I thought this was an interesting list of colleges

<p>The Vault is heavily known for ranking prestigious business schools, banks, law firms, law schools, and consulting groups.</p>

<p>This year they put out a group of undergraduate universities. While it has flaws, I like it for several reasons:</p>

<p>a. It lists 50 top colleges (including liberal art schools). They call it their "honor roll." They don' give numbers, just a list, which gets away from bickering and arbitrariness (although I suppose all rankings are arbitrary to some degree)</p>

<p>b. Their methodology uses students, the sites editors, and alumni to gauge schools in various categories.</p>

<p>And,
c. They actually include employment in there. To me, that speaks high volumes.</p>

<p>Although this is an arbitrary methodology (with obvious biases) it's an interesting look at universities for students who actually attend the schools and who can look back and see how the school helped (or didn't, i suppose) get them where they are. Here is the link:</p>

<p>Honors</a> Academy - Top 50 Undergraduate Programs | Vault.com</p>

<p>^Pretty interesting. Most of the names are ones I'd expect to be there though, and none jumped out as out of place to me. It's good to see a lot of lesser-known (but still prestigious to those in the know) schools ahead of some of the bigger name ones though! :)</p>

<p>Interesting that Emory is not on the list</p>

<p>First off, I like that this includes LACs. That helps put a lot into perspective.
Second. I would like to point out that Virginia has two public universities on this list. That is because we rock(jk).</p>

<p>
[quote}It's good to see a lot of lesser-known (but still prestigious to those in the know) schools ahead of some of the bigger name ones though! [quote]
</p>

<p>It was an alphabetical listing, not a ranking.</p>

<p>^Ah, darn. I should have caught that. :p</p>

<p>Happy to see my school getting some love! I'm waiting for the inevitable poster, though, who has to come and talk about how these rankings are wrong because they didn't playce HYPS or M clearly above the rest. Or something like that. Haha.</p>

<p>
[quote]
b. Their methodology uses students, the sites editors, and alumni to gauge schools in various categories.

[/quote]

Seems like they're biasing it towards their website users; given that the list is there for their users, it makes sense, but don't treat it like some master list.</p>

<p>
[quote]
c. They actually include employment in there. To me, that speaks high volumes.

[/quote]

They're really ambiguous about how they made the rankings; there are plenty of hard statistics out there about employment/ROI of different colleges, without having a ranking where a website says "we took it into account." </p>

<p>Actually, they say it was "academics, selectivity, quality of life, career services, social life and diversity." Looks like they base it on student scores, admit rate, some surveys, and racial breakdown. So no employment; "career services" is just a college office that helps students look for jobs.</p>

<p>Actually, the questions they ask are related to employment including where you work, the process, wages, how the school helped with that, are you happy with it, etc. etc.</p>

<p>So they cover an interesting range of things related to employment. Also, members of the vault don't do the survey. Rather, schools opt to participate in their surveys and than the schools send out email to a random set of students. I should know, I was asked to take their survey and I am NOT a member of the vault.</p>

<p>Their list is also combined from the past 6 years of data. Obviously it's not a "master list" but I found it to be a better gauge in measuring intangibles than other rankings/lists. And, I did say that these rankings (or rather, list) is biased like any other list/rankings.</p>

<p>This list has two schools that USNWR doesn't rank (Olin and Sarah Lawrence). Of the others, there are 29 universities and 19 LACs. 24 of this list's universities are in USNWR's top 29 ranked universities. 15 of this list's LACs are in USNWR's top 19 ranked LACs. The correlation between this list and USNWR's list of its top 29 Us and top 19 LACs is around .80. There's not much to argue with here.</p>

<p>Hmmm, interesting. Only 11 of the 50 schools listed (by my count) are west of the Mississippi River.</p>

<p>No bias here, nosiree.</p>

<p>Actually, only 25% of American colleges and universities are west of the Mississippi. 11 out of 50 is just about right.</p>

<p>Actually, there are 12. So that's 24%. I don't think that's really a bias at all. Idaho, Wyoming, New Mexico, Colorado, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Nevada, Arizona, North Dakota, South Dakota, etc. don't carry as many well known or academically competitive universities as in the eastern part of the United States or even California (for a state west of the Mississippi). These states make up a large portion of the area. So it seems pretty obvious. At least to me.</p>

<p>Surprises:
No Emory, no Vanderbilt,
but does have Sarah Lawrence, Tulane</p>

<p>I'd really like to know the specific formulas used to calculate the ranking.</p>

<p>Also, I find it interesting how Vault has decided to post their college reviews freely now.</p>