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Who are Tufts' Peers?

GreenIndianGreenIndian Registered User Posts: 96 Junior Member
This website track each colleges' self-reported list of its peers.


Tufts lists the following as its peers. Most are clearly aspirational (i.e."These are schools we wish we were peers of'.").

Boston C
Brown U
Columbia U
Cornell U
Dartmouth C
Duke U
Georgetown U
Johns Hopkins U
Northwestern U
U of Pennsylvania
Washington U in St. Louis

Of those above, interestingly only BC lists Tufts as a peer.

Below are those schools that list Tufts as a peer:

American U
Boston C
Boston U
Bowdoin C
Brandeis U
C of New Jersey
C of William and Mary
Clark U
Drexel U
George Washington U
Lehigh U
New York U
Northeastern U
Southern Methodist U
U of Phoenix, Jersey City
U of St. Thomas
Wake Forest U
Wellesley C
Wesleyan U
Worcester Polytechnic Institute

So who are Tufts peers? My suggestions are:

Brown ++
University of Rochester ++

++ most alike in terms of composition and finances

Interestingly Williams College lists these schools as its peers: Amherst, Bowdoin, Carleton, Dartmouth, Grinnell, Haverford, Middlebury, Pomona, Swarthmore, and Wesleyan. These make sense to me, While some are clearly not as highly ranked as Williams, they are all academically top notch and most are highly endowed.

More explanation here: http://chronicle.com/article/in-selecting-peers/134228/


Replies to: Who are Tufts' Peers?

  • Fiorucci76Fiorucci76 Registered User Posts: 79 Junior Member
    @GreenIndian Your seem to devote your postings on bashing Tufts - not a sour reject, by any chance?
    In any case, you don't seem like the Tufts type B-) so peace out
  • shawnspencershawnspencer Registered User Posts: 3,110 Senior Member
    I think peer is such a relative word that means many things that I think creating such lists are redundant.

    For instance, in terms of student body and academic caliber, Tufts seems to value quirkiness and creative thinking. In this sense the College of William and Mary and Carleton College could easily be peers.

    How would you measure which schools are peers? Peers could also be measured in endowment, research, professors, acceptance rate, stats of incoming students, relative location, similarity of school (ie. size), etc. I think that to be described as a peer college is such a broad term it doesn't surprise me that there are discrepancies between lists
  • b773wlzb773wlz Registered User Posts: 31 Junior Member
    Well evidently employers view Tufts as peer to those schools. Tufts mid-career is 115k, UPenn is 109k, Princeton is 121k. Those are pretty similar numbers.
  • MastadonMastadon Registered User Posts: 1,681 Senior Member
    @b773wiz - The ranking in your link is for 2013-2014 (last year).

    In this year's report, Tufts is ranked above all the Ivy League schools (which appear to be the benchmark for people who work in academia).


    If you filter the data by choosing to list only "private schools",

    then Tufts' list of "peers" is:

    #7 Tufts $123,600
    #16 Brown $114,500
    #19 UPenn $112,200
    #22 Cornell $111,100
    #31 Georgetown $108,200
    #32 Duke $108,000
    #33 Wash U $107,100
    #35 Dartmouth $104,700
    #44 Columbia $101,100
    #50 BC $100,200
    #55 JHop $98,900
    #58 Northwestern $98,400

  • MastadonMastadon Registered User Posts: 1,681 Senior Member
    and the @greenindian list of peers is:

    #3 Colgate $126,600
    #7 Tufts $123,600
    #16 Brown $114,500
    #22 Cornell $111,100
    #26 WPI $110,500
    #27 NYU Poly $110,400**
    #34 Lehigh $106,300
    #42 URoch $101,700
    #50 BC $100,200
    #54 CWR $99,400
    #61 GWU $98,100
    #70 NYU $95,700
    #98 Wesleyan $91,300
    #100 Brandeis $91,000

    ** I added NYU Poly because you could consider this the engineering school of NYU, which one could combine with the NYU number to get an aggregate for all of NYU.
  • MastadonMastadon Registered User Posts: 1,681 Senior Member
    edited May 2015
    If one wants to compare by subject, then one needs to go back to the 2013-2014 Payscale data set. During that year Tufts only had two subjects whose sample sizes were big enough to meet Payscale's criteria for statistical significance
    1. Engineering
    2. Art & Design
    (In 2014-2015 the sample size for no subjects met this criteria)

    For engineering, In the Northeast, Tufts was second to the US Miltary Academy and ahead of both MIT and Harvard.

    Here are the ranks form schools listed as peers

    #4 Tufts $125,500
    #11 Northwestern $119,000
    #12 Cornell $118,00
    #15 Wash U $117,500


    For Art & Design (many of the top schools are specialty design schools)

    #1 Cornell $107,500
    #5 NYU $83,600 (from greenindian's list)
    #8 WashU $80,000
    #18 Tufts $73,000

  • GreenIndianGreenIndian Registered User Posts: 96 Junior Member
    Oh Mastadon, your fondness for cherry-picking Payscale data in support of bolstering Tufts knows no bounds.

    Let's look at the latest Payscale rankings which has Tufts at #60 on College ROI and let's look at Tufts' close company.


    Here they are:

    56. Berkeley College, NY
    57. Texas A&M
    58. Washington & Lee
    59. Milwaukee School of Engineering
    60. Tufts
    61. UCal - San Diego
    62. UMass - Lowell
    63. Cooper Union
    64. VPI

    Would you say that these schools are peers of Tufts?

    Do yourself and the readers here a favor. Go calculate the endowment per capita of those schools Tufts believes are its peers (Tufts is not even close) and those I listed (much, much closer).
  • gondalineNJgondalineNJ Registered User Posts: 415 Member
    Oh, GreenIndian, your fixation on Tufts (for reasons you refuse to reveal) knows no bounds...

    Cherry-picking data is the reason CC exists, right? Like most top schools, Tufts does quite well on some metrics, less well on others. It holds its own impressively despite the relative shortage of boosters and traffic on this site (and its poor endowment---common knowledge already for anyone who's done their homework). A few of its peers might be aspirational, but can you say that other schools' aren't? And why does this bother you so?

    Lets call this thread and others you've started for what it actually is. You seem to want to elucidate a Tufts-related matter in your threads, but you bring up nothing fresh or actually helpful. They feel more like traps. Please do YOUR readers a favor and tell us about this thorn in your side.
  • SlitheyToveSlitheyTove Registered User Posts: 6,348 Senior Member
    The original 2012 article (not the linked infographic in the OP -- see http://chronicle.com/article/in-selecting-peers/134228/ which is at the bottom of the OP but easy to overlook) is titled, "In Selecting Peers for Comparison's Sake, Colleges Look Upward". It's an interesting read. Some humor:
    The University of Phoenix's Jersey City campus selected 74 four-year colleges as peers, including six Ivy League institutions. (It left out Brown University and the University of Pennsylvania.)

    And some "who'd a thunk?"
    Members of the Ivy League are not the only sought-after comparison institutions. The most commonly selected peer institution was one of the most selective liberal-arts colleges in the country: Carleton College, which was chosen 61 times. Tied for second were Oberlin College and Davidson College, with 56 selections each.

    A reminder of the formal reasons for selecting peers:
    Each year colleges submit "comparison groups" to the U.S. Department of Education to get feedback on how their institution stacks up in terms of finances, enrollment, and other measures tabulated in the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System.

    Though we certainly used IPEDS during both college searches in the Tove household, I tend to think of Tufts peers in terms of the other schools that D1 had on her college application list. Tufts was her #1 choice (ED), so the rest of her list bore some similarities. From the OP, Brown, GWU and Wesleyan are therefore on my personal Tufts peer list; Brandeis and Rochester sort of are because she toured them but didn't like them enough to apply--but clearly saw some overlap.

    D2's college didn't select peers. Odd.

    No idea why the OP posted this to the Tufts thread when it's really of general interest. A pity that the OP's historical hostility towards Tufts on this forum and others is apparently preventing him/her from starting a more far-reaching discussion of the article's implications.

  • YogSothothYogSothoth Registered User Posts: 102 Junior Member
    I'm a wandering UChicagoan and I always thought our schools were fairly similar in a lot of ways. Quirky students, urban but still a bit distant from downtown setting, great academics, small undergraduate school but bigger than a LAC, non-Ivy and proud. Good friend of mine goes to Tufts and I can easily see him fitting in here.
  • MastadonMastadon Registered User Posts: 1,681 Senior Member

    @greenindian both you and your friend @balletgirl from Dartmouth appear to be confusing the Payscale mid career salary report with the Payscale ROI report. I provided the latest data for the former while the two of you provided old data for the latter. Note that it is the mid career report results that Dartmouth has been advertising since 2008. The ROI report has not been around as long and the methodology is somewhat controversial and changes every year.

    Back in the early days of the report, Dartmouth promoted the result (highest mid career salary and second to lowest early career salary in the Ivy League) as evidence of their graduates "doing well by doing good" with the lower early career salary a result of a large number of graduates going into the Peace Corps.

    Here is all the data for mid career salary and Peace Corps. The trends are even more interesting than the latest data.
    Balletgirl must have made her college decision around the time of the 2010 or 2011 report.

    Mid career salary rank

    2008...........1....................no data

    Peace Corp rank

    2008..........no data.........no data

    Here are the Dartmouth articles promoting the results

  • prezbuckyprezbucky Registered User Posts: 4,299 Senior Member
    edited June 2015
    I have Tufts' true peers as:

    Boston College

    To me the formula is simple: perceived academic quality + quality of student body.

    And I like to keep private universities, public universities, and LACs separate.

    I think that BC, NYU and USC arguably have better (at least better-known) academics, but Tufts really is working hard on that end. And Tufts also is working hard at getting top-notch students.

    The group just above Tufts comprises Emory, Notre Dame, Georgetown, and CMU.

    The group just below Tufts comprises URochester, BU, Brandeis, Case Western, Northeastern, Tulane and Wake Forest (perhaps among others).

    I consider all of the above to be awesome schools with paper-thin differences in quality - if any - between them. I'm - we're - splitting hairs.
  • mauswamauswa Registered User Posts: 167 Junior Member
    @prezbucky- good post. I agree that many of the differences are miniscule.In addition, it's difficult to quantify the campus vibe of a school. I am a graduate of Dartmouth and took my daughter there twice for visits. She just "wasn't feeling it". We took her to Tufts and after 30 minutes she said "this is it". One other point, I'm not at all sure I would consider BC's academics superior to Tufts, particularly in science and math. I don't think they even have a real engineering program.
  • CHD2013CHD2013 Registered User Posts: 2,528 Senior Member
    edited June 2015
    I have Tufts' true peers as:

    Boston College

    FWIW, Naviance from the high school in my town tells a very different story. NYU and USC are much less selective. The average stats of kids accepted to Tufts are 95.3 GPA and 2170 SATs. At USC, the comparable numbers are 93.5 and 2120. At NYU they are 93.0 and 2086. Cornell, Wash U and Hamilton seem more like peers from a numbers perspective.
    The group just above Tufts comprises Emory . . .

    The stats for Emory are 93.6 and 2110; from these numbers Emory seems to be in the group just below Tufts.

    Btw, I totally understand that this is just one school and its applicants; I am not making the argument that these numbers prove anything at all.

  • b773wlzb773wlz Registered User Posts: 31 Junior Member
    FWIW I live in Massachusetts, so Tufts' is more well known here than out of the state. Most people at school would probably put Tufts above Emory, since there are many who haven't even heard of it. Most would also put it above CMU and USC as well. It seems like peers are Georgetown and Cornell looking at the stats on our Naviance and the stats for the nation as a whole. This year Cornell was 15%, GTown 16%, and Tufts 16%.
This discussion has been closed.