Friday, March 27, 2009

tired of U.S. News & World Report university rankings?

Here's Richard Vedder with a new-and-improved university ratings system, published by Forbes (hat tip: Shikha Dalmia in Reason)...

As an economist, he opens up with the line that U.S. News and World Report has monopolized this-- and that "competition is good".

The best school in the nation? Princeton University, followed closely by the California Institute of Technology, Harvard, Swarthmore and Williams. The U.S. Military Academy at West Point came in sixth on our rankings, spearheading a generally strong showing by all the service academies.

Top 50 U.S. Colleges
Top Private Colleges
Top Public Colleges
Complete College Rankings

Key questions?

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?

Some of the results:

The data show that students strongly prefer smaller schools to big ones....Generally speaking, big state schools performed poorly...Small liberal arts schools shine in our rankings, probably due to both the quality of their faculty and the personal attention they can provide....

Several relatively unknown schools do surprisingly well in our rankings. Wabash College, a tiny, all-male school located in Crawfordsville, Ind., ranks 12th on our list, and Centre College, a highly regarded liberal arts school in Danville, Ky., ranks 13th....


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