Top College Rankings: Princeton, Williams, Stanford, University of Chicago, Yale

The 2012 college rankings by Forbes are out. The top five are Princeton (1), Williams (2), Stanford (3), University of Chicago (4), and Yale (5). I am particularly pleased to see my alma mater — University of Chicago — again recognized in the top schools. Chicago was tied for fifth in the alternative U.S. News and World Report rankings. Rounding out the top ten are Harvard (6), West Point (7), Columbia (8), Pomona (9), and Swarthmore (10).

The ranking done for Forbes by the Washington, D.C.-based Center for College Affordability and Productivity is based on the quality of teaching, great career prospects, high graduation rates and low levels of debt.

Cornell (#51) fares badly as does the University of Virginia (#36). George Washington (#88) also fares badly.

The results reflect the failure to consider the schools reputations. Instead, the ranking is based on “five general categories: post graduate success (32.5%), which evaluates alumni pay and prominence, student satisfaction (27.5%), which includes professor evaluations and freshman to sophomore year retention rates, debt (17.5%), which penalizes schools for high student debt loads and default rates, four-year graduation rate (11.25%) and competitive awards (11.25%), which rewards schools whose students win prestigious scholarships and fellowships like the Rhodes, the Marshall and the Fulbright or go on to earn a Ph.D.”

I visited University of Chicago today after a long hiatus. The campus has changed a great deal since I attended as an undergraduate, but I was able to show the kids my old haunts and favorite spots. I still hold a great attachment to the campus. Forbes asks whether the high price is worth schools like Chicago. For my part (even with four kids), the answer is unquestionably yes. While Chicago attracts a particular brand of geeks (it is still known as “the place where fun goes to die”), it has been the place of intellectual awakening for thousands of young people — myself included.

Source: NBC

13 thoughts on “Top College Rankings: Princeton, Williams, Stanford, University of Chicago, Yale”

  1. Congrats to U of C! You picked a hot day to tour the campus Professor! It is about 95 out here in Woodstock.

  2. Although the Chicago school of economics has done more damage to the US then all the football factories in the country so I guess there is a balance to the force

  3. 18 Up and Out. What do the elite schools cost? Send sonnyboy to community college for two years and keep him at home instead of off to the frat house. Make him get a job part time. When the two years are up look at the progress and decide to spend money on the next two year go round. State school in town. Otherwise, 18 Up and Out.

  4. Knowing many Chicago grads I will stick up for this out of the box institution. Jay Berwanger was the first Heisman Trophy winner in the mid 30’s and the University decided to go out on Joe D. Would you prefer the Penn State scenario?

  5. Neil Young answered your question professor…..You can’t be 20 on sugar mountain……

  6. Frankly….. Damn that Rice…… They wouldn’t sell out either….. They had a chance to a few years ago……

  7. OH YEAH! Well if the U of Chicago is so great how come I never see their football team playing in any bowl games? I don’t recall their basketball team being in the sweet 16 either. Sounds like they have no commitment to excellence!!

    Probably elitists who think a university should be for education.

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