WSJ College Rankings

WSJ Rankings The 2024 Best Colleges in America: Princeton, MIT and Yale Take Top Spots - WSJ

Have not read in detail, but generally like their outcome based approach.




Value added is at least conceptually a better measure than selectivity.

That said, they have to do everything at the median/average. Like, they look at median graduate earnings relative to a model of expected graduate earnings, and median graduate earnings relative to that state’s median HS graduate earnings in relation to average cost of attendance.

But of course what really matters is YOUR cost of attendance. And your satisfaction of future goals, which may not be captured by earnings well at all.

So I remain deeply skeptical about generic rankings. Still, it is nice to get people at least thinking a little differently about what would be a good college for them, even if to do it properly they would have to do it specifically as to them.


Yup, slow Wednesday. Stirring this pot is always fun.


I also like the outcomes based approach.
However, it doesn’t appear that they controlled for major (at least not from what I can tell from a quick skim of their methodology).


I agree. :+1:t3:


Yes, that was my question too. Without controlling for major, it seems like outcome focused methodologies strongly favor institutions that skew more engineering, CS, pre-professional, etc., and against schools that skew artists, teachers, etc (which is why many LAC’s do poorly in such rankings). The world needs both buckets, but if economic outcomes are the measure of success, there would only be room for the former.

Perhaps their methodology controls for this, but it sounds like you didn’t see that it did.


As always, the best ranking methodology is the one that puts your school on top. Otherwise, the ranking is highly suspect. Right?


The University of Florida and the New Jersey Institute of Technology are the highest-ranking public schools—both cracked the top 20 overall, at No. 15 and No. 19, respectively.

The question is will UF be able to keep that spot given the educational turmoil the state is currently experiencing.


They acknowledge that this methodology favors STEM and business focused programs. It should be noted though that Amherst (8), Claremont (9) and Swat(11) cracked the top 20.

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Yes. I sorted by just salary impact, and Claremont was 8, Amherst 19, and Swat 41.

So Amherst and (especially) Swat must have scored quite well on the other factors to have moved up so much in the overall relative to salary impact.

I think the editors at WSJ had their thumb on the scale. They have a political agenda they are trying to push.


I will tell ya. Babson, Rose Hulman and Illinois institute of Technology, all great schools will do major media blitzes with this information


Columbia above Harvard - so looks about right :wink:
I’m glad the WSJ apparently has access to better information than US News.

But seriously, nice to see the shoutout to colleges such as NJIT. Always good to reassure parents/high-schoolers (and their grand-parents) that there are other schools that can “produce” for them.


Do rankings not named US News help schools - i.e. grow admissions and enhance their student bodies.

#10 Babson
#14 Lehigh
#15 UF - ahead of Duke
#17 Rose Hulman
#19 NJIT - which we always see as a local safety to Rutgers.

Yes, there are major based impacts - but the list is vastly different than US News - interesting to see if schools can successfully leverage it.

Will we be seeing kids saying - forget Cornell, I want to study engineering at RHIT!!

Forget UM and IU - I want to study business at Babson!!


This article gets into the distinction between income and wealth-building as a “result” which I also appreciate conceptually. Wealth building of course at least implicitly take into account cost, debt, etc.

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They are? I’m so deluded by being on here…where people are tripping over themselves to spend ungodly sums of money to get to the ‘it’ place.


I suspect in the USNWR ranking is the only one that has any ability to motivate the decisions of some students and parents. Most people that have anything to do with the college process has at least heard of it and I think most people haven’t heard of the rest of these, outside a very small circle. They are like flies buzzing around the elephant in comparison. That’s not a critique of their value or quality versus USNWR of course, or an endorsement that anyone should be paying attention to USNWR. Just the reality. And that in turn is why colleges go to so much trouble to play to try and play to the strengths of the USNWR methodology.

None of which will stop these colleges from touting good rankings wherever they can get them.


And Lake Forest College too…at #27!

Some notable schools missing from this ranking of the top 400 schools:

U Richmond
Loyola Maryland
University of San Diego
Trinity University (TX)

My guess is that families who look beyond USNWR probably look at multiple surveys and rankings and may dig into schools more. They probably will look at outcomes by major, including things like success in graduate/professional school placement in addition to job placement and starting salary.

As large of investment as college is these days, there should be standardized disclosure on outcomes that every school provides, such as median starting salary by major, employment rate by major, grad/professional school placement by major (and what the median GPA/GRE/MCAT/LSAT/GMAT scores were for the successful candidates).

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