Middletown rank.  The only other Connecticut city to beat Middletown was New Haven at #36.

Are you happy?

According to Mission College MESA Undergraduate Research, Wesleyan is one of the Top 10 Colleges with Happiest Students.  In fact, we’re ranked ninth, right above Brown.

Wesleyan is “a place in which anyone could find a niche and be happy,” regardless of whether one’s passions run toward the arts, athletics, public service, partying, or leftist activism. (Granted, if your passion is leftist activism, yours will be an especially large niche.) Academically, Wes excels at “letting you blaze your own path with the help of highly skilled staff,” which the school’s independent-minded students regard as a major asset. Undergrads praise their classmates as “super intelligent, but they also understand how to have fun. “

Wes Ranked Among “America’s Douchiest Colleges”


GQ magazine posted an amusing alternative to the Newsweek college rankings: America’s 25 Douchiest Colleges.  Brown University takes the top spot, in the category of “The ‘Peace Sign on My Mom’s 7 Series’ Douche,” with Oberlin, RISD, Duke, Reed, Bard and Wesleyan as honorable mentions in the category.

Vassar and Amherst once again beat us in the rankings — they win “#22: the womyn douche” and “#7: the ‘I Went to a Small liberal-arts College in Massachusetts’ Douche”, respectively.  The complete list is here.

[Thanks to EunHye Lee ’07 for the tip].

Princeton Review Ranks Wesleyan


A helpful commenter on our last post alerted us to the new Princeton Review rankings! Oh boy!

Here’s how we measure up:

Rank List
#10 Best College Library
#13 Birkenstock-Wearing, Tree-Hugging, Clove-Smoking Vegetarians
#9 Most Politically Active Students
#18 Reefer Madness
#16 Least Religious Students
#14 Most Liberal Students

Unhappy with those rankings? Draw up your transfer application to the New College of Florida, which seems to outrank us in all the “important” metrics.

We also rank as one of the 271 “Best Northeastern Colleges”

Best Northeastern Colleges

This school is named a Best Northeastern College by The Princeton Review. Our goal is simple: to identify some of the colleges and universities that we feel stand out within each region.

Unfortunately, there was no list for “Best Anonymous Confession Board Memes” or “Student Body Most Likely To Reject Socially Constructed Hierarchies.”

I also did a little poking around to see what the Princeton review says about us to prospective students. The student body page describes us as such:

Passionate is a word that pops up frequently when Wesleyan undergrads describe their peers, as does “intelligent.” In fact, Wesleyan is a magnet for kids who value intellect, not only as a means to good grades and a career, but also as an instrument of self-development. “Everyone is excited about something,” undergrads report. Students here are engaged in campus life, meaning “a lot of things on campus are student-run and a lot of learning takes place outside the classroom due to casual interaction between peers.” Demographically speaking, there are “two main molds of a Wesleyan student: the preppy New England kid and the kid…who [is] some kind of mix between a hipster and a hippie. Outside of that it’s an extremely diverse group of kids who come from all over and have a wide range of interests.” Most students here “are liberal and ‘alternative.’

Sounds…surprisingly accurate, actually. Go fuck yourself College Prowler.

We’re number 28!

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.