Rankings of universities in the United States
College and university rankings in the United States are rankings of US colleges and universities ordered by contributing factors which vary depending on the organization performing the ranking. Rankings have most often been conducted by magazines, newspapers, websites, or academics. In addition to ranking entire institutions, specific programs, departments, and schools can be ranked. Some rankings consider measures of wealth, research excellence, selectivity, student options, eventual success, demographics, and other criteria. There is much debate about rankings' interpretation, accuracy, and usefulness. The expanding diversity in rating methodologies and accompanying criticisms of each indicate the lack of consensus in the field.
“30 Under 30” [ edit ]
Forbes compiles a list of 600 people—30 in each of 20 industries—described as “the brashest entrepreneurs across the United States and Canada,” “trailblazers,” “bold risk-takers,” and “innovators” “shaking up some of the world’s stodgiest industries.” Forbes then listed the schools that produced the most members on the 30 Under 30 list.
Council for Aid to Education [ edit ]
The Council for Aid to Education publishes a list of the top universities in terms of annual fundraising. Fundraising ability reflects, among other things, alumni and outside donors' views of the quality of a university, as well as the ability of that university to expend funds on top faculty and facilities. 2017 rankings list the top 3 as Harvard, Stanford, and Cornell.
Department of Education's College Scorecard [ edit ]
Beginning in 2015, the federal Department of Education has published a College Scorecard, which includes socio-economic diversity and SAT/ACT scores of the student body, graduation rates, and average earnings and debt of graduates at all colleges.
Forbes college rankings [ edit ]
In 2008, Forbes began publishing an annual list of "America's Best Colleges." Post-graduate success (self-reported salaries of alumni from PayScale and data from the Department of Education) constitutes 35% of the score. Student debt loads constitute 20% of the score. Student experience (retention rates reported by the Department of Education and data from Niche) constitutes 20% of the score. Graduation rates constitute 12.5% of the score. Academic success (using both the percentage of a school's student body that goes on to obtain doctorate degrees and those students who have won one of a diverse array of prestigious academic awards) constitutes 12.5%. Public reputation is not considered, which causes some colleges to score lower than in other lists. A three-year moving average is used to smooth out the scoring.
Money's "Best Colleges" [ edit ]
Money's college rankings take into account 21 factors that it categorizes as measures of educational quality, affordability, and alumni earnings. The rankings considered 1500 four-year colleges and reported the top ranking 736.
Niche rankings [ edit ]
Niche's Best Colleges ranking focuses on academics, diversity, affordability, and student satisfaction.
|Massachusetts Institute of Technology||1|
|University of Pennsylvania||9|
The Princeton Review Dream Colleges [ edit ]
The Princeton Review annually asks students and parents what their dream college is, if cost and ability to get in were not factors.
|University of California, Los Angeles||3|
|Massachusetts Institute of Technology||4|
|New York University (NYU)||5|
|University of Michigan||9|
|University of California, Berkeley||10|
|Massachusetts Institute of Technology||3|
|New York University (NYU)||5|
Social Mobility Index (SMI) rankings [ edit ]
The SMI rankings are a collaborative publication from CollegeNet and PayScale. The rankings aim to provide a measure of the extent to which colleges provide upward economic mobility to those that attend. The rankings were created in response to the finding in Science magazine which showed that among developed nations, the United States now provides the least economic opportunity and mobility for its citizens. The rankings were also created to combat the rising costs of tuition, much of which is attributed to the efforts of some colleges to increase their own fame and wealth in ways that increase their rank in media periodicals that put an emphasis on such measures. In 2014, according to the SMI, the top five colleges are Montana Tech, Rowan University, Florida A&M, Cal Poly Pomona, and Cal State Northridge.
The Top American Research Universities [ edit ]
The Center for Measuring University Performance has ranked American research universities in the Top American Research Universities since 2000. The methodology is based on data such as research publications, citations, recognitions and funding, as well as undergraduate quality such as SAT scores. The information used can be found in publicly accessible materials, reducing possibilities for manipulation. The methodology is generally consistent from year to year and changes are explained in the publication along with references from other studies.
TrendTopper MediaBuzz College Guide [ edit ]
TrendTopper MediaBuzz College Guide is an American-college guide based on what it calls "Internet brand equity" based on data collected from the Internet and global media sources. It ranks the Top 300 United States colleges and universities. The guide includes specialty and for profit schools including Art, Business, Design, Music, and Online Education. The TrendTopper MediaBuzz College Rankings are produced twice a year by the Global Language Monitor of Austin, Texas.
Time Magazine described internet brand equity as "a measure of who's talking about you online, based on Internet data, social media, blogs and the top 75,000 print and electronic media outlets.
GLM ranks the schools "according to their online presence -- or internet brand equity ... By focusing on online presence, the Monitor hopes to avoid the biases that characterize other rankings, which commonly rely on the opinions of university officials and college counselors rather than that of the greater public." GLM believes the rankings provide an up-to-date perspective on which schools have the most popular brand. The resulting rankings gauge the relative value of the various institutions and how they change over time.
The Global Language Monitor publishes other lists relating to the English language including: the TrendTopper MediaBuzz College Guide rankings of the top 425 U.S. colleges and universities according to their internet brand equity.
Top Universities (January 2016): Rank/University (Previous Ranking)
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1)
- University of California at Los Angeles (6)
- University of California, Berkeley (3)
- University of California, Davis (7)
- University of California, San Diego (12)
- University of Chicago (4)
- University of Texas, Austin (5)
- Harvard University (2)
- University of Washington (13)
- University of Southern California (27)
- Stanford University (8)
- University of Wisconsin, Madison (15)
- Yale University (21)
- University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (16)
- University of California, Irvine (37)
- University of Virginia (19)
- University of California, Santa Barbara (36)
- University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (20)
- University of Minnesota (22)
- Ohio State University, Columbus (28)
Top Colleges (January 2016): Rank/College (Previous Ranking)
- University of Richmond (2)
- Wesleyan University (54)
- School of the Art Institute of Chicago (27)
- College of the Holy Cross (58)
- Williams College (6)
- United States Military Academy (1)
- Smith College (47)
- United States Naval Academy (20)
- Middlebury College (7)
- Pratt Institute (10)
- Wellesley College (4)
- University of the Arts, PA (69)
- Berklee College of Music (72)
- Babson College (9)
- Oberlin College (19)
- Rhode Island School of Design (22)
- Bucknell University (11)
- Vassar College (8)
- Barnard College (21)
- Colgate University (14)
Top US Colleges by Category [ edit ]
- The 222 Top US Universities 1. MIT, 2. UCLA, 3. Berkeley
- The 199 Top US Colleges 1. Wesleyan (CT), 2. SAIC, 3. Holy Cross
- The Top US Private Universities 1. Chicago, 2. Harvard, 3. Stanford
- The Top US Public Universities 1. Berkeley, 2. Michigan 3. UCLA / University of Virginia
- The Top US Private Colleges 1. Wesleyan (CT), 2. SAIC, 3. Holy Cross
- The Top US Public Colleges 1. West Point, 2. Annapolis, 3. Air Force
- The Top Engineering Universities 1. MIT, 2. Virginia Tech, 3. Georgia Tech
- The Top Engineering Colleges 1. Harvey Mudd, 2. MSOE, 3. SD School of Mines
- The Top Catholic Universities 1. U San Diego, 2. Boston College, 3. Notre Dame.
- The Top Catholic Colleges 1. Holy Cross, 2. Siena College, 3. Willamette
- Top Denomination-related Colleges 1. St Olaf, 2. High Point, 3. Muhlenberg
- Top Military and Service Academies 1. West Point, 2. Annapolis, 3. Air Force
- Top Art, Design, and Music Schools 1. School of the Art Institute AIC, 2. Pratt Institute, 3. University of the Arts (Philadelphia)
- Top Women's Colleges 1. Smith, 2. Wellesley, 3. Barnard
- Top Historically Black Colleges and Universities 1. Morehouse, 2. Spelman, 3. Rhodes
UniversityBenchmarks Academic Rankings [ edit ]
The UniversityBenchmarks.com academic rankings focus on published public statistics for standardized test scores, grade inflation, population, dropout rate, research funding, and faculty recognition. These factors are normalized for the universities' undergraduate population using standard statistical practices. The relative overall rank of the university is derived from the average of the rankings.
|All Universities||Academic Ranking|
|California Institute of Technology||1|
|Massachusetts Institute of Technology||5|
|Georgia Institute of Technology||6|
|Washington University in St. Louis||8|
|University of Chicago||10|
University Entrepreneur Report [ edit ]
The University Entrepreneur Report lists the top six American universities in terms of venture capital investments in businesses started by a university's alumni. According to a CB Insights study of deals from 2007-2011, Stanford alumni secured 203 venture capital or angel investments totaling $4.1 billion, more than any other university. Harvard was second with 112 deals, totaling $3.8 billion. Four other universities each brought in over $1.0 billion.
|University||Total value of venture capital
or angel investments
from 2007 to 2011 in billions USD
|Number of venture capital
or angel investment deals
from 2007 to 2011
|University of California, Berkeley||1.3||90|
|New York University (NYU)||1.2||48|
|University of Pennsylvania||1.2||46|
U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges Ranking [ edit ]
The magazine U.S. News & World Report's rankings are based upon information they collect from educational institutions. It also considers opinion surveys of university faculty and administrators outside the school. Their college rankings were first published in 1983. The U.S. News rankings are considered the most influential rankings of American colleges.
|Top national universities||Rank||Top liberal arts colleges||Rank|
|Princeton University||1||Williams College||1|
|Harvard University||2||Amherst College||2|
|Columbia University||3||Swarthmore College||3|
|Massachusetts Institute of Technology||3||Wellesley College||3|
|Yale University||3||Pomona College||5|
|Stanford University||6||Bowdoin College||6|
|University of Chicago||6||Carleton College||7|
|University of Pennsylvania||6||Claremont McKenna College||7|
|Northwestern University||9||Middlebury College||7|
|Duke University||10||Washington and Lee University||10|
|Johns Hopkins University||10||Colby College||11|
|California Institute of Technology||12||Haverford College||11|
|Dartmouth College||12||Smith College||11|
|Brown University||14||Grinnell College||14|
|University of Notre Dame||15||Hamilton College||14|
|Vanderbilt University||15||Vassar College||14|
|Cornell University||17||Colgate University||17|
|Rice University||17||Davidson College||17|
The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Rankings [ edit ]
The Wall Street Journal and Times Higher Education together release an annual ranking of U.S. colleges and universities. The ranking includes clear performance indicators designed to answer the questions that matter the most to students and their families: Does the college have sufficient resources to teach me properly? Will I be engaged, and challenged, by my teacher and classmates? Does the college have a good academic reputation? What type of campus community is there? How likely am I to graduate, pay off my loans and get a good job? The ranking includes the results of the US Student Survey, which examines a range of key issues including students' engagement with their studies, their interaction with their teachers and their satisfaction with their experience. The 2020 ranking is listed below:
|Massachusetts Institute of Technology||2|
|University of Pennsylvania||4|
|California Institute of Technology||5 tied|
|Princeton University||5 tied|
|Brown University||7 tied|
|Stanford University||7 tied|
Washington Monthly Rankings [ edit ]
Their top universities are:
|Top national universities||Rank||Top liberal arts colleges||Rank|
|Stanford University||1||Washington and Lee University||1|
|Harvard University||2||Harvey Mudd College||2|
|Massachusetts Institute of Technology||3||Amherst College||3|
|Yale University||4||Berea College||4|
|Duke University||5||Bowdoin College||5|
|University of Pennsylvania||6||Middlebury College||6|
|University of California, San Diego||7||Vassar College||7|
|Princeton University||8||Pomona College||8|
|Georgetown University||9||Wesleyan University||9|
|Texas A&M University||10||Claremont McKenna College||10|
"What will they Learn?" Report - American Council of Trustees and Alumni [ edit ]
In 2009, the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) began grading colleges and universities based on the strength of their general education requirements. In ACTA's annual What Will They Learn? report, colleges and universities are assigned a letter grade from "A" to "F" based on how many of seven subjects are required of students. The seven subjects are composition, mathematics, foreign language, science, economics, literature and American government or history. The 2011-2012 edition of What Will They Learn? graded 1,007 institutions. In the 2011-2012 edition, 19 schools received an "A" grade for requiring at least six of the subjects the study evaluated. ACTA's rating system has been endorsed by Mel Elfin, founding editor of U.S. News & World Report's rankings. New York Times higher education blogger Stanley Fish, while agreeing that universities ought to have a strong core curriculum, disagreed with some of the subjects ACTA includes in the core.
Other rankings [ edit ]
Other rankings include the Fiske Guide to Colleges and Business Insider. Many specialized rankings are available in guidebooks, considering individual student interests, fields of study, geographical location, and affordability. In addition to best overall colleges ranking shown above, Niche also publishes dozens of specialized rankings such as Best Academics, Best Campus Food, Most Conservative Colleges, and Best Technology.
Among the rankings dealing with individual fields of study is the Philosophical Gourmet Report or "Leiter Report", a ranking of philosophy departments. This report has attracted criticism from different viewpoints. Notably, practitioners of continental philosophy, who perceive the Leiter report as unfair to their field, have compiled alternative rankings.
The Gourman Report, last published in 1996, ranked the quality of undergraduate majors and graduate programs. The Daily Beast has also, in the past, published rankings. In 2015, The Economist published a one-time ranking emphasizing the difference between the expected and actual earnings of alumni.
The Higher Education Rankings, developed and managed by the New York City consulting company IV Research, is a commercial product that provides both general rankings as well as personalized rankings based on a complicated assessment of 6 criteria and 30 indicators.
Global Language Monitor produces a "TrendTopper MediaBuzz" ranking of the Top 300 United States colleges and universities semi-annually. It publishes overall results for both university and college categories. It uses the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching's classifications to distinguish between universities and liberal arts colleges. The rankings list 125 universities, 100 colleges, the change in the rankings over time, a "Predictive Quantities Indicator" (PQI) Index number (for relative rankings), rankings by Momentum (yearly and 90-day snapshots), and rankings by State. The most recent ranking appeared on November 1, 2009, covering 2008. The PQI index is produced by Global Language Monitor's proprietary PQI algorithm, which has been criticized by some linguists for its use in a counting of the total number of English words. The Global Language Monitor also sells the TrendTopper MediaBuzz Reputation Management solution[buzzword] for higher education for which "colleges and universities can enhance their standings among peers". The Global Language Monitor states that it "does not influence the Higher Education rankings in any way".
The Princeton Review annually publishes a book of Best Colleges. In 2011, this was titled The Best 373 Colleges. Phi Beta Kappa has also sought to establish chapters at the best schools, lately numbering 280.
In terms of collegiate sports programs, the annual NACDA Directors' Cup provides a measure of all-around collegiate athletic team achievement. Stanford has won the Division I Directors' cup for the last 22 years in a row.
Criticisms [ edit ]
American college and university ranking systems have drawn criticism from within and outside higher education in Canada and the United States. Institutions that have objected include Reed College, Alma College, Mount Holyoke College, St. John's College, Earlham College, MIT, Stanford University, University of Western Ontario, and Queen's University.
Some higher education experts, like Kevin Carey of Education Sector, have argued that U.S. News & World Report's college rankings system is merely a list of criteria that mirrors the superficial characteristics of elite colleges and universities. According to Carey, "[The] U.S. News ranking system is deeply flawed. Instead of focusing on the fundamental issues of how well colleges and universities educate their students and how well they prepare them to be successful after college, the magazine's rankings are almost entirely a function of three factors: fame, wealth, and exclusivity." He suggested more important characteristics are how well students are learning and how likely students are to earn a degree.
2007 movement [ edit ]
On 19 June 2007, during the annual meeting of the Annapolis Group, members discussed a letter to college presidents asking them not to participate in the "reputation survey" section of the U.S. News survey (this section comprises 25% of the ranking). As a result, "a majority of the approximately 80 presidents at the meeting said that they did not intend to participate in the U.S. News reputational rankings in the future." However, the decision to fill out the reputational survey was left to each individual college. The statement stated that its members "have agreed to participate in the development of an alternative common format that presents information about their colleges for students and their families to use in the college search process." This database was outlined and developed in conjunction with higher education organizations including theNational Association of Independent Colleges and Universities and the Council of Independent Colleges.
U.S. News & World Report editor Robert Morse issued a response on 22 June 2007, stating:
"in terms of the peer assessment survey, we at U.S. News firmly believe the survey has significant value because it allows us to measure the "intangibles" of a college that we can't measure through statistical data. Plus, the reputation of a school can help get that all-important first job and plays a key part in which grad school someone will be able to get into. The peer survey is by nature subjective, but the technique of asking industry leaders to rate their competitors is a commonly accepted practice. The results from the peer survey also can act to level the playing field between private and public colleges."
In reference to the alternative database discussed by the Annapolis Group, Morse argued:
"It's important to point out that the Annapolis Group's stated goal of presenting college data in a common format has been tried before ... U.S. News has been supplying this exact college information for many years already. And it appears that NAICU will be doing it with significantly less comparability and functionality.U.S. News first collects all these data (using an agreed-upon set of definitions from the Common Data Set). Then we post the data on our website in easily accessible, comparable tables. In other words, the Annapolis Group and the others in the NAICU initiative actually are following the lead of U.S. News."
Knowing that universities—and, in most cases, the statistics they submit—change little from one year to the next, I can only conclude that what are changing are the formulas the magazine's number massagers employ. And, indeed, there is marked evidence of that this year. In the category "Faculty resources," even though few of us had significant changes in our faculty or student numbers, our class sizes, or our finances, the rankings' producers created a mad scramble in rank order [... data ...]. Then there is "Financial resources," where Stanford dropped from #6 to #9, Harvard from #5 to #7. Our resources did not fall; did other institutions' rise so sharply? I infer that, in each case, the formulas were simply changed, with notification to no one, not even your readers, who are left to assume that some schools have suddenly soared, others precipitously plummeted.
See also [ edit ]
References [ edit ]
- "Presenting 30 Under 30 The 2019".
- Davis, Dominic-Madori. "The 10 colleges that have produced the most Forbes 30 Under 30 honorees this year". Business Insider. Retrieved 5 March 2020.
- Coudriet, Carter. "The Top Schools—And Student Debt Stories—Of The 2019 30 Under 30 Class". Forbes. Retrieved 5 March 2020.
- "Top Fundraisers"(PDF). Retrieved 26 March 2018. [permanent dead link]
- "College Scorecard". U.S. Department of Education.
- "America's Top Colleges". Forbes. Retrieved August 28, 2019.
- "MONEY's Best Colleges". Time. Retrieved August 12, 2019.
- "Niche Best Colleges".
- "Top 10 "Dream Colleges"". Retrieved 2 April 2020.
- "Social Mobility Index". CollegeNet and Payscale. Retrieved October 21, 2014.
- "The Top American Research Universities". The Center for Measuring University Performance. Archived from the original on 2012-06-17. Retrieved 2009-08-23.
- The Most Buzzed-About University?
- Harvard, Yale Beaten
- The Most Buzz Worthy Schools
- "Trendtopper MediaBuzz 2016 University Rankings". Archived from the original on 2014-08-11. Retrieved 2016-03-28.
- UniversityBenchmarks 2016 University Academic Rankings
- The University Entrepreneur Report.
- "America's Best Colleges". U.S. News and World Report. 2007.
- "National Liberal Arts Colleges". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved 8 March 2020.
- "Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Rankings 2020". THE World University Rankings. Retrieved 5 March 2020.
- "The Washington Monthly's Annual College Guide"Archived 2007-07-18 at the Wayback Machine
- "Washington Monthly's National Universities Rankings". The Washington Monthly. Retrieved 2017-01-05.
- "Washington Monthly's Liberal Arts College Rankings". The Washington Monthly. Retrieved 2016-02-06.
- ACTA. "What Will They Learn?". Archived from the original on 2 December 2010. Retrieved 14 September 2010.
- "ACTA Gives College Highest Possible Academic Ranking". Thomas Aquinas College. September 1, 2011. Retrieved May 23, 2012.
- McGurn, William (November 1, 2011). "What's Your Kid Getting From College?". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved April 9, 2012.
- Daniel L. Bennett (19 August 2009). "What Will They Learn?". Center for College Affordability and Productivity. Retrieved 9 February 2010.
- Stanley Fish (24 August 2009). "What Should Colleges Teach?". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 February 2010.
- Founded by Brian Leiter then of the University of Texas at Austin, now[update] University of Chicago
- IVRI. "Overview & Methodology". Archived from the original on 2015-09-05. Retrieved 10 September 2012.
- "Harvard Number One University in Eyes of Public". Gallup.com. 2003-08-26. Retrieved 2010-06-08.
- "College Rankings". Global Language Monitor. Archived from the original on 2009-11-11. Retrieved 2009-11-03.
- "PQI". Global Language Monitor. Retrieved 2009-11-03.
- Goldsmith, Belinda (2009-06-10). Fahmy, Miral (ed.). Web 2.0 crowned one millionth English word. Los Angeles, CA: Reuters. Retrieved 2009-11-03.
- Zimmer, Benjamin (2009-01-03). "The "million word" hoax rolls along". Language Log, Linguistic Data Consortium. Retrieved 2009-11-03.
- Walker, Ruth (2009-01-02). "Save the date: English nears a milestone". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 2009-01-14.
Sutter, John D. (2009-06-10). "English gets millionth word on Wednesday, site says". CNN. Retrieved 2009-11-03.
Cite journal requires
- "TrendTopper enhances college reputation". Global Language Monitor. Retrieved 2009-11-03.
- "College Rankings". The Global Language Monitor. Retrieved 2009-11-10. [dead link]
- "PBK.org". Archived from the original on 2012-02-13. Retrieved 2011-04-26.
- "Stanford Nabs Another Directors' Cup". Retrieved 15 June 2016.
- Carey, Kevin. "College Rankings Reformed". educationsector.org Archived 2009-08-23 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved July 28, 2009.
- Jaschik, Scott (20 June 2007). "More Momentum Against 'U.S. News'". Inside Higher Ed.
- "Annapolis group statement on rankings and ratings". Annapolis Group. 19 June 2007.
- Morse, Robert (22 June 2007). "About the Annapolis Group's Statement". U.S. News and World Report. Archived from the original on 2 July 2007.
- "Criticism of College Rankings – September 23, 1996". Stanford.edu. 1996-09-23. Retrieved 2010-06-08.