Ok this is clearly the high time of year for college ranking services. U.S. News and World Report is out with the 2009 edition of their big “Best Colleges” list, and once again, Wesleyan has dropped in rank on the list of Best Liberal Arts Colleges, this time from #11 to #13, where it is sandwiched uncomfortably between Vassar and Grinnell.
What does this mean? Not a whole lot, unless you really find it meaningful to scrutinize schools based on minute differences in statistics that fluctuate all the time anyway. Besides, you’re certainly allowed some choice in which college ranking list you attach your self-esteem to.
Get the full list here.
U.S. News & World Report: Liberal Arts Rankings – Best Colleges
Forbes Magazine would like to offer American kids an alternative to the U.S. News & World Report ‘s annual college rankings.
I’m not sure what actually distinguishes this “Best Colleges” list from the other one, aside from a somewhat vague commitment to parsing schools based on the “the quality of the education they provide, and how much their students achieve,” but Wesleyan is #21 overall, between Pomona and Haverford. Make of that what you will.
Forbes ranks universities and liberal arts colleges together on its list and places heavy emphasis on such somewhat fluffy factors as the number of alumni listed in “Who’s Who in America” and the quality of teacher ratings on Ratemyprofessors.com (25% each), as well as more conventional factors as graduation rates, average student debt, and endowment values.
This is probably at least partially why Wesleyan is ranked significantly higher than half the Ivies. Not that we’re complaining.
Forbes Magazine: America’s Best Colleges
[Thanks to Colin Small ’11 for the tip]
Princeton Review has released their dubious student-survey-based annual rankings of colleges according to random subjective qualities.
For those following very closely, Wesleyan is on the same lists as last year
, though our school has dropped at least one rank in all five categories, and Wes students are apparently no longer among the “most liberal” – the title of that list
used to be “Students Most Nostalgic for Bill Clinton”, but it seems that name has been scrapped in this Obama year.
These are the weirdest rankings, in my opinion. Whereas the USNWR rankings adhere to a formula (albeit a twisted and irrelevant formula) this is a crapshoot that relies on…god knows what. It changes drastically from year to year in almost every category.
Anyway, here are our rankings this year for Princeton Review:
Our rankings from last year. We are no longer a top school where the gay community is accepted or have the best college theater (correlated?!). We’re less vegetarian, less nostalgic for Bclint, and more God-ignoring and now our library is suddenly one of the best.
The US News and World Report
upped us downed us this year from #12 #10 to #11, where we tie with Grinnell, Claremont McKenna, and Vassar. (see?! I care so very little I don’t even remember what we were last year or the year before.)
Seriously, though, how cool would it be for Michael Roth to be the first top 30 liberal arts president to say fuck you to US News? This article from MSNBC says it can’t and won’t be done. (However, it actually was done–by Reed, a long-standing #10 school. And that’s why Reed is #54 now.)
Oh the drama! The dramaaaaa!
Gawker narrows down the choices to Sarah Lawrence and us. Sadly, there’s no point in refuting this since people who didn’t go to Wesleyan maybe only meet one person from Wesleyan in their entire lives and thus their entire conception of Wesleyan is based on that one person. And that one person? It’s always a LARPER at Comic-Con. Always.
Looks like U.S. News and World Report is being dealt another setback as some smart college administrators realize that playing up your school’s numbers isn’t the best way to get top-notch frosh. From the New York Times:
The presidents of dozens of liberal arts colleges have decided to stop participating in the annual college rankings by U.S. News and World Report.
The decision was announced Tuesday at the end of an annual meeting of the Annapolis Group, a loose association of liberal arts colleges. After two days of private meetings here, the organization released a statement that said a majority of the 80 presidents attending had “expressed their intent not to participate in the annual U.S. News survey.”
The commitment, which some college presidents said was made by a large majority of participants, represents the most significant challenge yet to the rankings, adding colleges like Barnard, Sarah Lawrence and Kenyon to a growing rebellion against the magazine, participants said.
I forgot to mention that I’m Wesleyan’s representative for the U.S. Board of Higher Education Statistics, the consortium that these schools will work with to develop a new college ratings guide.
Just kidding. :-P
National Science Foundation Funding among Liberal Arts Peers
in Science and Math Publications Among Liberal Arts Peers
the 2006 U. S. News & World Report Rankings of Liberal Arts Institutions
All National Universities & Colleges by Washington Monthly
Wesleyan Athletics Power Ranking among Div. III Schools by The National Collegiate Scouting Association
Top 50 Colleges in the U.S. for African Americans as Ranked by Black Enterprise magazine.
Wesleyan is a Top 30 Private School according to Reform Judaism magazine’s “Insider’s Guide to Jewish Campus Life”
(For full article)