Whether we need it or not, there is a new ranking on the scene, the *Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Rankings 2017. *

There are some interesting features, and the rankings are certainly worth a look.

The rankings combine national universities and liberal arts colleges into one group, and in this way resemble the *Forbes *rankings. And, also like the *Forbes *rankings, the salaries earned by graduates also count as a metric, 12% of the total in the *WSJ/THE *rankings.

Farther down, we will list the top 100 colleges in the rankings. Only 20 of the top 100 schools are public; 31 are liberal arts colleges; and the remaining 49 are elite private universities. This is not much of a surprise, given that financial resources are a major ranking category.

Before listing the top 100, we will list another group of schools that have the best combined scores in what we consider to be the two most important umbrella categories in the rankings, accounting for 60% of the total: “Engagement” and “Output.”

**Engagement (20% of total, as broken out below):**

A. Student engagement: 7%. This metric is generated from the average scores per College from four questions on the student survey:

- To what extent does the teaching at your university or college support CRITICAL THINKING?
- To what extent did the classes you took in your college or university so far CHALLENGE YOU?
- To what extent does the teaching at your university or college support REFLECTION UPON, OR MAKING CONNECTIONS AMONG, things you have learned?
- To what extent does the teaching at your university or college support APPLYING YOUR LEARNING to the real world?

B. Student recommendation: 6%. This metric is generated from the average score per College from the following question on the student survey:

- If a friend or family member were considering going to university, based on your experience, how likely or unlikely are you to RECOMMEND your college or university to them?

C. Interactions with teachers and faculty: 4%. This metric is generated from the average scores per College from two questions on the student survey:

- To what extent do you have the opportunity to INTERACT WITH THE FACULTY and teachers at your college or university as part of your learning experience?
- To what extent does your college or university provide opportunities for COLLABORATIVE LEARNING?

D. Number of accredited programs (by CIP code): 3%. This metric is IPEDS standardized number of Bachelor’s degree programs offered.

**Output (40% of the total, as broken out below):**

A. Graduation rate: 11%. This metric is 150% of the graduation rate status as of 31 August 2014 for the cohort of full-time, first-time degree/certificate-seeking undergraduates, Bachelor’s or equivalent sub-cohort.

B. Graduate salary: 12%. This metric estimates the outcome of median earnings of students working and not enrolled 10 years after entry.

C. Loan default/repayment rates: 7%. This metric estimates the outcome of the 3-year repayment rate from College Scorecard data. The value added component is the difference between actual and predicted (based on underlying student and College characteristics) outcomes.

D. Reputation: 10%. This metric is the number of votes obtained from the reputation survey, and is calculated as the number of US teaching votes from the reputation survey and the number of US-only teaching votes from country section of the reputation survey.

The two remaining umbrella categories measure **F****inancial** **Resources,** including the amount spent per student; and the **Environment, **including the diversity of enrolled students (or faculty) across various ethnic groups. You can find a summary of the methodology here.

Here are the 23 colleges that scored at least 17.0 (out of 20) in **Engagement** *and* at least 30.0 (out of 40.0) in **Output, **listed in order of their overall place in the *WSJ/TimesHigherEd rankings:*

Stanford–Ranking 1; Engagement 17.4; Output 39.4

Penn–Ranking 4; Engagement 17.6; Output 39.0

Duke–Ranking 7; Engagement 17.2; Output 39.3

Cornell–Ranking 9; Engagement 17.3; Output 38.2

WUSTL–Ranking 11; Engagement 17.5; Output 38.6

Northwestern–Ranking 13; Engagement 17.1; Output 37.8

Carnegie Mellon–Ranking 19; Engagement 17.2; Output 37.0

Brown–Ranking 20; Engagement 17.5; Output 35.7

Vanderbilt–Ranking 21; Engagement 17.2; Output 38.8

Michigan–Ranking 24; Engagement 17.4; Output 37.2

Notre Dame–Ranking 25; Engagement 17.4; Output 37.0

Swarthmore–Ranking 34; Engagement 17.7; Output 31.0

Smith–Ranking 35; Engagement 17.1; Output 31.3

Univ of Miami–Ranking 37; Engagement 17.5; Output 30.8

Purdue–Ranking 37; Engagement 17.2; Output 34.1

UC Davis–Ranking 43; Engagement 17.1; Output 33.8

Illinois–Ranking 48; Engagement 17.1; Output 35.6

UT Austin–Ranking 51; Engagement 17.3; Output 33.3

Florida–Ranking 56; Engagement 17.1; Output 35.6

Pitt–Ranking 59; Engagement 17.0; Output 32

Michigan State–Ranking 63; Engagement 17.7; Output 32.9

Wisconsin–Ranking 67; Engagement 17.2; Output 33.5

Texas A&M–Ranking 81; Engagement 17.6; Output 31.7

**Below are the top 100 colleges in the new rankings:**

1. Stanford

2. MIT

3. Columbia

4. Penn

5. Yale

6. Harvard

7. Duke

8. Princeton

9. Cornell

10. Caltech

11. Johns Hopkins

11. WUSTL

13. Northwestern

13. Chicago

15. USC

16. Dartmouth

17. Emory

18. Rice

19. Carnegie Mellon

20. Brown

21. Vanderbilt

22. Williams

23. Amherst

24. Michigan

25. Notre Dame

26. UCLA

27. Tufts

28. Pomona

29. Georgetown

30. North Carolina

30. Wellesley

32. Case Western

33. NYU

34. Swarthmore

35. Smith

36. Middlebury

37. UC Berkeley

37. Carleton

37. Haverford

37. Univ of Miami

37. Purdue

42. Boston University

43. UC Davis

44. Bowdoin

45. Wesleyan

46. Claremont McKenna

47. Bryn Mawr

48. Illinois

49. UC San Diego

50. Lehigh

51. Georgia Tech

51. UT Austin

53. Bucknell

54. Colgate

54. Wake Forest

56. Virginia

56. Florida

58. Rochester

59. Pitt

60. Hamilton

61. Washington

62. Oberlin

63. Boston College

63. Michigan State

65. Trinity College (Conn.)

66. Colby

67. George Washington

67. Macalester

67. Wisconsin

70. WPI

71. Ohio State

72. Northeastern

73. Lafayette

73. Trinity (TX)

75. Tulane

75. Vassar

77. Davidson

78. Grinnell

78. RPI

80. Barnard

80. Texas A&M

82. Drexel

83. Denison

84. Occidental

84. Richmond

86. SMU

87. Howard

88. Holy Cross

89. Brandeis

90. Denver

91. De Pauw

92. Rose-Hulman

93. William and Mary

94. Kenyon

95. Bentley

96. Connecticut College

96. Penn State

96. Scripps College

99. Stevens Inst Tech

100. Maryland