Wednesday, September 3, 2008

College Rankings came out with it's first ever college rankings list. Their criteria seem pretty convoluted.
CCAP's methodology attempts to put itself in a student's shoes. How good will my professors be? Will the school help me achieve notable career success? If I have to borrow to pay for college, how deeply will I go into debt? What are the chances I will graduate in four years? Are students and faculty recognized nationally, or even globally?

To answer these questions, the staff at CCAP (mostly college students themselves) gathered data from a variety of sources. They based 25% of the rankings on 7 million student evaluations of courses and instructors, as recorded on the Web site Another 25% depends on how many of the school's alumni, adjusted for enrollment, are listed among the notable people in Who's Who in America.

The other half of the ranking is based equally on three factors: the average amount of student debt at graduation held by those who borrowed; the percentage of students graduating in four years; and the number of students or faculty, adjusted for enrollment, who have won nationally competitive awards like Rhodes Scholarships or Nobel Prizes.
(Click here for complete methodology.)

Here is their list of the top 25 schools:
1 Princeton University
2 California Institute of Technology
3 Harvard University
4 Swarthmore College
5 Williams College
6 United States Military Academy
7 Amherst College
8 Wellesley College
9 Yale University
10 Columbia University
11 Northwestern University
12 Wabash College
13 Centre College
14 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
15 Bowdoin College
16 United States Air Force Academy
17 Middlebury College
18 University of Chicago
19 Smith College
20 Pomona College
21 Wesleyan University
22 Haverford College
23 Stanford University
24 Hamilton College
25 Sarah Lawrence College

Hmm, sometimes when you do an analysis, you need to look at your results to see if it makes sense. From their list, I believe their methodology is flawed. Wabash College? Centre College? Bowdoin College? Haverford College? All better schools than Stanford University according to

How did my schools fare in their rankings? UCLA came in at #111 and USC at #300! I'd better not Broadcom know that I got my MBA at the #300 school in the country.

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