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 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:
11. Johns Hopkins
19. Carnegie Mellon
25. Notre Dame
30. North Carolina
32. Case Western
37. UC Berkeley
37. Univ of Miami
42. Boston University
43. UC Davis
46. Claremont McKenna
47. Bryn Mawr
49. UC San Diego
51. Georgia Tech
51. UT Austin
54. Wake Forest
63. Boston College
63. Michigan State
65. Trinity College (Conn.)
67. George Washington
71. Ohio State
73. Trinity (TX)
80. Texas A&M
88. Holy Cross
91. De Pauw
93. William and Mary
96. Connecticut College
96. Penn State
96. Scripps College
99. Stevens Inst Tech