Thursday, August 20, 2009

US News and World Report Rankings Released

The new US News and World Report desperate bid to stay relevant by capitalizing on the disposable incomes of helicopter parents -- excuse me, their college rankings -- came out today with very few surprises. Dartmouth stayed in its #11 spot, behind less selective schools like University of Chicago and Duke University.

We also topped the list in a new category ranking quality of undergraduate teaching, which is fantastic. Working this summer with graduates and professors of top-tier research universities who've expressed surprise that all my classes have been taught by full professors has affirmed my belief that I really lucked out in choosing a college with an incredible committment to undergraduate education. It's nice to receive recognition for that.

Obviously, the USNWR rankings rarely reveal any new information and are, at best, only one of many indicators by which prospective students and employers measure prestige. For example, Dartmouth's fall from the 'top 10' two years ago hasn't been quite the calamity some hysterical PR-minded folk imagined it to be, as evidenced by our steadily decreasing admissions rate (13.5% in the last cycle!) and increasing applicant pool. But the yearly release of rankings is newsworthy, if only because, as one astute IvyGate commenter put it, "The wailing and gnashing of teeth after they come out is what makes it fun."


quizz said...

Didn't USNWR come up with a special category in 1995 or 1996 -- "small undergraduate-focused university" or something -- and put Dartmouth at the top of it? For the one year they had it?

Anonymous said...

US News doesn't rank schools, it ranks schools' reputations. Dartmouth is coasting on the reputation it earned decades ago.
It is a completely different place today.

Dartmouth is the least desirable elite college in Northern New England ranking behind Bowdoin, Middlebury, Colby, Bennington.

And US News just ignores Dartmouth's wacky D-plan academic calendar, which it doesn't understand.

Anonymous said...

What reputations do those schools have? Fine ones among Northeasterners in the know, who went there as first or second choices or have family or friends who did the same. But offer Dartmouth admission to students at those schools and they'd go in a heartbeat. Most didn't even apply to Dartmouth out of high school, recognizing it as a more significant admissions challenge.

bates rocks said...

Are you sure you're not the one relying on an outdated reputation?

US News doesn't even place Dartmouth in the same category as those little liberal arts colleges. How can you tell how US News ranks Dartmouth compared to Bowdoin? Where are you getting your information?

Will Aubin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Patent Attorney said...

Congratulations on the high. A friend of mine went to Dartmouth and has nothing but good things to say about it.