Education September 12, 2017: Princeton and Williams again top of US News’ 2018 Best Colleges amid accusations of elitism

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EDUCATION

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

U.S. News & World Report again has Princeton University and Williams College topping their list of Best Colleges for 2018. (Wikipedia Commons)

While international university rankings are reporting upheaval, there is one ranking that remains rock solid in its findings, U.S. News & World Report again has Princeton University and Williams College topping their list of Best Colleges. U.S. News, the standard-bearers in the national university and college rankings game released on Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017, their first of two major college and university rankings for the season, their Best Colleges rankings for 2018 online. Princeton, Williams, and Berkley all saw repeat visits to the top of the rankings. Princeton is №1 of all Best National Universities for the seventh year, while Williams remains atop the Best National Liberal Arts Colleges for the past 15 years. This year’s ranking was rather indecisive with multiple schools vying for a single spot.

Public universities some changes in this year’s ranking. Berkley is no longer the only university in the University of California system helming the Top Public Schools among National Universities; UC Los Angeles, both tying for first place, joins it. Berkley still №1 as it has been for the last 20 years. There is, however, a new king in first place in the Top Public Schools among National Liberal Arts Colleges ranking. The United States Military Academy at West Point takes over from former honor taker the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis as the best public liberal arts college. As much as US News is celebrated for its king maker status it is becoming increasingly under fire for claims that their Best Colleges ranking fuels elitism and shuts out low-income students seeking degrees because they would hinder schools’ quest to rise in the rankings.

The Ivy League and elite universities dominate the Best National Universities. Princeton remains on top, followed by Harvard again in second, while the University of Chicago and Yale continue to tie for third place. Three elite schools now tie for fifth place, Columbia, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Stanford. MIT leaped two spots to end up in the top five. The University of Pennsylvania retains the eighth spot, but no longer shares it with Duke University. Duke drops one to fall into ninth place. Rounding out the top ten is the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), who moves back up two to retake the tenth place after leaving the top 10 briefly last year. John Hopkins University leaves the top 10, to tie for 11th place. The top thirty has a new school with the New York University joining the esteemed ranks rising six to 30. NYU raised their profile by having additional campuses in Abu Dhabi and Shanghai and marketing themselves as a “new type of global, private research university.”

There are also plenty of colleges tied in the Best National Liberal Arts Colleges ranking, listing the best primary undergraduate schools specializing in the arts and sciences. The top two remain unchanged, with Williams College on top and Amherst in second. Now the third place is a three-way tie with Bowdoin, Swarthmore and Wellesley vying for the one spot. Bowdoin is the greatest gainer in the bunch was Bowdoin moving up from sixth, while Swarthmore moving up one from tied for fourth. Middlebury College loses two positions moving down from tied for fourth to tie with sixth with Pomona College, which moves up one from seventh. Carleton College moves down one to tie for eighth with Claremont McKenna, who moves up from ninth. Two colleges now vie for tenth, Davidson College moves down one, and Washington and Lee University moves up one into the top 10.

In the lists of best public schools, University of California-Berkeley is longer the lone king atop of the Top Public Schools among National Universitiesranking. In its 20th year, Berkley now co-reigns with fellow University of California school, UC Los Angeles, both schools tie for 21st place in the Best National Universities list. UCLA standing rose because this past year it became the first university in the country to receive 100,000 applications for the 2021 freshman class. The University of Virginia maintains its third spot. The University of Michigan-Ann Arbor also stays in its spot at fourth, with the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill still rounding out the top five.

The ranking’s biggest shake up is the Top Public Schools among National Liberal Arts Colleges list, with the United States Military Academy grabbing up the top spot from the former king the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis. West Point ties for 12th on the national ranking. The United States Naval Academy now slips to second and is the 21st school on the national list. This is the first time since 2009–10 that West Point led Annapolis. The United States Air Force Academy remains in third. Another military college the Virginia Military Institute takes the fourth place alone this year. St. Mary’s College of Maryland rounds out the top five.

US News publishes their “Best Colleges” ranking lists in different categories including National Universities, National Liberal Arts Colleges, Top Public Universities and Liberal Arts Colleges, Regional Universities and Regional CollegesA-plus Schools for B StudentsBest Value Schools for universities and liberal arts colleges, and Historically Black Colleges and Universities. In total, more than 1,800 colleges and universities were profiled.

Brian Kelly, editor and chief content officer of U.S. News, commented on the value of the rankings to help with college choice decision making. Kelly explained, “Before taking out student loans or writing a tuition check, families should research graduation and retention rates. These are important indicators of how well a school supports its students both academically and financially.” Continuing Kelly remarked, “Colleges that saddle students with debt but do little to support them through graduation are contributing to a vicious cycle — without that valuable degree, students will have a difficult time landing well-paying jobs and repaying their loans, which puts them in a precarious financial situation early on in their careers.”

Although public universities and liberal arts colleges are given separate lists, the same is not done with private universities and liberal arts colleges. The US News’ ranking categories are based on Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. US News Best Colleges’ methodology involves looking at over 1,800 universities and colleges to create their four rankings; the results are determined by “15 measures of academic quality,” taken from the Common Data Set. The Best Colleges lists rely heavily on “student outcomes” predominantly “graduation and retention rates” which represent 30 percent of the deciding factor in the ranking. The main criterion includes “graduation and retention rates, undergraduate academic reputation, student selectivity, faculty resources, financial resources, alumni giving and graduation rate performance.”

This year US News tweaked their methodology adding new elements to give seniors and their parents more information for the college decision making. One factors into the ranking the other does not. For the National Universities under graduation rates US News now looks at the “proportion of degrees awarded in the science, technology, engineering and math fields.”

US News is also dipping into the return on investment (ROI) trend in college rankings and will now provide “salary data for alumni of individual schools, supplied by the online analyst PayScale.” The salary data, however, is still not part of the ranking methodology. Robert Morse, chief data strategist for U.S. News remarked on the new ROI addition, saying. “Using salary as a heavily weighted rankings factor ignores academic quality, which we believe is more important for prospective students and their parents when considering which school to attend.” Morse, however, pointed out, “Not everyone is interested in a high-salaried career. Secondly, the salary data — while important — is not comprehensive enough to do an analytic school-by-school comparison.”

The US News rankings guidebook and companion website include over 50 ranking lists. The methodology US News uses benefits private universities, and the rubrics are “based on school reputation surveys; student selectivity; faculty resources; alumni giving; graduation and retention rates; and total spending per student on education.” In contrast public universities “rely heavily on state funding, often have tighter budgets, far larger enrollment and a broader mandate for accessibility than private institutions.”

US News’ Best Colleges list has become more controversial in recent years because of its focus on the cliché Ivy League and elite universities. As the Washington Post pointed out, calling the ranking “an annual sorting exercise that draws scrutiny from students, parents, and alumni but scorn from critics who say it’s a pointless game of prestige.” A day before the 2018 edition’s release Politico went further in their investigative article “How U.S. News college rankings promote economic inequality on campus.” The article’s subtitle is even more politically loaded, saying, “Once ladders of social mobility, universities increasingly reinforce existing wealth, fueling a backlash that helped elect Donald Trump.”

The article argues that the US News rubrics have become ingrained in universities strategic plans that they “create incentives for schools to favor wealthier students over less wealthy applicants.” The top one percent are catering to the top one percent rather than giving an opportunity to the bottom 60 percent. Politico argues that admission decisions and financial priorities are determined by the schools’ ranking aspirations and that is threatening students from middle and low earning families.

Among the criteria most being altered include, “student performance, lower acceptance rates, performing well on surveys, and alumni giving. Despite all the claims of diversity in admissions, the Ivy League is nearly three-quarters filled with the “top quartile of income earners” and only less than five percent from the bottom quartile, with those in the lowest never even going on to complete their bachelor’s degrees if they are started. Private and public schools are continuing the trend just to up their prestige on rankings, primarily US News Best Colleges.

The stereotypical poor and white are the most affected, and as Politico noted fueled the 2016 election that saw Donald Trump rise to the presidency. Walter Benn Michaels, a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago told Politico “Elite colleges are part of the apparatus that produces Trumpism and produces working class, white resentment.” While Richard Kahlenberg, a senior fellow at the Century Foundation claimed, “It fits perfectly into Trump’s narrative … Basically, if you’re a low-income or working-class white student who works hard and you find out that what matters in admissions is who your daddy is, or what your race is, you’re completely left out.”

Politico’s research concluded US News is the worst of the rankings to continue the descent into economic equality in higher education. US News is one of the oldest and the most prestigious national ranking started in 1983, which the magazine called “the 800-pound gorilla of American higher education.” US News’ methodology factors in university spending on faculty salary and on students, which rises up tuition to the astronomical rates seniors are now facing as they embark on college. Universities are attempting to reap the most rewards by accepting students they know would succeed, the wealthy ones. F. King Alexander, president of Louisiana State University was the harshest in his opinion, saying, “I think U.S. News has done more damage to the higher education marketplace than any single enterprise that’s out there…. I call it ‘the greatest inefficiency ranking in America.’”

The Politico article accuses US News of stifling the increase in college degrees earned and preventing low-income students from acquiring them. Mitchell Stevens, a Stanford University sociologist called the U.S. News “the machinery that organizes and governs this competition.” Stevens called the ranking a peculiar form of governance” in higher education “because schools essentially use them to make sense of who they are relative to each other. And families use them basically as a guide to the higher education marketplace.” The rankings rubrics have become benchmarks for universities and state governments who yearn for a top ranking university in their midst at the public school level.

US News fiercely denies the negative effects their king maker status has on higher education. Robert Morse on the defensive told Politico, “We’re not setting the admissions standards at any schools. Our main mission for our rankings is to provide information for prospective students and their parents, and we’re measuring academic quality. That’s what we’ve been doing. We’ve been doing this for 30 years, and we believe we’ve been driving transparency in higher education data. Our methodology and the data we’ve chosen for the best colleges rankings is to measure which schools are the top in academic excellence.”

US News also denies their methodology affects universities policies, but administrators contradict that claim. Student selectivity has lead universities to accept students with higher scores on the SAT and ACT exams, where students from wealthier families do better because of access to preparation courses, materials, and tutors. The acceptance rate game also plays against low-income students, as acceptance rates have dropped; schools are becoming more selective as more students apply. Early admission and decisions programs are accepting more of the share of students but less low-income students apply for early decision.

A university financial and faculty resources matter a lot to US News, but also lock out low-income students as universities want to free up funding so they stay away from students that need financial and funding. Instead, to increase their rank, universities are spending more to hire faculty and ensure class sizes fall below the ideal 20 students per professor. Universities and colleges are also paying their faculty more. To acquire the necessary funding schools are increasing tuition and skirting financial needy students. Public universities are feeling the crunch the most and they are the ones raising tuition.

The all-important undergraduate academic reputation has college presidents, high school guidance counselors, college advisors rate universities, and colleges. A majority of high schools especially in low-income areas do not even have a counselor for their school, giving wealthy schools another advantage. Universities are also peddling to students that they know will keep up the alumni-giving rate, this is especially rampant among elite schools. The Ivy League particularly Harvard are preferring legacy admissions, with 40 percent of Harvard’s incoming class having a parent who graduated from the school. To ensure the money flows in low-income students are shut out.

Only two of US News’s metrics graduation and retention rates and graduation rate performance benefit low-income students, however, to ensure rates remain high schools turn to wealthier students who will graduate. Graduation rate performance is the most beneficial to low-income students because it “recognizes schools that are working to help the most disadvantaged students.” Morse argues the ranking’s rubrics are not creating biases but “creating a better academic environment” and “improvements across the board.”

Universities that play the game are rewarded and those who choose instead to help low-income students are punished in the rankings. President Barack Obama decried the rankings culture and attempted to counter US News’ influence by creating a rival ranking, The College Scorecard, which the Trump Administration is continuing. The ranking has its problems and needs to bolter its credibility, now the scorecard does not even threaten US News in the least. US News still dominates and does not care about the counter effects. In the end, despite the controversies that dog US News’ ranking and other rankings for fueling elitism or other reasons, as long as the rankings continue and equate prestige universities and colleges will continue playing the game perpetuating the problems.

Best National Universities

1 Princeton University (NJ) (1)
2 Harvard University (MA) (2)
3 University of Chicago (IL) (4)
3 Yale University (CT) (3)
5 Columbia University (NY) (5)
5 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (7)
5 Stanford University (CA) (5)
8 University of Pennsylvania (8)
9 Duke University (8)
10 California Institute of Technology (Caltech) (11)

Best National Liberal Arts Colleges

1 Williams College (MA) (1)
2 Amherst College (MA) (2)
3 Bowdoin College (ME) (6)
4 Swarthmore College (PA) (4)
3 Wellesley College (MA) (3)
6 Middlebury College (4)
6 Pomona College (7)
8 Carleton College (7)
8 Claremont McKenna College (9)
10 Davidson College (9)
10 Washington and Lee University (11)

Top Public Schools

National Universities

1 University of California-Berkeley (1)
1 University of California-Los Angeles (2)
3 University of Virginia (3)
4 University of Michigan-Ann Arbor (4)
5 University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (4)

Liberal Arts Colleges

1 United States Military Academy (NY) (2)
2 United States Naval Academy (MD) (1)
3 United States Air Force Academy (CO) (3)
4 Virginia Military Institute (4)
5 St. Mary’s College of Maryland

Bonnie K. Goodman BA, MLIS (McGill University), is a journalist, librarian, historian & editor. She is a former Features Editor at the History News Network & reporter at Examiner.com where she covered politics, universities, religion and news. She has a dozen years experience in education & political journalism.

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Education February 8, 2017: Princeton and Williams remain on top of US News’ 2017 Best Colleges

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EDUCATION

Princeton and Williams remain on top of US News’ 2017 Best Colleges

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

U.S. News & World Report the standard-bearers in the national university and college rankings game released the first of two major college and university rankings for the season. On Sept. 13, 2016, US News released their Best Colleges rankings for 2017 online. Princeton, Williams and Berkeley all saw repeat visits to the top of the rankings with Princeton №1 for the fourth year of all Best National Universities, while Williams remains the Best National Liberal Arts College for the past 15 years. Berkeley reined the Top Public Universities as it has for the last 19 years, and the United States Naval Academy is first of the Top Public National Liberal Arts Colleges.

This year there was a shake-up in the top three in both Best National Universities and Liberal Arts Colleges. Most notably in the Best National Universities list, the University of Chicago that moves up one to tie Yale University for the third spot. Columbia and Stanford Universities both dropped one spot to being tied for fourth to tied for fifth. The University of Pennsylvania dropped one spot from eighth to ninth place, while the California Institute of Technology drops out of the top 10 from being tied for 10th place to №12.

The top three Best National Liberal Arts Colleges also remained unchanged with Williams College on top and Amherst in second. The middle of the top changed dramatically with Wellesley College moving up to third, Middlebury College and Swarthmore College tied for fourth and Bowdoin College moving down to sixth. In the second half of the top 10 Carleton College moves up one to seventh place, while formerly fourth place Pomona College drops three to seventh. The only public school United States Naval Academy dropped out of the top 10 from ninth to 12th place.

In the lists of best public schools, University of California-Berkeley was named the Top Public University for the 19th year in a row, and the United States Naval Academy named Top public Liberal Arts College. US News publishes their “Best Colleges” ranking lists in different categories including National Universities, National Liberal Arts Colleges, Top Public Universities and Liberal Arts Colleges, Regional Universities and Regional Colleges, A-plus Schools for B Students, Best Value Schools for universities and liberal arts colleges, and Historically Black Colleges and Universities. In total, more than 1,800 colleges and universities were profiled with 1,374 ranked.

Brian Kelly, editor and chief content officer of U.S. News, commented on the value of the rankings to help with college choice decision making. Kelly explained, “I encourage parents and students to use the wealth of data and information in Best Colleges to identify schools that suit their specific needs. In addition to considering factors like location and cost, families should pay close attention to graduation and retention rates. These are important indicators of how well a school supports its students both academically and financially. Getting into a good school means nothing if you cannot graduate.”

Although public universities and liberal arts colleges are given separate lists, the same is not done with private universities and liberal arts colleges. The US News’ ranking categories are based on Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. This year US News used the “2015 update” which caused 12 percent of the schools in the ranking to change categories.

US News Best Colleges’ methodology involves looking at over 1,800 universities and colleges to create their four rankings; the results are determined by “15 measures of academic quality,” taken from the Common Data Set. The Best Colleges lists rely heavily on “student outcomes” predominantly “graduation and retention rates” which represent 30 percent of the deciding factor in the ranking.

The US News rankings guidebook and companion website include over 50 ranking lists. This year the methodology was slightly altered when it came to one factor, class size, in the past the ranking included two metrics involving class size, now there is just one. The methodology US News uses benefits private universities, and the rubrics are “based on school reputation surveys; student selectivity; faculty resources; alumni giving; graduation and retention rates; and total spending per student on education.” In contrast public universities “rely heavily on state funding, often have tighter budgets, far larger enrollment and a broader mandate for accessibility than private institutions.”

Best National Universities

1 Princeton University (NJ) (1)
2 Harvard University (MA) (2)
3 University of Chicago (IL) (4)
3 Yale University (CT) (3)
5 Columbia University (NY) (4)
5 Stanford University (CA) (4)
7 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (7)
8 Duke University (NC) (8)
8 University of Pennsylvania (9)
10 Johns Hopkins University (MD) (10)

Best National Liberal Arts Colleges

1 Williams College (MA) (1)
2 Amherst College (MA) (2)
3 Wellesley College (MA) (4)
4 Middlebury College (VT) (4)
4 Swarthmore College (PA) (4)
6 Bowdoin College (ME) (4)
7 Carleton College (MN) (8)
7 Pomona College (CA) (4)
9 Claremont McKenna College (CA) (9)
9 Davidson College (NC) (9)

Top Public Schools

National Universities
1 University of California-Berkeley
2 University of California-Los Angeles
3 University of Virginia
4 University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
5 University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

Liberal Arts Colleges

1 United States Naval Academy (MD)
2 United States Military Academy (NY)
3 United States Air Force Academy (CO)
4 New College of Florida
4 Virginia Military Institute

Bonnie K. Goodman BA, MLIS (McGill University), is a journalist, librarian, historian & editor. She is a former Features Editor at the History News Network & reporter at Examiner.com where she covered politics, universities, religion and news. She has a dozen years experience in education & political journalism.

 

Education February 8, 2017: Forbes names Stanford University America’s Top College for 2016/17

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EDUCATION

Forbes names Stanford University America’s Top College for 2016/17

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

Forbes Magazine was again the first list to release their national ranking of American colleges and universities. Forbes released on July 7, 2016, their ninth annual ranking of America’s Top 100 Colleges placing the most selective school Stanford University in the top spot. The ranking heavily relies on return on investment with the subheading the 600+ schools worth the investment. The ranking looks at the top colleges but also includes separate lists for Top Public and Private Colleges, Top Liberal Arts Schools, and Top STEM Colleges.

Former Top 100 Colleges Williams College remains in second place, followed Princeton University, which moved up to third, the top Ivy League university on the list. Harvard University moves up two to fourth, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology the greatest gainer moved up five to round out the top five. The remaining top 10 has Yale, which dropped a spot to sixth, former top college, and Pomona dropped to seventh place. The last remaining schools in the top ten are Brown University, which remained at eighth, Wesleyan University, a new entry to the top ten and Swarthmore College that fell three spots to tenth.

According to Forbes the ninth edition of the ranking has a theme of “higher ed in transition.” The top schools shifting from the East Coast to the West Coast, with Stanford University being the top college in the country and the most selective university. Stanford receives the most applications and admits the least percentage of students. According to Forbes, Stanford “emerged as the nation’s preeminent university,” while “students all over the world are increasingly drawn to the nowness of the West Coast.”

There is still an ongoing struggle between Liberal Arts colleges versus large research universities emphasizing, STEM, science, technology, engineering, and math. There are 51 liberal arts colleges in the top 100 colleges more than previous years, and liberal arts colleges that never cracked the top 10 or top 25 now made the cut.

Still, older private schools are monopolizing the top spots in the list, showing not much is indeed changing. As Forbes notes, “All the Ivys do very, very well: seven of the eight Ivy League schools and five of the eight “Little Ivies” make the top 20.” Younger schools in the west, however, are moving up in the rankings.

Forbes like US News weighs graduation and retention rates high in the listing’s methodology. The top schools are also the most expensive, and as Forbes noted the top 50 cost an average $59,000 each academic year. Still, these expensive universities offer good financial aid packages that leave their low graduate debt.

These top ranking schools have the right combination of “age, location, endowment and low debt for students.” Like US News, Forbes is riding the wave of ranking the best value colleges, determining Return on Investment, ROI. Forbes worked with the Center for College Affordability and Productivity (CCAP) to determine “What are students getting out of college.”

Forbes Top Colleges top ten:

1. Stanford University (3)
2. Williams College (2)
3. Princeton University (4)
4. Harvard University (6)
5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (10)
6. Yale University (5)
7. Pomona College (1)
8. Brown University (8)
9. Wesleyan University
10. Swarthmore College (7)

Bonnie K. Goodman BA, MLIS (McGill University), is a journalist, librarian, historian & editor. She is a former Features Editor at the History News Network & reporter at Examiner.com where she covered politics, universities, religion and news. She has a dozen years experience in education & political journalism.

 

Education February 8, 2017: University Rankings 2017 roundup American universities threatened by the UK and Europe

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EDUCATION

University Rankings 2017 roundup American universities threatened by the UK and Europe

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

The 2016–17 rankings season is officially over with the release on February 1, 2017, Times of Higher Education’s newest ranking the inaugural edition of the world’s most international universities. The season catering to college-bound high school students and their parents began in July and finally ended this month. The rankings showcased lists that were national covering only colleges and universities in the United States, but also international lists were American schools competed with high regarded and older universities in the United Kingdom, Europe and the emerging threat of rising Asian schools.

Although the US dominated the rankings in sheer numbers as they always have this year was the first time non-American schools topped international rankings posing a threat to America’s ranking dominance in higher education. On the home front, there was also a shift emerging from the Ivy League in the east to the west with Stanford University being named the top university in two out of three major national rankings. That wave to the west was not as attractive on the international front. When an American school topped an international ranking, it was the jewel of the Ivies Harvard University that claimed the coveted top spot, claiming the throne on three major ranking lists including one published in the US.

Time Higher Education two main rankings their flagship 2016/17 World University Rankings and their latest addition the Most International Universities proved how vulnerable American preeminence in higher education is at the top. Both rankings had non-American schools at the top of their lists. With the World rankings a British schools for the first time dethroned the US, while in the Most International Universities rankings British, European Asian schools left the US out in the cold in not only the top ten but also the top 20 of the ranking.

When Times Higher Education released on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017, their inaugural ranking of the Most International Universities looking at global reputation and connections, not one American university made the top 20, with their first showing at number 22 with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. For THE the most international schools are in Switzerland with ETH Zurich — Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich in the top spot, followed by École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in second place. Rounding out the top three is an Asian university, the University of Hong Kong.

Unlike THE World University Rankings, instead of the United States, the United Kingdom dominates the top ten of the most international universities. Five schools starting with the Imperial College of London rank in the top 10, the others include “the University of Oxford (sixth place), the University of Cambridge (eighth place), the University of London (ninth place) and the London School of Economics and Political Science (10th place).” The remaining top ten consists of another school from China fourth place the University of Singapore and Australasia is also represented with the Australian National University in seventh place.

Times Higher Education (THE) released their 2016/17 World University Rankings on Sept. 21, 2016, with Britain’s Oxford University taking the leadas the top school. Oxford broke California Institute of Technology (Caltech) five-year record topping the World University Rankings this year, while the rest of the top ten stayed mostly the same. The biggest news, however, from the 2017 world ranking was that Britain dethroned the US with the top university after 12 years, this is the first year with a university outside the US topping the list.

The top 10 saw little movement this year the only significant change was in the top two universities switching places, and the University of California, Berkeley moving up three to tie the University of Chicago for 10th place. The top 10 again features one university outside of the United States and the United Kingdom, Switzerland’s ETH Zurich — Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich. US universities dominate the top 10 and the ranking list in general.

In the remaining rankings released this past season, American schools fared better continuing their dominance here is a rundown of the rankings lists:

National Rankings

Forbes Magazine America’s Top 100 Colleges

Forbes Magazine was again the first list to release their national ranking of American colleges and universities. Forbes released their ninth annual ranking of America’s Top 100 Colleges on July 7, 2016, placing the most selective school Stanford University in the top spot. Former Top 100 CollegesWilliams College is second after Stanford followed Princeton University in third, which happens to be the top Ivy League university on the list. In fourth place are Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology rounding out the top five. The remaining top 10 has Yale at №6, and Pomona College at №7. The last remaining schools respectively are Brown University, Wesleyan University, and Swarthmore College.

According to Forbes, the ninth edition of the ranking has a theme of “higher ed in transition.” The top schools are shifting from the East Coast to the West Coast, with Stanford University being the top college in the country and the most selective university. Stanford receives the most applications and admits the least percentage of students. According to Forbes, Stanford “emerged as the nation’s preeminent university,” while “students all over the world are increasingly drawn to the nowness of the West Coast.”

US News’ 2017 Best Colleges

U.S. News & World Report the standard-bearers in the national university and college rankings game released the first of two major college and university rankings for the season. On Sept. 13, 2016, US News released their Best Colleges rankings for 2017 online. Princeton, Williams, and Berkley all saw repeat visits to the top of the rankings with Princeton №1 for the fourth year of all Best National Universities, while Williams remains the Best National Liberal Arts College for the past 15 years. Berkley reined the Top Public Universities as it has for the last 19 years, and the United States Naval Academy is first of the Top Public National Liberal Arts Colleges.

This year there was a shake-up in the top three in both Best National Universities and Liberal Arts Colleges. Most notably in the Best National Universities list, although Harvard remained in second place, the University of Chicago that moved up one to tie Yale University for the third spot. Columbia and Stanford Universities both dropped one spot to being tied for fourth to tied for fifth. The University of Pennsylvania dropped one spot from eighth to ninth place, while the California Institute of Technology drops out of the top 10 from being tied for 10th place to №12.

The top three Best National Liberal Arts Colleges also remained unchanged, with Williams College on top and Amherst in second. The middle of the top changed dramatically with Wellesley College moved up to third, Middlebury College and Swarthmore College tied for fourth and Bowdoin College moved down to sixth. In the second half of the top 10 Carleton College moved up one to seventh place, while formerly fourth place Pomona College dropped three to seventh. The only public school United States Naval Academy dropped out of the top 10 from ninth to 12th place.

Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education college rankings

The nation’s most selective college Stanford University is on top of the inaugural Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education college rankings. WSJ and THE released the first joint ranking of American colleges on Sept. 28, 2016, where the top ten included some of the country’s most elite universities including seven belonging to the Ivy League. Stanford is the top of not only WSJ/THE ranking but also Forbes 2016 American Top College rankings and was MONEY’s top school in 2015.

This new ranking focuses heavily on the outcomes of getting a degree from one the institutions. The ranking’s methodology looks at some factors including “salaries of graduates and debt repayment rates, school reputation, research impact, and how much a college spends to educate each student.” The WSJ also ranked universities on specific factors, “Resources (#1: Harvard University), Student Outcomes (#1: Yale University), Engagement (#1: Dordt College), Environment (#1: La Sierra University).”

World Rankings

Center for World University Rankings (CWUR)

The first major university ranking of the year released is the Center for World University Rankings (CWUR), who publishes their list way before the start of the new academic year. On July 11, 2016, the Center for World University Rankings (CWUR) released their ranking of the Top 1000 Universities in the world. Harvard topped their list for the fifth time. After Harvard, the rest of the top three remains the same as last year with Stanford second and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) third.

Two British universities round out the top five as last year, with the University of Cambridge in fourth place closely followed by the University of Oxford rounding out the top five. The top 10 had little movement with one exception Yale reemerged to reclaim the tenth place after dropping to eleventh place last year, while Cornell moved back out of the top ten down to twelfth place.

The US dominated the CWUR rankings as it does with most other world university rankings. There were 224 American schools in the top 1000. The CWUR ranking shows how preeminent Asian schools are becoming globally, here they follow the US in the most school represented an honor usually reserved for the United Kingdom. There are 90 universities from China and 74 from Japan on the list with Britain in fourth with only 65 schools. The UK however, is the only other country to break American dominance in the top ten.

Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU)

The Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) released their annual ranking lists on Aug. 15, 2016, with Harvard University again topping the best 500 universities in the world for the 14th year. The top ten’s schools are unchanged from last year’s rankings and consist of eight American universities and two British institutions, but they moved around in their ranking.

Stanford University remains in second place, but the University of California Berkeley, the top public school, moves up to third. The United Kingdom’s top school, the University of Cambridge, moves up one to fourth place, with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology falls two to round up the top five.

In the second half of the top ten, Princeton is only the other university to maintain its spot, staying in sixth place. The University of Oxford is the greatest gainer in the top ten going up from tenth to seventh. While the California Institute of Technology Caltech, Columbia University and the University of Chicago each moved down one, to eighth, ninth, and tenth place respectively.

The United States dominates the rankings as it does with all the global lists, while the United Kingdom is in second place. The US holds 15 of the top 20 spots, the UK has three spots, but this year the usual American and British dominance are challenged with the addition of a Swiss and Japanese university. Although most of the schools in the ranking are from the US and Europe, Asian universities are seeing their numbers rise, with China and Singapore seeing one school crack the top 100 for the first time, China’s Tsinghua University is 58th, while Singapore’s National University of Singapore clocks in at 83.

QS World University Rankings

For the fifth year, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is sitting on the top of the QS World University Rankings’ Top Universities. QS World University Rankings released their 2015/16 ranking on Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2016, and the first time in the ranking’s history the top three is all American schools, with MIT, Stanford and Harvard University making a trifecta.

The top 10 shows an almost even balance between American and British universities with one continental European institution Switzerland’s ETH Zurich — Swiss Federal Institute of Technology at eighth place breaking up what has been for years an exclusive club. “Academic reputation” is the most important determining factor for the lists, and it is reflected by the universities represented in the ranking.

This year there are five American (MIT (1), Stanford (2), Harvard (3), Caltech (5), the University of Chicago (10)). And four British universities (Cambridge (4), Oxford (6), University College of London (7), Imperial College of London (9)) in the top 10. The top Ivy League school on the list is Harvard at №3 down one spot from last year. The 2017 ranking is the first year where a British school did not occupy one of the top three spots. Britain’s leading school, the University of Cambridge, moves down one to fourth place.

Two of the four British universities in the top 10 moved down a spot from last year, showing a troubling trend for British universities throughout the ranking. Meanwhile, there are 11 American universities in the top 20, while there are five British universities in the top 20. In this year’s edition, there are four universities outside of the US and the UK in the top 20, two from Switzerland, and two from Singapore.

The QS World University Rankings consistently includes more non-US and on-UK universities in the top 20 than any of the other international rankings. There are 81 countries represented in the ranking of 916 schools 25 more than last year’s edition. The Unites States has the most universities in the ranking top 200 with a quarter, 48 schools, Britain follows in second place with 30 of the top 200 universities.

US News and World Report 2017 Best Global Universities Rankings

Harvard University remains the top university in the world according to US News and World Report’s third annual Best Global Universities Rankings, US News released the 2017 ranking on Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2016. The biggest international university ranking looked at the best schools by “region, country, and subject.” This year’s ranking increased the number of school from 750 to 1000 from 65 countries in the world up from 57, giving each one a score out of 100.

There was a lot of movement in the top 10 of the ranking. As for the rest of the top three, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is second, and Stanford University moves up to third. Princeton joined the top 10 moving from 13 to number on the list, while the University of Chicago dropped out of the top 10 down to number 13. The top 20 also saw some changes, 17 schools were from the US, with three from the UK including the Imperial College of London at 19. There was also a new entry to the top 20, the University of California San Francisco, a graduate school for the sciences moved up to number 17.

American universities dominated the entire ranking as they did the top 10 with 210 institutions, followed by China with 87 schools continuing the rise of Asian schools and the UK was third with 68 schools, in continental Europe Germany had 55 institutions in the ranking, while France had 49. The United Kingdom pierced the top universities with Oxford University at №6 and the University of Cambridge at №7, both moving down one spot. The US also leads in schools specializing in the arts and humanities, clinical medicine, computer science economics and business and engineering. The UK comes in second in the arts and humanities.

Bonnie K. Goodman BA, MLIS (McGill University), is a journalist, librarian, historian & editor. She is a former Features Editor at the History News Network & reporter at Examiner.com where she covered politics, universities, religion and news. She has a dozen years experience in education & political journalism.

Education December 5, 2015: College rankings 2016: Princeton and Williams still top US News’ Best Colleges

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College Rankings 2016: Princeton and Williams still top US News’ Best Colleges

By Bonnie K. Goodman

December 5, 2015, 4:35 PM MST

Princeton University again topped US News and World Report's Best National Universities part of their 2015 Best Colleges, Sept. 9, 2015
Princeton University again topped US News and World Report’s Best National Universities part of their 2015 Best Colleges, Sept. 9, 2015
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Universities November 15, 2014: College rankings guide 2014-15 Princeton and Williams tops US News Best Colleges

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EDUCATION

College rankings guide 2014-15 Princeton and Williams tops US News Best Colleges

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Examiner.com, November 15, 2014, 9:56 PM MST

Princeton University again topped US News and World Report's Best National Universities part of their 2015 Best Colleges
Princeton University again topped US News and World Report’s Best National Universities part of their 2015 Best Colleges
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Universities November 15, 2014: College rankings guide 2014-15: Forbes names Williams America’s Top College

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College rankings guide 2014-15: Forbes names Williams America’s Top College

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Examiner.com, November 15, 2014, 9:50 PM MST

Forbes was the only university ranking list that placed a liberal arts college, Williams in their top spot
Forbes was the only university ranking list that placed a liberal arts college, Williams in their top spot
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