U.S. News Rankings for 57 Leading Universities, 1983–2007

Below are the U.S. News rankings from 1983 through 2007 for 57 leading national universities. For additional U.S. News rankings, please see U.S. News Rankings, 2008 through 2015, and Average U.S. News Rankings for 129 National Universities, 2011 to 2018.

Especially notable in the list below are the changes in major public universities.

Included here are institutions that were, at some point, ranked in the top 50 in those two categories. Some values are blank because in those years the magazine did not give individual rankings to every institution, instead listing them in large groups described as “quartiles” or “tiers.” The rankings shown for 1983 and 1985 are the ones that U.S. News published in its magazine in those same years. For all subsequent years, the rankings come from U.S. News’s separate annual publication “America’s Best Colleges”, which applies rankings for the upcoming year.

Here is the list:

 Year 83 85 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Stanford University 1 1 1 6 6 2 3 4 6 5 4 6 5 4 6 6 5 4 5 5 5 4
Harvard University 2 2 2 4 3 1 1 1 1 1 1 3 1 1 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 2
Yale University 3 2 3 1 1 3 2 3 3 3 2 1 3 1 4 2 2 2 3 3 3 3
Princeton University 4 4 4 2 2 4 4 2 2 2 2 2 1 1 4 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
University of California at Berkeley 5 7 5 24 13 13 16 16 19 23 26 27 23 22 20 20 20 20 21 21 20 21
University of Chicago 6 5 8 10 9 11 10 9 9 10 11 12 14 14 13 10 9 12 13 14 15 9
University of Michigan at Ann Arbor 7 8 25 17 21 22 24 23 21 24 24 23 25 25 25 25 25 25 22 25 24
Cornell University 8 11 14 11 9 12 11 10 15 13 14 14 6 11 10 14 14 14 14 13 12
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 8 20 45 50 45 42 34 41 36 38 40 37 42 41
Massachusetts Institute of Technology 10 11 5 7 6 6 5 4 4 5 5 6 4 3 5 5 4 4 5 7 4
Dartmouth College 10 10 6 7 8 8 8 7 8 8 7 7 7 10 11 9 9 9 9 9 9 9
California Institute of Technology 12 21 3 4 5 4 5 5 7 7 9 9 9 1 4 4 4 5 8 7 4
Carnegie Mellon University 13 22 24 19 24 24 23 28 23 25 23 23 22 21 23 22 22 21
University of Wisconsin at Madison 13 23 32 41 38 36 34 35 32 31 32 32 34 34
Case Western Reserve University 35 38 37 34 34 38 38 37 37 35 37 38
Tulane University 38 36 34 36 44 45 46 43 44 43 43 44
University of California at Irvine 48 37 41 36 49 41 41 45 45 43 40 44
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 39 48 49 49 48 47 48 46 43 42
University of Washington 50 42 44 45 45 47 45 46 45 42
University of Rochester 25 29 30 31 29 32 33 36 36 35 37 34 34
University of California at San Diego 43 34 33 32 32 31 31 31 32 35 32 38
Georgia Institute of Technology 42 48 41 46 40 35 41 38 37 41 37 38
Yeshiva University 45 48 42 44 45 41 40 40 46 45 44
Pennsylvania State University at University Park 41 45 44 40 44 46 45 48 50 48 47
Worcester Polytechnic Institute 48 55 55 53 64
Rutgers University at New Brunswick 45 60 58 60 60
Texas A&M University at College Station 48 48 67 62 60 60
Pepperdine University 49 48 47 51 52 55 54
Syracuse University 49 44 40 47 55 52 50 52
George Washington University 46 50 51 52 53 52
University of Florida 47 49 48 50 50 47
University of California at Santa Barbara 46 47 47 44 45 48 47 45 45 45 47
University of California at Davis 40 40 41 44 42 41 41 43 43 42 48 47
University of Texas at Austin 25 44 49 48 47 53 46 52 47
New York University 36 35 34 35 34 33 32 35 35 32 37 34
Boston College 37 38 38 36 39 38 38 40 40 37 40 34
Emory University 25 22 21 25 16 17 19 9 16 18 18 18 18 18 20 20 18
Vanderbilt University 24 19 25 20 18 22 20 19 20 20 22 21 21 19 18 18 18
Rice University 14 9 10 16 15 12 14 12 16 16 17 18 14 13 12 15 16 17 17 17
Johns Hopkins University 16 11 14 15 11 15 15 22 10 15 14 14 7 15 16 15 14 14 13 16
Brown University 7 10 13 15 12 17 18 12 11 9 8 9 10 14 15 16 17 17 13 15 15
Northwestern University 17 16 19 23 14 13 13 14 13 9 9 10 14 13 12 10 11 11 12 14
Washington University in St. Louis 23 19 22 24 18 20 18 20 20 17 17 16 17 15 14 12 9 11 11 12
Columbia University 18 8 11 10 9 10 11 9 15 11 9 10 10 10 9 10 11 9 9 9
Duke University 6 7 12 5 7 7 7 7 6 6 4 3 6 7 8 8 4 5 5 5 8
University of Notre Dame 18 23 25 19 18 17 19 18 19 19 19 18 19 18 18 20
Georgetown University 17 25 19 19 17 17 25 21 23 21 20 23 23 22 24 23 25 23 23
Lehigh University 33 32 34 36 34 38 38 40 37 37 32 33
Brandeis University 30 29 28 31 31 31 34 31 32 32 34 31
College of William and Mary 22 34 33 32 33 29 30 30 30 31 31 31 31
Wake Forest University 31 25 28 29 28 28 26 25 28 27 27 30
Tufts University 25 22 23 25 29 29 28 28 27 28 27 27
University of Southern California 44 43 41 41 42 35 34 31 30 30 30 27
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 9 11 23 18 20 25 27 25 27 24 27 25 28 28 29 29 27 27
University of California at Los Angeles 21 16 17 23 23 22 28 31 28 25 25 25 26 25 26 25 25 26
University of Virginia 15 20 21 18 21 22 21 17 19 21 21 22 22 20 24 23 21 22 23 24
University of Pennsylvania 19 15 20 13 13 14 16 12 11 13 7 6 7 6 5 4 5 4 4 7

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Money Magazine Best Values 2017: CUNY Baruch, Michigan, UC’s, UVA Lead Publics

The new rankings from Money are out, and public colleges and universities account for 27 of the top 50 best values in 2017. These rankings are likely the best college rankings overall, given their balanced approach.

As Jeffrey J. Selingo writes in the Washington Post, the earnings portion of the rankings are based in part on some very interesting new evidence: the “Chelly data.”

“That refers to Raj Chetty,” Selingo tells us, “a Stanford professor, who has led a team of economists that has received access to millions of anonymous tax records that span generations. The group has published several headline-grabbing studies recently based on the data. In findings published in January, the group tracked students from nearly every college in the country and measured their earnings more than a decade after they left campus, whether they graduated or not.

Money does a better job of ranking colleges based on “outcomes” than Forbes does (see Outcomes farther down). This is especially the case with the multiple earnings analyses.

To see the list of top publics, please skip the methodology discussion immediately below.

 

The 2017 rankings include 27 factors in three categories:

Quality of education (1/3 weighting), which was calculated using:

Six-year graduation rate (30%).

Value-added graduation rate (30%). “This is the difference between a school’s actual graduation rate and its expected rate, based on the economic and academic profile of the student body (measured by the percentage of attendees receiving Pell grants, which are given to low-income students, and the average standardized test scores of incoming freshmen).” [Emphasis added.]

“Peer quality (10%). This is measured by the standardized test scores of entering freshman (5%), and the percentage of accepted students who enroll in that college, known as the “yield” rate (5%).” Note: using the yield rate is an improvement over the U.S. News rankings.

“Instructor quality (10%). This measured by the student-to-faculty ratio.” Note: this is very similar to a U.S. News metric.

“Financial troubles (20%). This is a new factor added in 2017, as financial difficulties can affect the quality of education, and a growing number of schools are facing funding challenges.” Note: although this is not an “outcome” either, it is more meaningful than using data on alumni contributions, etc.

Affordability (1/3 weighting), which was calculated using:

“Net price of a degree (30%). This is the estimated amount a typical freshman starting in 2017 will pay to earn a degree, taking into account the college’s sticker price; how much the school awards in grants and scholarships; and the average time it takes students to graduate from the school, all as reported to the U.S. Department of Education….This takes into account both the estimated average student debt upon graduation (15%) and average amount borrowed through the parent federal PLUS loan programs (5%).

“Student loan repayment and default risk (15%).

“Value-added student loan repayment measures (15%). These are the school’s performance on the student loan repayment and default measures after adjusting for the economic and academic profile of the student body.

Affordability for low-income students (20%). This is based on federally collected data on the net price that students from families earning $0 to $30,000 pay.

Outcomes (1/3 weighting), which was calculated using:

“Graduates’ earnings (12.5%), as reported by alumni to PayScale.com; early career earnings within five years of graduation (7.5%), and mid-career earnings, which are for those whose education stopped at a Bachelor’s degree and graduated, typically, about 15 years ago. (5%).

“Earnings adjusted by majors (15%). To see whether students at a particular school earn more or less than would be expected given the subjects students choose to study, we adjusted PayScale.com’s data for the mix of majors at each school; for early career earnings (10%) and mid-career earnings (5%).

“College Scorecard 10-year earnings (10%). The earnings of federal financial aid recipients at each college as reported to the IRS 10 years after the student started at the college.

“Estimated market value of alumni’s average job skills (10%). Based on a Brookings Institution methodology, we matched up data provided by LinkedIn of the top 25 skills reported by each school’s alumni with Burning Glass Technologies data on the market value each listed skill.

“Value-added earnings (12.5%). To see if a school is helping launch students to better-paying jobs than competitors that take in students with similar academic and economic backgrounds, we adjusted PayScale.com’s earnings data for the student body’s average test scores and the percentage of low-income students at each school; for early career earnings (7.5%) and mid-career earnings (5%).

Job meaning (5%). We used the average score of each school’s alumni on PayScale.com’s survey question of “Does your work make the world a better place?”

“Socio-economic mobility index (20%).

For the first time, we included new data provided by the Equality of Opportunity Project that reveals the percentage of students each school move from low-income backgrounds to upper-middle class jobs by the time the student is 34 years old.Finally, we used statistical techniques to turn all the data points into a single score and ranked the schools based on those scores.” [Emphasis added.]

The inclusion of these metrics makes the Money rankings a hybrid of the Washington Monthly “public good” rankings, U.S. News, and Kiplinger rankings, with the socio-economic factors having a less significant impact than the Washington Monthly rankings on overall standing. Still, these factors do result in two CUNY campuses’ receiving high rankings.

“The data showed, for example,” Selingo writes, “that the City University of New York propelled almost six times as many low-income students into the middle class and beyond as all eight Ivy League campuses, plus Duke, M.I.T., Stanford and Chicago, combined. The California State University system advanced three times as many.”

TOP PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES, MONEY MAGAZINE, 2017, BY NAME AND OVERALL RANK INCLUDING PRIVATE INSTITUTIONS:

CUNY Baruch College–2
Michigan–3
UC Berkeley–4
UCLA–5
UC Irvine–7
UC Davis–9
Virginia–11
Washington–13
Georgia Tech–16
Florida–18
Maryland–20
Illinois–22
Virginia Tech–23
College of New Jersey–24
UC Riverside–29
Michigan State–30
UT Austin–31
Binghamton–33
Texas A&M–34
UC Santa Barbara–36
Connecticut–37
Purdue–37 (tie)
VMI–41
Cal State Long Beach–42
CUNY Brooklyn–43
UW Madison–45
James Madison–46
Rutgers, New Brunswick–49
NC State–50

 

New U.S. College Rankings: Wall St Journal Partners with Times Highered

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:

  1. To what extent does the teaching at your university or college support CRITICAL THINKING?
  2. To what extent did the classes you took in your college or university so far CHALLENGE YOU?
  3. To what extent does the teaching at your university or college support REFLECTION UPON, OR MAKING CONNECTIONS AMONG, things you have learned?
  4. 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:

  1. 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:

  1. 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?
  2. 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 Financial 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

 

 

 

Forbes College Rankings 2015: Still Unfriendly to Public Universities

The 2015 Forbes America’s Best Colleges rankings are out, and there is a new wrinkle in the methodology: The magazine “ran a targeted student satisfaction survey on Facebook. Respondents were asked where they attended school and how satisfied they were with their experience on a scale from 1 to 5.” The result yielded 2.5% of the total score, and was incorporated into the 25% subtotal in the “Student Satisfaction” metric.

We do not know exactly what “a targeted student satisfaction survey” is, but throwing something new into a ranking system helps to sustain interest. The survey didn’t help public universities overall. The average ranking of the public universities listed in the top 100 dropped more than 14 places in just two years. Only William & Mary rose during that time. Incredibly (literally), the Penn State ranking has fallen 59 places in two years; Maryland and Washington 20 and 21 places respectively. What could have happened in only two years to create such results?

For 2014, Forbes or, rather, the very conservative Center for College Affordability and Productivity (CCAP), which does the work for the magazine, increased the weight of the student debt factor from 17.5% to 25%.  At the same time, the weight for “Academic Success” went down modestly, from 11.25% to 10%.  Both of these probably hurt public universities: the debt, because state support still has not caught up with costs; the academic success because CCAP counts National Science Foundation Fellowships and Fulbright awards, many of which are won by students and faculty at public research universities.

(We have been and remain critical of the Forbes rankings, but at least they focus on outputs, however murky or dubious those may be. The do not use selectivity–an increasingly problematic U.S. News metric.)

In 2013, we wrote that the Forbes America’s Best Colleges rankings had suddenly become more friendly to public universities after several years of relegating many of them to the high three figures in the numerical rankings.  In that year, 19 public universities (not counting the military academies) made it into the top 100; in 2014, that number dropped to only 14. This year 13 were among the top 100.

Although UC Berkeley, UVA, Michigan, and North Carolina all improved slightly in 2015, they are still, on average, more than 10 places below where they were only two years ago.

It is not unusual for anyone who ranks or evaluates colleges to make changes in their ranking methodologies.  We have done the same for our curret edition of the Review, although we did not use numerical rankings this time around.

At least the bizarre rankings that marked the Forbes list for the first few years have mostly gone away.  No longer do we see, for example, a university ranked 320th one year and rise to 168th the next.  And it is good to keep in mind that the Forbes rankings lump all private and public universities and liberal arts colleges into one huge group; so a Forbes ranking of, say, 65 or 70 for a public university is a much stronger ranking than a U.S. News “national university ranking” in the same range.

Still, it is difficult to understand how some of the public universities could have dropped so far in just two or three years. The graduation rate value of 7.5% of the total, not adjusted for schools (e.g., Georgia Tech) with high numbers of engineering students, is punishing for some schools. Georgia Tech now has fallen 10 places since 2013, all the way down to 93.

Below are the Forbes rankings of public universities that were in the top 100 in 2013. The first parenthesis is the 2013 ranking, the second is the 2014 ranking, and the third is the 2015 ranking.

U.S. Military Academy— (7) (9) (11)

UC Berkeley— (22) (37) (35)

U.S. Naval Academy (28) (27) (27)

Virginia (29) (40) (36)

Michigan (30) (45) (41)

U.S. Air Force Academy (31) (34) (38)

UCLA (34) (44) (45)

UNC Chapel Hill (38) (50) (49)

William & Mary (44) (41) (39)

Illinois (53) (68) (68)

Washington (55) (73) (76)

UT Austin (66) (76) (82)

Wisconsin  (68) (70) (69)

Maryland  (73) (82) (93)

Florida (74) (87) (83)

Georgia Tech (83) (90) (93)

Georgia (90) (94) (102)

Penn State (93) (166) (152)

UC Santa Barbara (96) (116) (103)

Indiana (97) (107) (112)

UC Davis (99) (113) (121)

Here’s The Business Journals’ New Top 100 Public Colleges–and our Analysis

Here’s another college ranking–The Business Journals Public College Rankings 2015.  The rankings are interesting for a number of reasons, but they are also on the quirky side, given that 45% of the weight comes from campus and area demographic data, including racial and gender diversity, employment rates, rental costs, the percentage of college grads and share of young adults in the community, and Kiplinger-like assessments of cost vs. value.  About 55% of the weight comes from more traditional ranking topics: selectivity, grad and retention rates, and academic prestige.

Think of the TBJ rankings as Kiplinger meets Washington Monthly, via U.S. News and Forbes.

As we have noted elsewhere, ordinal rankings assign places based on minute differences in final calculations, and the actual differences between the top 3 in the TBJ rankings is 1.12 points out of 100.  Yet like most rankings and ratings, they are interesting and have some value, especially for those who want to a synthesis of the four main rankings.  The TBJ rankings based academic prestige on such a synthesis.

At the top of the list are few surprises, except that the usual rank order of the top 5 has shifted; Michigan is number 1, North Carolina, 2, followed by UVA, 3, William & Mary, 4, and UC Berkeley, 5.

 Below is a list of the 19 ranking categories, followed by a list of the top 100 public colleges, according to TBJ:

1. Admission rate (selectivity, 5 percent): The percentage of first-time undergraduate applicants who were admitted to the school.

2. Admission test score at the 25th percentile (5 percent).

3. Admission test score at the 75th percentile (5 percent).

4. Retention rate (10 percent).

5. Four-year graduation rate (10 percent).

6. Six-year graduation rate (5 percent).

7. Rankings by Forbes, Kiplinger’s, U.S. News and World Report, and Washington Monthly (prestige, 15 percent). The school’s performances in the latest rankings by these four publications, converted to a 400-point scale

8. Quality-affordability ratio (10 percent). The published in-state tuition, fees, room and board charges for 2013-14, divided by the sum of the school’s raw scores for selectivity, advancement and prestige.

9. Average net price for full-time undergraduates receiving grants or scholarships (5 percent).

10. Median monthly off-campus rent (5 percent): The median rent for all rental properties within the metropolitan area in which the school is located.

11. Share of undergraduates with out-of-state addresses (5 percent).

12. Racial diversity of student body (2.5 percent).

13. Racial diversity of faculty (2.5 percent). The Gini-Simpson index for the instructional staff, a measure that indicates the likelihood that two randomly selected instructors would be of different races.

14. Gender diversity of student body (2.5 percent).

15. Gender diversity of faculty (2.5 percent): The difference between the percentage of female instructional staffers and the female share of all 25- to 64-year-olds (50.59 percent).

16. Share of young adults (2.5 percent).

17. Unemployment rate for young adults (2.5 percent).

18. Share of young adults with bachelor’s degrees (2.5 percent).

19. Share of local jobs that are classified as management, business, science or arts jobs (2.5 percent).

The top 100 rankings…

• 1. University of Michigan (Michigan)

• 2. University of North Carolina (North Carolina)

• 3. University of Virginia (Virginia)

• 4. College of William and Mary (Virginia)

• 5. University of California-Berkeley (California)

• 6. University of California-Los Angeles (California)

• 7. University of Florida (Florida)

• 8. University of Maryland (Maryland)

• 9. University of Washington (Washington)

• 10. University of Wisconsin (Wisconsin)

• 11. University of Illinois (Illinois)

• 12. University of Texas (Texas)

• 13. Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia)

• 14. University of California-San Diego (California)

• 15. Ohio State University (Ohio)

• 16. University of Georgia (Georgia)

• 17. University of Minnesota (Minnesota)

• 18. Binghamton University (New York)

• 19. University of Connecticut (Connecticut)

• 20. Texas A&M University (Texas)

• 21. University of California-Santa Barbara (California)

• 22. Indiana University (Indiana)

• 23. North Carolina State University (North Carolina)

• 24. Virginia Polytechnic Institute (Virginia)

• 25. University of California-Irvine (California)

• 26. Pennsylvania State University (Pennsylvania)

• 27. University of Delaware (Delaware)

• 28. Purdue University (Indiana)

• 29. University of Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania)

• 30. Rutgers University (New Jersey)

• 31. Florida State University (Florida)

• 32. Stony Brook University (New York)

• 33. Clemson University (South Carolina)

• 34. University of California-Davis (California)

• 35. SUNY Geneseo (New York)

• 36. College of New Jersey (New Jersey)

• 37. Michigan State University (Michigan)

• 38. University of Iowa (Iowa)

• 39. James Madison University (Virginia)

• 40. Truman State University (Missouri)

• 41. Miami University (Ohio) (Ohio)

• 42. University of Vermont (Vermont)

• 43. University of South Carolina (South Carolina)

• 44. Iowa State University (Iowa)

• 45. University of Missouri (Missouri)

• 46. University of Texas at Dallas (Texas)

• 47. University at Buffalo (New York)

• 48. University of Massachusetts (Massachusetts)

• 49. University of North Carolina at Wilmington (North Carolina)

• 50. New College of Florida (Florida)

• 51. Baruch College (New York)

• 52. Auburn University (Alabama)

• 53. Colorado School of Mines (Colorado)

• 54. University of Utah (Utah)

• 55. University of Colorado (Colorado)

• 56. California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo (California)

• 57. University of Oklahoma (Oklahoma)

• 58. University of Alabama (Alabama)

• 59. University of Arkansas (Arkansas)

• 60. San Diego State University (California)

• 61. University of California-Santa Cruz (California)

• 62. George Mason University (Virginia)

• 63. University of South Florida (Florida)

• 64. University at Albany (New York)

• 65. SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (New York)

• 66. Appalachian State University (North Carolina)

• 67. University of Mary Washington (Virginia)

• 68. University of New Hampshire (New Hampshire)

• 69. St. Mary’s College of Maryland (Maryland)

• 70. Arizona State University (Arizona)

• 71. Louisiana State University (Louisiana)

• 72. SUNY New Paltz (New York)

• 73. University of Nebraska (Nebraska)

• 74. University of Kansas (Kansas)

• 75. Hunter College (New York)

• 76. University of Oregon (Oregon)

• 77. University of Mississippi (Mississippi)

• 78. University of Maryland Baltimore County (Maryland)

• 79. University of Arizona (Arizona)

• 80. College of Charleston (South Carolina)

• 81. Colorado State University (Colorado)

• 82. University of Minnesota-Morris (Minnesota)

• 83. University of Central Florida (Florida)

• 84. University of Tennessee (Tennessee)

• 85. University of Wisconsin-La Crosse (Wisconsin)

• 86. Ramapo College of New Jersey (New Jersey)

• 87. Virginia Military Institute (Virginia)

• 88. University of California-Riverside (California)

• 89. Citadel Military College of South Carolina (South Carolina)

• 90. Oklahoma State University (Oklahoma)

• 91. University of North Carolina at Asheville (North Carolina)

• 92. Queens College (New York)

• 93. Oregon State University (Oregon)

• 94. Mississippi State University (Mississippi)

• 95. SUNY Oneonta (New York)

• 96. City College of New York (New York)

• 97. Purchase College (New York)

• 98. University of Wyoming (Wyoming)

• 99. Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri)

• 100. Towson University (Maryland)

Business Insider’s Fifty Best Colleges According to Readers

For the fifth year, Business Insider has published its own rankings, called “The 50 Best Colleges in America .”

The rankings are based on the responses of 1,500 Business Insider readers, most of them from the finance and tech sectors.

“Almost 30 percent of the respondents work in finance, 22 percent work in technology, 9.9 percent work in education, 9.9 are current students, 9.2 percent work in media and marketing, and 8 percent work in law,” according to the publication.

Also interesting is that BI combines national universities and liberal arts colleges in the same list, just as Forbes does.

Please to to the BI link to see comments from the respondents.  In the meantime, here is the list of the top 50:

1. MIT

2. Stanford

3. Harvard

4. Princeton

5. Yale

6. Caltech

7. Columbia

8. Penn

9. Dartmouth

10. Cornell

11. Chicago

12. West Point

13. Annapolis

14. Johns Hopkins

15. Duke

16. UC Berkeley

17. Northwestern

18. Carnegie Mellon

19. Georgetown

20. Brown

21. Michigan

22. Virginia

23. Williams

24. NYU

25. UCLA

26. Notre Dame

27. Amherst

28. Georgia Tech

29. North Carolina

30. Harvey Mudd

31. Vanderbilt

32. UT Austin

33. Emory

34. Washington U

35. Rice

36. Boston College

37. Tufts

38. Swarthmore

39. RPI

40. Middlebury

41. USC

42. Wisconsin

43. William & Mary

44. Wellesley

45. Boston University

46. Washington

47. Bowdoin

48. Claremont McKenna

49. Wesleyan

50. Penn State

RIT President on Deficiencies of College Rankings

Bill Destler, president of Rochester Institute of Technology, recently posted on the Huff Post College Page that college rankings are universally deficient because of their focus on “inputs” such as SAT scores and high school gpa’s.  He might well have added financial resources to the list.

Although we have published a de facto ranking of public university honors programs that isn’t based on any of these criteria, we agree that all rankings, including our own, have deficiencies. 

We also agree with Destler that the annual Forbes rankings are the most deficient of all because, even though they claim to rely on output measures, they also focus on “data” from Rate My Professor and Payscale.Com.  The first is subjective, and the second reduces the value of a college education to dollars and cents. 

The Forbes rankings also have a strong bias against public universities, part of which comes from a desire on the part of the people behind the rankings to “reform” public universities so that they become places for cheap, assembly-line education rather than research institutions with outstanding academic programs.

Destler also points out that rankings based on return on investment will only affirm what most people already know:  universities with large numbers of STEM grads, especially in engineering, will necessarily fare better in the rankings because engineering as a field often provides excellent starting salaries for new graduates.

Destler is also correct in claiming that all rankings distort the value of universities to the extent that their rankings methodology apply uniform input measures to essentially dissimilar institutions.  Grad rates for a private university that accepts only 6 percent of its applicants will clearly be higher than a college with a 65 percent acceptance rate based on the extremely selectivity of the former.

In the case of our rankings, we would say that the overreach is somewhat less severe, since all the honors programs we follow have much lower acceptance rates than most colleges and because our dominant category is honors curriculum, which can be extensive and demanding regardless of admissions requirements.

In addition, we have two basic rankings, Overall Excellence and Honors Factors Only.  The former does generally favor honors programs in universities that have more uniform excellence across the student body because there is a metric for achieving Rhodes, Marshall, Truman, and Goldwater awards by all students, and not just those won by honors students.

But Honors Factors excludes the metric for prestigious award and is based strictly on honors-specific elements such as curriculum, grad rates, honors housing, and study-abroad programs.

In the end, our rankings are only suggestive, not definitive.  The same is true for all rankings.  They are best used to suggest possible routes on the journey rather than pinpointing the final destination.