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The 2016-17 Gagnon Composite Ranking (GCR) of the Top U.S. Colleges

 4/30/17 (and ongoing)

compiled by Robert A. J. Gagnon, Ph.D.

 

As has often (and rightly) been pointed out, the best college or university is the one that is the best fit for a given prospective student. The school with the greatest prestige, the biggest endowment, the most resources, the greatest financial aid, the highest achieving student body, the highest retention and graduation rates, the faculty with the most academic awards and publications, the smallest faculty-to-student ratios, and the alumni with the highest average salary is not necessarily going to be the best fit for every student. (Although that may sound tongue-in-cheek, let not my readers take it as such.)

Lists cannot account for a number of variables in the equation for determining the right fit for a given student. Location (especially proximity to one’s home) may be more important to a student’s needs than various other assets of high-end colleges. Moreover, any given prospective student may thrive more in a less academically competitive environment (the big-fish-in-a-little-pond phenomenon). Increasingly in our culture there is this factor: A religiously or politically conservative student may prosper more and experience much less unhealthy stress and hostility in an academic environment (and student body) more congenial to his or her own views. (I am speaking as someone who, though religiously and politically conservative, did not take that route in my student days.) For that matter, a morally weak student can be harmed by the sexually loose lifestyle and the one-sided left-wing tilt (did I say tilt? I meant pell-mell headlong drive) of the vast majority of colleges and universities today, including the most highly rated ones.

Many of the best (and worst) institutions of the country are increasingly bent on restricting the free speech and free thought of those with more “traditional” views. Classrooms can become hostile environments and social life in such institutions lonely, if one cannot connect with groups that share an ideological (moral, religious, political, social) affinity. Apart from all this, a potential applicant’s presumed major or career objective may dispose him or her to a generally less prestigious institution of higher learning that happens to be a strong match for his or her set of interests. In some cases professors who have not published extensively may spend more time both mentoring students and developing teaching skills (though there is some correlation between publications and teaching content). In short, the “optimal learning environment” can vary greatly from one student to the next.

So even if a “best colleges” list or lists accurately reflected what were the best colleges from the standpoint of a limited set of criteria, it would not necessarily pose a fait accompli for the potential applicant: “I have to apply to the top schools! I just have to apply!”

As it is, lists are far from perfect indicators of what the overall best schools are (even judged from limited criteria). Lists differ in significant ways from each other, depending on what elements a given list stresses. Lists that factor in the opinions of others (college administrators, alumni, current students) are rampant with subjectivity (though a school's reputation cannot be discounted in hiring and grad school admissions).

Some schools have learned how to manipulate rankings through various means ranging from outright lying to fudging data (for example, not reporting the test scores of international students) or altering data through unscrupulous admissions practices (for example, encouraging large numbers of students to apply who have little or no hope of being admitted, as a means to improving the institution’s admissions selectivity; or wait-listing large numbers of students whom the admissions office believes will go elsewhere, so as not to damage yield rates). Critiques of college rankings (particularly US News) are legion. Go here, here, here, here, and here for some online examples. Indeed, the compilers of “best colleges” lists often critique the deficiencies of other lists.

That having been said, lists of “best colleges” have their benefits (don’t think that I didn’t give serious consideration to putting my title’s “top colleges” in quotation marks). For all their differences, there is a general recognition that some schools typically rise toward the top because of name recognition, resources, and overall academic quality. A composite list such as the one provided here can minimize the biases and idiosyncrasies of any one list. Lists provide a general consensus, backed up with some hard data, regarding which schools are more likely to provide quality education.

One can’t visit or give careful scrutiny to every school. Lists of “best colleges” (and, I think, especially this composite list) can help students narrow down their search and perhaps elevate their vision of the kind of institutions that they might dare to consider. Even though I came from a low-income family with little post-secondary education experience (neither of my parents completed a college education), I found that attending academically high-end schools provided me with various benefits that I don’t think I would have received had I attended less challenging institutions (fair disclosure: I have a B.A. from Dartmouth, a masters from Harvard, and a Ph.D. from Princeton Theological Seminary which, incidentally, is not part of Princeton University though they share a historical relationship).

While being a big fish in a small pond may have its benefits, so too does being in an academically challenging environment where the overall quality of professors and fellow students can raise one’s standards of intellectual inquiry. Increasingly, too, some of the most prestigious colleges and universities are also becoming the most inexpensive for students whose parents make less than $100,000 per year.

I make use of ten “best colleges” lists, each of which has a particular focus (the reader may also find helpful the nicely diagrammed presentation of various rankings made by the people at College Choice):

(1) The US News and World Report “Best College Rankings” (2017 [issued Sept. 13, 2016]), the most widely known ranking and one of the most complex, is distinctive for the attention it gives to undergraduate “academic reputation,” in addition to the usual treatment of retention and graduation rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, and financial resources (also alumni contributions as a mark of satisfaction). For all its benefits it does not evaluate the amount of financial aid that a school gives, nor the average salary of graduates.

(2) College Choice (2016) is a simpler list that gives equal attention to the academic reputation (using the survey results of US News), financial aid, the overall cost of a school, and the average starting salary for graduates. The good people at College Choice provided me with unpublished material that extended their ranking beyond the top 50 national research universities and the top 50 liberal arts colleges.

(3) Forbes “America’s Top [650] Colleges 2016 Ranking” uses a fairly detailed set of parameters to assess not “what gets a student into college” (an implicit slam on US News) but rather “what are students getting out of college.” They consider various markers that demonstrate student satisfaction and both academic and post-graduate success, in addition to student debt and the 4-year graduation rate.

(4) The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Ranking (2017) is an important new ranking list. Unfortunately, it does not take into account a college’s financial aid or net cost. Touted as its distinctive factor is the 20% given to Engagement, most of which (17%) is drawn from answers to THE US Student Survey online of more than 100,000 students that asks students to answer an online survey of twelve questions on multiple choice or a scale of zero to ten* (the final 3% is “the number of different subjects taught” at the college; source: IPEDS). Of the remaining three sections, 40% is allotted to Outcomes, which involves graduation rates (11%; source: IPEDS), “value added to graduate salary” 10 years after entering college (12%) and “value added to the loan repayment rate” as a percentage of “students who have repaid some portion of their loans” (7%),** and “academic reputation” (10%; “based on Times Higher Education’s annual Academic Reputation Survey, a survey of leading scholars”). Then 30% is allotted to Resources, including “the amount of money each institution spends on teaching per student,” both undergraduate and graduate programs (11%; source: IPEDS), “the ratio of students to faculty members” (11%; source: IPEDS), and “the number of published scholarly research papers [source: Elsevier] per faculty [source: IPEDS]” 2011-2015 (8%). Finally, 10% is allotted to Environment, comprising “the proportion of international students” (2%; IPEDS), student “racial and ethnic diversity” (3%; source: IPEDS), “the inclusion of students with lower family earnings” (2%; “the proportion of students that are first generation students as reported in College Scorecard” and “the proportion that receives Pell Grants … as reported in IPEDS”), and “the racial and ethnic diversity of the faculty” (3%; source: IPEDS). There are various reasons why some colleges could be excluded from the rankings (e.g., fewer than 1000 students enrolled or lacking at least 50 students who responded to their online survey).

*To assess (a) “engagement with learning” (7%), four questions are asked: “To what extent does the student’s college or university support critical thinking…; to what extent does the teaching support reflection upon, or making connections among the things the student has learned …; to what extent does the teaching support applying the student’s learning to the real world …; and finally, to what extent did the classes taken in college challenge the student….” (b) To assess “interaction with teachers and students” (4%) two questions are asked: “To what extent did the student have the opportunity to interact with faculty and teachers…; and to what extent does the college provide opportunities for collaborative learning….” (c) To assess “student recommendation” (6%) one question is asked: “If a friend or family member were considering going to university, based on your experience, how likely or unlikely are you to recommend your college or university to them?”

**One problem here is that the figures are derived from the U.S. Department of Education's College Scorecard, which reports only on students who have received federal aid (federal loans or Pell grants), which at many high-end schools will represent only a very small percentage of graduates (e.g., at Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, and Yale the percentage of students receiving federal Pell grants and/or federal student loans is between 9-18%), though nationally 70% of graduating students receive federal loans or Pell grants. Another problem is “value added,” by which is meant not the actual salary and loan repayment rate “in absolute terms” but how these figures exceed or fall below “expected” figures, predicted (dubiously in my view) from “a wide range of factors, such as the make-up of its students and the characteristics of the institution.” The purpose of a “value added” assessment is to avoid “rewarding” an institution for attracting first-rate students would be likely to succeed at almost any institution of higher learning.

(5) Not surprisingly, Money’s 736 “Best Colleges (2016-17)” gives special attention to assessing graduates’ earnings (through various measures), alongside the quality of the education (graduation rates, peer and instructor quality) and affordability (net price of college for all and for low-income families in particular; also debt at graduation, loan default odds).

(6) College Factual’s 1388 “Best Colleges” list (2017), which is backed by USA Today, pays special attention to standardized test scores of the freshman class, retention and graduation rates, and the student loan default rate, alongside educational resources (faculty compensation, expenditures per student, student-to-faculty ratio, percent of full-time teachers) and alumni salaries.

(7) College Raptor’s “50 Best Colleges” (2017) is extended to 300 schools in a “raw” list that is regularly updated. Particular focus is given in this list to retention and graduation rates, alongside SAT/ACT scores, average faculty salary, student-to-faculty ratio, selectivity index, and endowment per student.  The raw list was last checked on 9/16/16.

(8) Kiplinger’s 300 “Best College Values” (2017) is (as the name suggests) notable for the significant weight (almost half) that it gives to a school’s affordability (net price and student indebtedness). It also evaluates admission and yield rates, SAT/ACT scores, retention and graduation rates, and the student-to-faculty ratio.

(9) Niche’s top 100 “Best Colleges” list (2017) extends to a top 250 and indeed a top 1164 schools when individual searches are done. Distinctive to Niche is the weight given to student and alumni surveys from nearly 90,000 unique Niche users. These surveys are merged with data from the acceptance rate, average loan amounts, alumni earnings, faculty awards, student-faculty ratio, diversity (ethnic diversity and the proportion of out-of-state and international students), safety, athletics, campus food and housing, and the quality of the local area.

(10) The PayScale “College ROI Report” (2016) evaluates schools based on the single consideration: the 20-year net return on investment. This is the difference between the 20-year median pay for a 2014 Bachelor’s graduate (with no higher degree) and the 24-year median pay for a 2014 high school graduate, minus the total 4-year cost of attending the college for a graduate of 2014. Schools that have strong engineering programs and other lucrative “technical” fields of study typically do well here; liberal arts colleges without such focus generally do not, although there are notable exceptions. Obviously, educating students in lucrative occupations is not the only mark of a quality education but for many it is a vital consideration. The accuracy of such a method is questionable, given that it is not a scientific random sampling of alumni but a gathering of data from employers and employees who go to PayScale’s website to find out what is appropriate compensation for certain professions; moreover, the sample size is often extremely small. Still, a better mechanism for estimating the return on college investment does not yet exist. One has the option to assess the total 4-year cost “without” or “with” financial aid; I chose “with.”

Other lists that readers might want to check include:

Best Colleges’ “Top 50 Colleges & Universities in America for 2016” is distinctive in giving attention to “the quality of life offered by the city or town it is located in” (accounting for almost a third of the rating: cost of living index, median age of residents, median household income, and percentage of residents with a bachelor’s degree or higher). The list also takes into account the school’s net price, the average salary of graduates, the school’s acceptance and yield rates, student/faculty ratio, and the school’s retention and graduation rates. The limitation to 50 colleges has made it difficult to include results for a list almost three times that size.

Business Insider’s “The 50 best colleges in America” (2016) is improved significantly over its 2015 list where it used just three stats: 50% to a survey of over 1,000 Business Insider readers; 25% to the average SAT scores; and 25% to the median starting salaries of graduates. Now six indicators are used, totaling 10.5 points, mostly gathered from the Department of Education College Scorecard Data: 3 points for “graduation rate within four years”; 2 each for “median earnings of students working and not enrolled” 6 and 10 years “after entry”; 2 for student life experience, as measured by Niche (“campus quality, diversity, party scene, student retention, safety, and athletics”); 1 for “full-time retention rate in 2014”; and .5 each for “average annual net cost,” “percent admitted,” and “average SAT score.” I did not make use of the list because it is limited to the top 50 and the authors were previously unwilling to supply data beyond that. Here are there results: 1. Princeton. 2. Harvard. 3. Yale. 4. Stanford. 5. Vanderbilt. 6. MIT. 7. UPenn. 8. Rice. 9. UVirginia. 10. Columbia. 11. Georgetown. 12. UMichigan. 13. Notre Dame. 14. UCal Berkeley. 15. Cornell. 16. Duke. 17. Washington U in St. Louis. 18. Colgate. 19. UCLA. 20. Brown. 21. Bowdoin. 22. Washington & Lee. 23. UChicago. 24. U Southern Cal. 25. Northwestern. 26. Emory. 27. Tufts. 28. U North Carolina. 29. UMaryland. 30. Claremont McKenna. 31. Dartmouth. 32. Pomona. 33. Boston College. 34. URichmond. 5. Davidson. 36. Johns Hopkins. 37. Lehigh. 38. Boston U. 39. Santa Clara U. 40. Williams. 41. Caltech. 42. Middlebury. 43. UIllinois. 44. Bucknell. 45. UFlorida. 46. Amherst. 47. New York U. 48. George Washington U. 49. Hamilton. 50. Babson.

Value Colleges’ “Top 50 Best Value Colleges of 2015” simply takes (1) the 20-year net ROI from Payscale.com (above, though using 2014 figures) and combines it with (2) average debt statistics from the Princeton Review 2013 Best Value Colleges report and (3) IPEDS 6-year graduation rate statistics. I dropped it for the same reasons that I dropped Business Insider’s list.

The Washington Monthly college ranking (2015) is an ‘outlier ranking’ that puts the emphasis not so much on how much a university or college benefits any given enrolled student as on what schools give back to society. This involves three components: (a) Social mobility, defined as “recruiting and graduating low-income students” (determined by the percentage of Pell grant recipients) at a reasonable price (a “cost-adjusted graduation measure” defined as the difference between the “actual” and “predicted”  graduation rates, divided by the net price of attendance); (b) Service, measured by the number of alumni serving the Peace Corps, the size of the ROTC program, and the percentage of federal work-study grant money spent on community service projects; and (c) Research, based on the amount of research spending, the number of science and engineering PhDs awarded, the proportion of alumni who have gone on to receive a PhD, the proportion of faculty receiving prestigious awards and having membership in national academies.

I had two main problems with the list that led me to drop it. First, it was difficult to make use of the separate list for liberal arts colleges because the five research categories used to evaluate national research universities were scaled down to two for liberal arts colleges. Even the best liberal arts colleges cannot match the top 200 research universities in research expenditure and PhDs awarded (and perhaps also faculty awards and academy memberships). Second, I had serious reservations about using the WM ranking for helping students to assess which are the best schools to send an application. Schools that have low graduation rates are rewarded over schools with high graduation rates because it is easier for the former to exceed a low predicted graduation rate. As far as net price is concerned, there is no factoring in of the “free ride” that many Ivy League schools offer students with family income low enough to qualify for Pell grants. Furthermore, why having a larger number of students in ROTC or of alumni serving in the Peace Corps makes a school a more attractive choice to an applicant is not clear, particularly since such involvement will always account for only a small percentage of the total student body and alumni. Frankly, there is something wrong with a list that rates UCal San Diego first, UCal Riverside second, and Texas A&M third among national universities while ranking Princeton twenty-sixth, Duke thirty-first, UPenn thirty-seventh, Yale forty-forth, Caltech forty-seventh, Columbia forty-ninth, UChicago fifty-fifth, Dartmouth sixty-forth, Northwestern one-hundred-sixth, and Brown one-hundred-thirteenth.

As regards how I tallied the cumulative scores, I began by dropping a non-ranking score (whether because of insufficient data or because the school ranked below the list’s limited number of schools); if all lists ranked the school in question, I did a strikethrough of the largest (i.e. worst) number, the negative outlier. This left nine scores to add. If all ten lists ranked the school in question I put that cumulative score in parentheses. When a school had a higher (worse) number with one dropped list than another school but a lower (better) number when no lists were dropped, I generally resolved the problem by assessing which school “won” the most head-on comparisons in mutually shared lists. When there was a tie I compared each school’s SAT and ACT scores. There were further qualifications:

(1) The reader will notice that I first add the two scores from US News and College Choice, then multiply by two; for liberal arts colleges I then add an additional 30. Why? Both rankings have two separate lists for research universities and liberal arts colleges. There is no perfect way of merging each of the two lists into one each. For research universities I decided to multiply the ranking for a given school by two in order to adjust for incorporation into a list that also contained liberal arts colleges. For liberal arts colleges I not only multiplied by two but also added 15 points to each of the two lists. I did so because I found that rankings in a list of liberal arts colleges averaged 15.8 points higher (better) than the average rating for the same school in composite lists consisting of both national research universities and liberal arts colleges. In other words liberal arts colleges on average drop 15.8 points lower on composite lists than do national research universities.

(2) I did not drop the scores from US News, College Choice, Forbes, and WSJ/THE even if they were among the worst scores. This was in part a nod to the significance of the US News, Forbes, and WSJ/THE ratings systems and in part a way of coping with the division between universities and colleges drawn by both US News and College Choice.

(3) A “t” after a given number indicates a tie with one or more other schools in a given list. It does not get carried over into the final cumulative tally.

(4) There is the thorny question of how to evaluate public state schools that give a much-reduced tuition rate to in-state students. Of the nine rankings lists consulted here, four did not factor in net price (average cost after financial aid) as a consideration of a school’s ranking (Forbes, College Factual, College Raptor, Niche). For these rankings obviously the issue of in-state cost vs. out-of-state cost is irrelevant. However, for the remaining five rankings the issue is relevant. Of these, two used out-of-state net price: US News and of Kiplinger’s combined rankings. Two made use of the in-state net price: College Choice (confirmed in email correspondence with CC) and Money. The PayScale College ROI Report offers both an in-state rank and an out-of-state rank. I used the out-of-state rank in PayScale ROI for ordering public/state universities but in each case note as well what the ranking of the given school would be if the in-state PayScale ROI rank were adopted. The GCR is thus a composite of both rankings that factor in-state net price for public universities and rankings that factor out-of-state net price. There are good arguments for both methods of evaluating cost. In favor of an in-state consideration is the fact that the overwhelming majority of students at public state schools are in-state (e.g., at UCal Berkeley, 85% of the students are in-state). In favor of an out-of-state pricing is the fact that a comparison is being made with national private universities and colleges. If public universities are to be treated as national universities, they ought to be evaluated on an out-of-state basis. Potential applicants will be able to get (at most) one or two in-state prices for the roughly 50 public universities included in this list. It is unhelpful to clutter a list with rankings based in part on net prices of which only a tiny percentage of the national applicant pool can take advantage.

 

Finally, after the ratings I provided additional information about each school that allows readers to make their own assessments:

(1) The standardized test scores of the enrolled Class of 2019 that entered in Fall 2015 (where unavailable, I substitute the test scores for the Class of 2018 that matriculated in Fall 2014).  

(Note that I do not indicate what percent of enrolled students graduated in the top 10% and 25% of their high school. The reason for this is that generally fewer than half of the enrolled students at top schools come from high schools that provide a class rank.)

(2) Information about the school’s selectivity: acceptance rate, yield, and selectivity index. The selectivity index is really a desirability index, reflecting how much students want to get in the school by dividing the acceptance rate by the enrollment (yield) rate.

(3) The net price of the school after scholarship and grant aid was deducted from the total cost, not only for the average student but also for low-income students. The figures come from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) College Navigator site and at an individual school's website (commonly through their Common Data Set). Note that I have adjusted each school's data to correspond to a standard figure for variable expenses (books and supplies, personal expenses, and travel): $4500. I do this because the estimates for these expenses at each school vary widely from $1500 to over $5000. Institutions that drastically underestimate these expenses publish much lower net prices than warranted, thereby radically skew their net price ranking relative to other institutions. A standard figure for variable expenses eliminates that problem.

(4) The average student debt at graduation and default rates (the latter as another indication of excessive debt burden).

(5) A series of pertinent figures: the retention rate after the first year; the 4- and 6-year graduation rates; the number of students enrolled in the Classes of 2018 and (where data exists) 2019, along with the total student population figure (including any graduate-school students) and the total undergraduate-only population; the student/faculty ratio; and the school’s endowment with its overall ranking in three measures (total endowment; endowment per student [undergraduate + any graduate students]; endowment per undergraduate).

(6) The percentage and number of African American students in the freshman class, as a vital indicator of the school’s ethnic diversity (where possible, distinguishing between African-American students who identify solely as such, denoted by an asterisk, and African-American students who identify as TOMR [two or more races]).

(7) The earning potential of students as measured by early career and mid-career average salaries determined by PayScale ("Bachelor's Only," not "All Alumni"). As with the PayScale ROI used in the rankings, PayScale Salary has sampling problems. These problems result in the ranking of some schools swinging wildly from year to year when the number of persons from a given school who visit PayScale’s website and fill out its required questionnaire is relatively small.

(8) At the end I supply world rankings, which taken as a composite listing will often look very different from the U.S. national rankings (though Harvard is still 1st, not only in terms of relative placement of U.S. schools but also in the world). The differences are due to a difference in variables. World rankings do not take into account a university’s selectivity (which foreign universities don’t measure; even if they did, they obviously don’t make use of SAT and ACT scores). Nor do they evaluate earning potential (there are obvious difficulties in such comparisons across different cultures). Instead they typically focus on such things as global reputation, the number of articles published by faculty (particularly in top science journals) and (to a lesser extent) books, citations of such publications globally by other researchers, major awards won by faculty (e.g., Nobel prizes, Field Medals in Mathematics), PhDs awarded, and internationals among staff and students (see, for example, the methodology of Times Higher Education and US News). These variables, including an emphasis on quantity, put nearly all small U.S. liberal arts colleges at a distinct disadvantage in relation to research universities, resulting in the former’s rare appearance on world lists. The variables also favor universities that have a heavy focus on engineering and science, which explains why MIT and Cal Tech beat out Princeton. As with some U.S. listings (notably USNews) there are complaints about subjectivity in factoring reputation. The Times Higher Education (London) did a list jointly with QS (Quacquarelli Symonds, also a London-based corporation; they specialize in study abroad) from 2004 to 2009 (with QS providing the data), then split off from QS because of complaints of too much reliance on subjective reputation assessments by QS (surveys of academics and recruiters account for 50% of the rating). THE now collaborates with Thomson Reuters for data collection (academic reputation still accounts for 15% weighting). The THE World University Rankings is generally viewed with the highest regard. Since 2011 THE has also put out a World Reputation Rankings which surveys over 13,000 academics in over 130 countries (“the world's largest invitation-only academic opinion survey”). US News launched its Best Global Universities ranking in 2014 as the first such US ranking. They too make use of data from Thomson Reuters. 

 

Finally, immediately after a photograph of each school I have included a short introduction that does four things:

(1) Summarizes the best and worst scores among the thirteen rankings lists.

(2) Compares each school to the list of schools that precedes it in the GCR.

(3) Mentions any recent concerns about whether the school in question is a hostile environment for students with convervative-to-moderate religious or political beliefs, recognizing that the vast majority of schools on this list are left-of-center to hard-left-of-center.

(4) Gives the evaluation of FIRE (Foundation for Individual Rights in Education) as to whether the school in question has implemented speech codes that violate the rights of students, staff, and faculty. According to their website, "the mission of FIRE is to defend and sustain individual rights at America’s colleges and universities. These rights include freedom of speech, legal equality, due process, religious liberty, and sanctity of conscience—the essential qualities of individual liberty and dignity." A link is provided to additional information about the individual college with regard not only to speech codes but also to campus incidents that threaten freedom of speech, due process, and religious liberty. Less than 25 schools receive FIRE's highest speech code rating (a green light) and only a handful of these are among the GCR top 130: University of Pennsylvania, Carnegie Mellon University, College of William and Mary, University of Virginia, University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill), Purdue University, and University of Florida.

(5) Gives where available the 2016 “Campus Pride” Index rating (from 0 to 5 stars) designating how “LGBTQ-friendly” a given school is and whether it made the 2015 Campus Pride Top 25 List of LGBTQ-Friendly Colleges & Universities. For Campus Pride the higher the score, the better the institution. For religiously and/or politically conservative-to-moderate persons, a high score is a sign not only of an institution’s promotion of sexually immoral behavior and of its dishonoring of the gendered self (a denial of the fundamental reality in nature that the only true sexual counterpart to a man is a woman and to a woman a man), but also of its oppressive intolerance toward those who believe in the importance of sexual complementarity for marriage and in the integrity of one’s birth sex. Such institutions typically foster a hostile environment, equating moral qualms about homosexual practice and so-called transgenderism with racism. The usual result is a denial of freedom of speech and thought, religious liberty, and due process. It can also surface in practices of coercive indoctrination, shaming, ostracism, and various sanctions for alleged bias and unreasonably broad interpretations of what constitutes harassment. This intimidation may occur in classrooms, regular convocations, media, and casual conversations.

     The fact that schools such as Columbia, Amherst, and Bowdoin (4 stars each; all institutions known for their intense zeal in promoting the homosexual and transgender cause) didn't make Campus Pride's Top 25 list indicates just how extreme a school has to be in order to reach that unhallowed position. It requires unceasing recruitment, indoctrination, special resourcing, and sanctions. Note too that many universities and colleges that are obviously avid in promoting homosexualism and transgenderism are not listed in Campus Pride's Index database at all (including Harvard, Stanford, Yale, Brown, Dartmouth, Vanderbilt, Swarthmore; only a little over 200 schools are assessed). This merely indicates that they didn't fill out the necessary paperwork to receive a rating. So absence from the top 25 list or from the Index is most often not an indicator that the school does not push this agenda intensely.

     For “Campus Pride” a high score is indicative of having in play nearly 100 elements, including (but not limited to) the following: affirmative-action efforts at recruiting into the student body persons who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transsexual; providing special scholarships for such; special retention efforts such as an “LGBTQ mentoring program,” regularly planned social and “educational” LGBTQ events, and a special graduation ceremony for LGBTQ students and allies; actively targeting for faculty and staff hiring persons who visibly identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or no gender; providing a resource center/office for LGBTQ students, with paid staff responsible for LGBTQ “support services”; maintaining “an ongoing Safe Zone, Safe Space and/or Ally training program that are offered at a minimum annually to educate students, faculty and/or staff on LGBTQ issues and concerns”; having a “standing advisory committee that deals with LGBTQ issues,” an “LGBTQ alumni group,” an “LGBTQ faculty/staff organization,” “LGBTQ & Ally student organizations,” an “LGBTQ fraternity/sorority,” and “LGBTQ-inclusive career services”; having an LGBTQ studies program and specific course offerings; making “a concerted effort to incorporate LGBTQ issues into existing courses” and to “address [negatively] heteronormativity and gender normativity in the curriculum/classroom”; amply stocking libraries with LGBTQ-affirming books and periodicals; implementing a program for “training” all new faculty and staff to affirm homosexuality and transgenderism; embracing “non-discrimination” (affirmation) statements  concerning “sexual orientation” and “gender identity”; mandating that “senior administrators (e.g., chancellor, president, vice-president, academic deans, senior diversity officer) attend campus LGBTQ events/activities in a visible, ongoing manner” and “explicitly include the terms ‘sexual orientation,’ ‘gender identity/expression’ and ‘lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender’ when publicly discussing multicultural and/or diversity issues on campus”; developing a “simple process” for students to change their name and gender identity (requiring all to use the new name, e.g., calling a man Sally or a woman David, even in the absence of any legal change or “sex-reassignment” surgery) and to specify what pronouns apply to them; having a “procedure for reporting LGBTQ related bias incidents and hate crimes,” “active ongoing training for hate crime prevention,” and training campus police on sexual orientation and gender identity issues; as regards housing issues, setting aside “LGBTQ living space, theme floors and/or living-learning community,” offering “roommate matching for LGBTQ students to find LGBTQ-friendly roommate,” “gender-inclusive housing,” “gender-inclusive/single occupancy restroom” restroom and shower facilities, and residence life staff trained to address affirmatively all “LGBTQ issues and concerns”; having “LGBTQ counseling/support groups,” “trans-inclusive trained counseling staff,” “free, anonymous and accessible HIV/STI testing,” “LGBTQ-inclusive health information and safer sex materials available,” and a “trans-inclusive student health insurance policy which covers ongoing counseling services” and “hormone replacement therapy.” In other words, at every level of university or college life, there is a stranglehold insistence on catering to every homosexual and transsexual wish and co-opting every conscience for this purpose.

 

This is a work in process. I will add entries as time and desire permit.

 

1.    Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

Apple Picking 070.jpg

"Apple Picking 070" by QuarterCircleS - Own work. Licensed under GFDL via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Apple_Picking_070.jpg#/media/File:Apple_Picking_070.jpg

 

Rankings:       US News (NU) 2   +    College Choice (NU) 2 × 2 = 8;   plus…         Forbes 4

WSJ/THE 6     Money 3     College Factual 2     College Raptor 2     Kiplinger 6     Niche 4    

PayScale ROI 11    

Total, with unranked or worst (outlier) score dropped, then full score: 35 (46)

 

     As the oldest and most prestigious college in America, with the world's largest endowment by far and the largest academic library, Harvard will always be the school by which all other claimants to first place must measure themselves. Although few people would be surprised that Harvard University could be ranked first among American colleges and universities, perhaps most people would be surprised that none of the U.S. lists consulted here ranks Harvard first. However, no other school came so consistently close to being no. 1. In nine of the ten lists it ranked in the top 6: Four ranked it second (USA Today's College Factual, for the second year in a row; fourth in 2015; College Raptor, same as last year; and, exclusive of liberal arts colleges, US News [same as previous year] and College Choice); one ranked it third (TIME's Money Magazine, up from last year's sixth); two fourth (Forbes, up slightly from last year's sixth; Niche, same as 2016's and down slightly from 2015's third); and two sixth (Wall St. Journal/Times Higher Education; Kiplinger, same as the previous two years). Only its PayScale rank drops below sixth (and even then a still respectable eleventh). In the GCR composite list of the top six world rankings Harvard occupies the top spot.

     Harvard excels in just about everything, including its financial aid. It ranked a truly impressive first  in lowest average net price among the top 133 GCR schools for beginning undergrads receiving any financial aid in 2014-15 (first also in 2013-14). Broken down into parental salary levels, in 2014-15 for beginning undergrads it ranked (inexplicably to me) only twelfth for incomes $0-$30,000 (2013-14: second), sixth for $30,001-$48,000 (2013-14: fourth), only fifteenth for $48,001-$75,000 (2013-14: second!), and a shockingly low seventy-second for $75,001-$110,000 (2013-14: twentieth!).  Unfortunately stats for 2014-15 for all undergrads receiving financial aid and for 2015-16 for beginning undergrads and then for all undergrads are not yet available due to Harvard's lag in publishing its Common Data Set information. Harvard's average student loan at graduation for that portion of the Class of 2015 taking out any loans was the tenth lowest among the GCR top 139 schools; and the percentage of students graduating with debt was the seventh lowest. Harvard is also in a 3-way tie for fifth lowest percentage of students graduating with any debt.

     Most of Harvard's other measurable characteristics put it in the top four: (1) first-place endowment (not only in the US but also in the world: $36.7 billion, $12 billion than second-place Yale), which is also (2) first per undergrad and (3) third per student (incl. grad students); (4) first-place 6-year graduation rate; (5) second-place acceptance rate (5.575%), (6) yield rate (79.8%), and (7) selectivity (desirability) index, in each instance just behind Stanford (which has less competition on the West Coast); (8) third-place average net price in 2015-16 for beginning undergrads receiving any financial aid (estimated); (9) third-place C2018 admission test scores for both the SAT (1505 for CR+M and 2260 for CR+M+W) and the ACT (33.5; 6-way tie); and (10) second to fourth place net price averages in 2013-14 for all levels of parental income under $75,000). No parental contribution is expected for families with an income of less than $65,000 and financial aid packages are no-loan.

     Strong but a bit less impressive by Harvard's high standards are its (1) tenth-place (tie) PayScale Mid-Career Salary ranking among all schools; (2) fourteenth lowest student-to-faculty ratio (8 to 1); (3) fifteenth-place first-year retention rate (still 97%; 10-way tie; only 2% off the top 99% score); (4) sixth- to fifteenth-place net price in 2014-15 for parental income levels ranging from $0 to $75,000; (5) twentieth-place for African-American student representation (7%; fourth among the Ivies but only .6% off the first Ivy, Princeton; and only .85% off of the seventh-place overall UNC).

     There are only two areas where Harvard could exert itself for some improvement: (1) its thirty-third place 4-year graduation rate (86%, 6.2% off of top-ranked Middlebury trailing, inter alia, Princeton, Columbia, Dartmouth, UPenn, Yale, and Duke); and (2) its “red light” FIRE rating, where it has “at least one [speech code] policy that both clearly and substantially restricts freedom of speech.”

     Based on political donations of the people who work there, Harvard University is the 210th most liberal university out of 446 (7.7 Liberal; CrowdPac). This is the forty-first most liberal school among the 84 schools of the GCR Top 133 that Crowdpac examines.

 

Test scores (Fall 2014 / C2018 enrolled students)1

Mid-50% (25th -75th percentile): SAT CR 700-800, M 710-800, W 710-800, ACT 32-35*

Average: CR+M: 1505 (avg. 752.5), ranked 3rd (tie);

CR+M+W: 2260 (avg. 753.3), ranked 3rd;

ACT 33.5, ranked 3rd (6-way tie)

Percent submitted SAT/ACT scores (2014): 85%/35% (2013: 86%/38%)  

*In a C2019 survey of about 70% of students Harvard reported that “the average best overall SAT score of respondents was 2229 [avg. 743; C2018: 2237; avg. 746]…. The average best overall SAT score reported by white respondents was 2218; 2174 for respondents who are Hispanic or Latino; and 2149 [avg. 716; C2018: 2157, avg. 719; C2017: 2107, avg. 702] for respondents who are black or African American [and 2300 for Asian, not incl. South Asian].” This indicates an SAT boost for enrolled Black students of only 80 points. For C2018 around 8% of all respondents reported a perfect 2400 SAT score. http://features.thecrimson.com/2015/freshman-survey/makeup/

 

Selectivity

Acceptance rate: Fall 2012: 5.92% / 2013: 5.79% / 2014: 5.57% / 2015: 5.575% (2nd)

Yield rate (% of accepted students who enroll) Fall 2014 (C2018): 85.34% / Fall 2015 (C2019): 79.81% (2nd)

Selectivity index (acceptance ÷ yield: the lower the score the more desirable): .0720 (2nd)

 :

Net Price (total expenses – grant/scholarship aid; rank exclusive of in-state public university n.p.)

Net price average 2013-14 (from NCES) for beginning undergrads receiving any financial aid: $16,052 (1st)

Net price average 2014-15 (from NCES) for beginning undergrads receiving any financial aid: $16,599 (1st)

Net price average 2015-16 for beginning undergrads…: $16,359 (total costs $65,159 - average need-based scholarship about $48,800)* (3rd)

*Data from Harvard's website; like the CDS figures it includes "Harvard, federal, and outside scholarships" and excludes parents' contribution, student asset and summer work expectation, and term-time work expectation. The stats for 2013-14 and 2014-15 are from the NCES government site where the need-based scholarship includes only institutional and federal scholarships and not other outside scholarships, thus usually resulting in slightly higher net prices.

By income (2013-14) for beginning undergrads...: $0 - $30,000: $3430 (2nd) / $30,001 – $48,000: $4823 (4th) / $48,001 – $75,000: $7267 (2nd) / $75,001 – $110,000: $22,915 (20th)

By income (2014-15) for beginning undergrads...: $0 - $30,000: $7460 (12th) / $30,001 – $48,000: $5693 (6th) / $48,001 – $75,000: $13,024 (15th) / $75,001 – $110,000: $29,297 (72nd)

No parental contribution expected for families making less than $65,000. The only payment expected is from the student’s summer earnings, part-time employment, and any savings the student may have.

Families making between $65,000 and $150,000 contribute from 0-10% of their income. “Ninety percent of American families would pay the same or less to send their children to Harvard as they would a state school.” The average grant of $46,000 covers the cost of tuition ($45,278 for 2015-16).

Harvard offers no-loan financial aid packages to all students who receive financial aid.

 

Debt at Graduation (incl. rank among the GCR top 133) and Default Rates

Average student debt at graduation C2014: $15,117 (8th lowest) / C2015: $16,723 (10th lowest)

Percentage of graduates with debt: C2014: 26% (5th lowest) / C2015: 24% (7th lowest)

Student loan default rate 2010: 1.5% / 2011: 1.9% / 2012: .9% /2013: .8% [4-yr avg.: 1.275%; 3-yr avg: 1.2%]

 

Graduation Rates, Student Enrollment, Student/Faculty Ratio, Endowment

1st-year retention rate (2013-14): 97.00% (in a 10-way tie for 15th)   

4- & 6-year graduation rate (began Fall 2008): 85.9% (33rd) / 97.7% (1st)

Entering class size: C2019: 1665 (C2018: 1659); Student enrollment (2014-15):* 20,828 (6636 undergrad)

Student to faculty ratio: 8 to 1 (in a 14-way tie for 14th lowest among the top 130 schools)                   

Endowment (2016): $34.54 billion (1st in the world; in the US 3rd per student and 1st per undergrad)

*So the 2014-15 CDS. Enrollment figures for some reason vary widely depending on the source consulted. The US government’s own NCES states: “Student population:   28,791 (10,338 undergraduate).” The SAT College Board reports total undergraduates 6694 (of which 6636 are degree-seeking) and graduate enrollment 4,109 for a grand total of 10,803 (10,745 degree-seeking). On their website in “Harvard at a Glance” (2015) they list “about 6,700” students at Harvard College and another “about 14,500” consisting of “graduate and professional students,” leaving a total of “about 21,000.” Wikipedia, citing a pdf no longer on Harvard’s site (“Degree Student Head Count: Fall 2010”) subdivides the non-undergraduate student population (as of Fall 2010) into “3,738 students in graduate programs, and 10,722 students in professional programs.” I have no idea how the NCES arrives at an undergraduate population of about 3700 more (and a total student population of about 8000 more) than what one reads from Harvard’s own website, its Common Data Set, and the SAT College Board.

 

African American Representation as a Measure of Diversity

Average number (and %) per class over 4 undergrad classes, *no TOMR (Fall 2014): 116* (6.98%) (20th in GCR)

Number (* = excl. those of TOMR): C2019: 157; C2018: 118* (177); C2016: 116* (150)

# National Achievement Scholarship Winners (2014): 69

N.B.: TOMR = Two or More Races. C2019 AfrAm 10.6% (prob. of non-Internationals; so 88.8% x 1665 x 10.6% = 157; incl multi-racial. https://college.harvard.edu/admissions/admissions-statistics. Compare C2018 Black 12% (prob. of non-Internationals; so 88.8% x 1662 x 12% = 177; incl multi-racial): https://college.harvard.edu/admissions/admissions-statistics. The 177 number is confirmed here: https://www.jbhe.com/2014/05/a-record-number-of-black-first-year-students-to-enter-harvard-this-fall/.

 

Earning Potential

PayScale Salary 2016-17: Early career (0-5 years  of employment): $65,200; Mid-career (10+ years): $123,000 (10th, tied)

 

World Rankings

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings (UK) 2016-17: 6

The Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings (UK) 2016: 1

QS World University Rankings (UK) 2016/17: 3

US News Best Global Universities Rankings 2017: 1

Academic Ranking of World Universities (Shanghai) 2016: 1

Center for World University Rankings (Saudi Arabia) 2016: 1

Composite Score: 13 (1st in the world)

 

FIRE Speech Code Rating (Green: protects; Yellow: may restrict; Red: clearly restricts)

Harvard University has been given the speech code rating Red. A red light university has at least one policy that both clearly and substantially restricts freedom of speech. Read more here.

 

 

 

 

2.    Princeton University, Princeton, NJ

 Firestone Library, Princeton University, Princeton NJ.jpg

"Firestone Library, Princeton University, Princeton NJ" by John Phelan - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Firestone_Library,_Princeton_University,_Princeton_NJ.jpg#/media/File:Firestone_Library,_Princeton_University,_Princeton_NJ.jpg

 

Rankings:       US News (NU) 1   +    College Choice (NU) 7 × 2 = 16;   plus…       Forbes 3

WSJ/THE 8     Money 1     College Factual 9     College Raptor 1     Kiplinger 3     Niche 5   

PayScale ROI 6    

Total, with unranked or worst (outlier) score dropped, then full score: 43 (52)

 

     Princeton University is ranked in the top three in five of the ten lists, including four of the five or six most significant lists: thrice first (US News for national universities, for the sixth straight year; Money, up slightly from last year's third; and College Raptor, same rank as last year), once second (Kiplinger, up slightly from last year's first), and twice third (Forbes, highest of the Ivies, up slightly from last year's fourth; and Kiplinger, down slightly from 2016's second and 2015's first, still highest among private universities as opposed to liberal arts colleges and public universities). In none of the lists is it ranked out of the top 10: fifth (Niche, up from 2016's eleventh and 2015's seventh), sixth (PayScale’s ROI, second-highest among the non-tech schools and highest among the Ivies, up slightly from last year's seventh), seventh (College Choice for National Universities), eighth (Wall St. Journal/Times Higher Education), and ninth (USA Today's College Factual, for the second year in a row; eighth in 2015). US News also ranks Princeton the #1 in Best Undergraduate Teaching among National Universities. In the GCR composite list of the top six world rankings it averages seventh in the world (behind Harvard, Stanford, MIT, Cambridge, Oxford, and Caltech).

     Princeton is a financial aid marvel. In 2014-15 it ranked an impressive second in lowest average net price among the top 133 GCR schools for beginning undergrads receiving any financial aid (surpassed only by Harvard; Princeton was fourth in 2013-14). [This ranking, compiled from NCES figures adjusted for standard expenses, does not factor in private outside scholarships; when factored in (using CDS figures), Princeton ranked first in 2014-15 (but stats not yet available for competitors Harvard and Columbia).] Broken down into parental salary levels, in 2014-15 for beginning undergrads it ranked an impressive third for incomes $0-$30,000 (2013-14: fifth), fourth for $30,001-$48,000 (2013-14: third), third for $48,001-$75,000 (2013-14: first), and seventh for $75,001-$110,000 (2013-14: fourth; compiled from adjusted NCES figures). For all undergrads receiving any financial aid in 2014-15 (compiled from CDS figures that factor in private outside scholarships) it ranked an impressive first (stats not available for Harvard and Columbia). As for average net price in 2015-16 (private outside scholarships factored in) it ranked an impressive first both for beginning undergrads and for all undergrads (but stats not yet available for competitors Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, MIT, UPenn, Duke, and Pomona).

     As the original no-loan college in America, Princeton's average student loan at graduation for that portion of the Class of 2015 taking out any loans was the lowest among the GCR top 139 schools; and the percentage of students graduating with debt was also the lowest (edging out Yale by a single point). Princeton expects no parental contribution for families making less than $60,000 and offers free tuition for families making less than $140,000.

     Princeton’s other stats are also amazing. Princeton has the highest endowment per student (undergrad + grad) in the nation, the third highest per undergrad-only (behind Harvard and Yale), and the fourth highest endowment for a single institution in the nation (possibly in the world; last year [2015] it overtook Stanford but Stanford inched ahead this year). On top of all this, Princeton (the second smallest of the Ivies) has the third lowest student-to-faculty ratio (behind only MIT and Caltech). It also has the second highest 6-year graduation rate (behind only Harvard), and the fourth highest 4-year graduation rate (higher than all other Ivies, Stanford, MIT, and Duke). In addition to its seventh place rank in PayScale’s ROR, it is rated third highest (tie) in Mid-Career Salary.

     As one might expect, Princeton is highly selective and desirable, with the fourth highest yield rate (68%), fifth lowest acceptance rate (7%), and fifth best selectivity (desirability) index. With respect to test scores for entering freshmen, it is tied for the fifth highest SAT scores (with Writing; eighth without Writing) and third highest ACT composite score (6-way tie). Perhaps it will be surprising to many that it has the ninth highest African-American student representation, with only three GCR top 30 schools ahead of it (Amherst, Duke, and Vanderbilt; tied with Williams) and tops in the Ivies. The only major statistic in which Princeton falls below the top 10 is in its first-year retention rate (just barely: eleventh, tied) and even that figure is impressive (97.4%).

     The only areas of disappointment for conservative-to-moderate students will be Princeton’s unfortunate ‘red light’ rating from FIRE for having “at least one policy that both clearly and substantially restricts freedom of speech” and its selection by “Campus Pride” as one of the “Top 25 LGBTQ-Friendly Colleges and Universities in 2015” (with a 4.5 out of 5 evaluation). In its Orientation Week entering students are forced to sit through indoctrination sessions promoting sexual promiscuity and the homosexual/transgender agenda.

     Ivy League schools are not bastions of conservative-to-moderate Christian thought and Princeton is no exception. In November 2015 the President's office was occupied by some students who were protesting any honoring of Woodrow Wilson because of Wilson's racist views (Wilson was President of Princeton before becoming NJ governor and then US President). One of their demands was to remove Wilson's name from the prestigious School of Public and International Affairs and the first of its residential colleges, even though Wilson (in other respects a "progressive" of his day) was being honored for his positive contributions, not his racism. (A possible inconsistency on the part of student protestors: They tolerate the fact that our country's capital, which also contains the Washington Monument, and the state of Washington are named after a slaveholder.) Some concessions were made immediately by the administration and no disciplinary actions were taken against the occupiers (would pro-life or pro-natural-marriage protestors occupying the president's office have received the same amnesty?). The move by the protestors did not have universal support (see this nicely argued response by a newly formed student group to counteract the suppression of alternate viewpoints). In the end an ad hoc committee recommended that Wilson's name not be removed and the Board of Trustees agreed.

     On the positive side, Princeton has adopted the strong UChicago statement supporting free speech (the first and, to date, only Ivy League school to do so) and has a strong moderate-to-conservative Christian presence on campus in terms of both a number of Protestant and Catholic student groups (arguably the strongest presence among the Ivy Leagues) and not a few faculty (including most notably Robert George, professor of jurisprudence, who has written well in favor of a male-female foundation for marriage and of the right to life of unborn children).

     Based on political donations of the people who work there, Princeton University is the 200th most liberal university out of 446 (7.8 Liberal; CrowdPac). This is the thirty-seventh most liberal school among the 84 schools of the GCR Top 133 that Crowdpac examines.

 

Test scores (Fall 2015 / C2019 enrolled students)

Mid-50% (25th -75th percentile): SAT CR 690-790, M 700-800, W 710-790, ACT 32-351

Average: CR+M: 1490 (avg. 745), ranked 8th;

CR+M+W: 2240 (avg. 746.7), ranked 5th (tied);

ACT 33.5, ranked 3rd (6-way tie)

Percent submitted SAT/ACT scores: 80%/36% (2014: 84%/36%; 2013: 86%/33%)

1 According to the Princeton website, the percent of students admitted in each SAT range for C2019 was: 2300-2400 14.5%; 2100-2290 8.1%; 1900-2090 5.2%; 1700-1890 2.1%; 1500-1690 0.3%; Below 1500 0: https://admission.princeton.edu/applyingforadmission/admission-statistics.

 

Selectivity

Acceptance rate: Fall 2012: 7.85% / 2013: 7.40% / 2014: 7.44% / 2015: 7.138% (5th)                                                                                                                        

Yield rate (of accepted students who enroll) Fall 2014 (C2018): 66% / Fall 2015 (C2019): 67.7% (4th)

Selectivity index (acceptance ÷ yield: the lower the score, the more desirable):  .105 (5th)

 

Net Price (total expenses – grant/scholarship aid)

Net price average 2013-14 (from NCES) for beginning undergrads receiving any financial aid: $19,235 (4th)

Net price average 2014-15 (from NCES) for beginning undergrads receiving any financial aid: $18,176 (2nd)

Net price average 2014-15 (from CDS) for beginning undergrads…: $15,825 (1st) (total costs $59,940 - average need-based scholarship $44,115); and for all undergrads: $17,843 (1st) ($59,940 - $42,097). [First-place ranking is in a list where Harvard's data is not yet available.]

Net price average 2015-16 (from CDS) for beginning undergrads…: $15,902 (1st) (total costs $62,110 - average need-based scholarship $46,208); and for all undergrads: $17,220 (1st) ($62,110 - $44,890). [First-place ranking is in a list where Harvard's data is not yet available.]

By income (2013-14): $0 – $30,000: $3980 (5th) / $30,001 – $48,000: $4356 (3rd) / $48,001 – $75,000: $6296 (1st) / $75,001 – $110,000: $17,317 (4th)

By income (2014-15): $0 – $30,000: $3736 (3rd) / $30,001 – $48,000: $5433 (4th) / $48,001 – $75,000: $7364 (3rd) / $75,001 – $110,000: $18,650 (7th)

By income (2015-16): (assessed by deducting the grant amount from the total cost of $61,160) $0-$65,000: $3460 / $65,000-$85,000: $7760 / $85,000-$100,000: $10,860 / $100,000 - $120,000: $13,760

No parental contribution expected for families making less than $60,000. The only payment expected is from the student’s summer earnings, part-time employment, and any savings the student may have.

Free tuition for families making less than $140,000. Those making between $60,000 and $120,000 only pay a percentage of room and board. The average aid grant covers 100% of tuition and then some.

Princeton offers no-loan financial aid packages to all students who receive financial aid. Princeton is the original no-loan college/university. In 2001 it announced that loans would no longer be a part of any financial aid package; that scholarship or grant money would replace loans.

 

Debt at Graduation (incl. rank among the GCR top 133) and Default Rates

Average student debt at graduation C2014: $6600 (1st lowest) / C2015: $8577 (1st lowest)

Percentage of graduates with debt: C2014: 17% (2nd lowest) / C2015: 16% (1st lowest)

Student loan default rate 2010: 2.7% / 2011: 2.3% / 2012: 2.4% / 2013: .9% [4-yr avg.: 2.08%; 3-yr avg: 1.87%]

 

Graduation Rates, Student Enrollment, Student/Faculty Ratio, Endowment

1st-year retention rate (2014-15): 97.4% (11th, tied)  

4- & 6-year grad rate (began Fall 2009): 89.7% (6th) / 96.8% (2nd)

Entering class size: C2019: 1317 (C2018: 1314); Student pop.: 8,138 (5,402 undergrad)

Student to faculty ratio (2015-16): 5 to 1 (2nd)               

Endowment (2016): $22.15 billion (4th in the US*, possibly in the world**; in the US 1st per student, 3rd per undergrad-only)

*Fifth if one counts the entire University of Texas System (endowment of $24.2 billion), which includes not only the flagship institution of UTexas Austin but also 14 educational institutions (8 academic universities and 6 health institutions) with a total enrollment of 216,000 students (50,950 of these are at UTexas Austin). I don't think that is a fair comparison so I don't count it. Single institutions should be compared with single institutions. One article stated that the University of Texas at Austin gets about 45% of the total UTexas-System endowment so a rough estimate of UTexas Austin’s endowment in 2016 is $10.89 billion. US News lists UTexas-Austin’s 2015 endowment at $3.342 billion.

**Depending on the 2015 endowment of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia, which in 2013 had a ballpark $20 billion.

 

African American Representation as a Measure of Diversity

Average number (and %) per class over 4 years, *no TOMR (Fall 2015): 100* (7.60%) (9th in GCR)

Number (* = excl. those of TOMR): C2019: 89*; C2018: 105*; C2017: 105*; C2016: 101*

# National Achievement Scholarship Winners (2014): 28

 

Earning Potential

PayScale Salary 2016-17: Early career (0-5 years  of employment): $65,700; Mid-career (10+ years): $131,000 (tied for 3rd)

 

World Rankings

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings (UK) 2016-17: 7

The Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings (UK) 2016: 7

QS World University Rankings (UK) 2016/17: 11

US News Best Global Universities Rankings 2016: 8

Academic Ranking of World Universities (Shanghai) 2016: 6

Center for World University Rankings (Saudi Arabia) 2016: 9

Composite Score: 48 (7th in the world, behind Harvard, Stanford, MIT, Cambridge, Oxford, Caltech)

 

FIRE Speech Code Rating (Green: protects; Yellow: may restrict; Red: clearly restricts)

Princeton University has been given the speech code rating Red. A red light university has at least one policy that both clearly and substantially restricts freedom of speech. Read more here.

Campus Pride” Index Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

This is an overall indicator of an institution’s zealous promotion of an “LGBTQ” agenda to the detriment of any who have moral qualms about such an agenda, through coercive indoctrination, active “diversity” recruitment, special resourcing, sanctions, and slander of those who support a male-female foundation for sexual unions as “hateful, ignorant, homophobic bigots” on a par with racists. For moderate-to-conservative students it represents the greatest threat to their freedom of speech and association, faith and religious liberty, and due process at this institution. Applicants may still thrive in this oppressive environment, off-set by association with like-minded persons, but should be aware of the risks before applying.

 

 

 

 

3.    Stanford University, Stanford, CA

 

"Stanford University campus from above". Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Stanford_University_campus_from_above.jpg#/media/File:Stanford_University_campus_from_above.jpg

 

Rankings:       US News (NU) 5t   +   College Choice (NU) 4 × 2 = 18;   plus…       Forbes 1

WSJ/THE 1     Money 10     College Factual 5     College Raptor 4     Kiplinger 20     Niche 1   

PayScale ROI 4    

Total, with unranked or worst (outlier) score dropped, then full score: 43 (64)

 

     The highest-ranked non-Ivy school, Stanford's ratings are quite impressive. In three of the rankings lists, Stanford is rated no. 1 (Forbes, up slightly from last year's third; Wall St. Journal/Times Higher Education; and Niche, same as 2016's and 2015's) and in five more it is rated fourth (College Choice for national universities; College Raptor, same as last year; and PayScale ROI, down slightly from last year's third) or fifth (US News for national universities and USA Today's College Factual, both down slightly from last year's fourth). Its fourth-place rank in PayScale ROI is highest among the non-tech schools. Its two lowest rankings are tenth (Money, down significantly from last year's first-place rank; what happened in one year?) and a puzzling twentieth (Kiplinger, a list that emphasizes affordability; up slightly from 2016's twenty-first and same as 2015's twentieth; perhaps relatively low rating due to Stanford's twenty-fifth place student debt rank, in addition to relatively weak graduation rates). US News also ranks Stanford #10 in Best Undergraduate Teaching among National Universities. In the GCR composite list of the top six world rankings it averages second in the world, behind only Harvard.

     A case could be made for ranking Stanford just ahead of Princeton this year (last year the ranking of Princeton and Stanford was reversed), or at least in a tie, since it edges out Princeton in six of the ten lists. However, Princeton has the better overall score: 34 (43) compared to Stanford's 43 (64). At the same time, a case could be made for ranking Yale ahead of Stanford, or at least in a tie, since it edges out Stanford in five of the nine lists and bests Stanford by one point when the lowest score is dropped (but lags behind by two points when all rankings are considered: 42 [66]).

     Stanford University doesn't take kindly to the condescending title of “the Harvard of the West” (rather, Harvard is “the Stanford of the East” they would argue). It dominates the Western educational landscape in a way that Harvard cannot dominate the eastern educational landscape, given the plethora of top-rated eastern establishments. Aside from the small seventh-place Caltech (which competes with Stanford only in math and the sciences), Stanford’s closest rival in the entire West is geographically distant Rice University (twelfth) and on the West Coast Pomona (fifteenth), UCal Berkeley (twenty-second), Harvey Mudd (twenty-third), UCLA (thirty-sixth), Claremont McKenna (thirty-seventh), and USC (forty-eighth). In other words, Stanford has only six competitors on the West Coast in the GCR Top 50, just half of which are in the Top 25 and only one of which is in the Top 15. This and the beautiful weather help to explain why Stanford is ranked as the most desirable school in the country to attend, at least as indicated by its lowest acceptance rate, highest yield, and thus best selectivity index, edging out Harvard slightly (which gets about 7500 fewer applications than Stanford for an entering class only 60 students smaller).

     As for affordability, Stanford ranked an impressive sixth in lowest average net price among the top 133 GCR schools for beginning undergrads receiving any financial aid in 2014-15 (third in 2013-14). This ranking does not factor in private outside scholarships; factored in, Stanford still ranks sixth (but stats not available for Harvard and Columbia). Broken down into parental salary levels, in 2014-15 for beginning undergrads it ranked a truly impressive second for incomes $0-$30,000 (2013-14: third), first for $30,001-$48,000 (2013-14: fifth), second for $48,001-$75,000 (2013-14: sixth), and second for $75,001-$110,000 (2013-14: eighth).  For all undergrads receiving any financial aid in 2014-15 (compiled from CDSs that factor in private outside scholarships) it ranked an impressive fifth (stats not available for Harvard and Columbia). Stanford's average student loan at graduation for that portion of the Class of 2015 taking out any loans was a surprising thirty-eighth lowest among the GCR top 139 schools; the percentage of students graduating with debt was the third lowest (4-way tie).  Stanford expects no parental contribution for families making less than $65,000, offers free tuition for families earning less than $125,000, and offers no-loan financial aid packages for all students who receive financial aid.

     There isn’t much that Stanford doesn’t do well in, though it is particularly exceptional (top 6) in its student selectivity (noted above), first-year retention rate (6-way tie for third), endowment (third in the US and third or fourth in the world; fourth both per undergrad and per undergrad + grad student), and student-to-faculty ratio (perhaps 5-way tie for fifth, though the figures are disputed). It is also strong (seventh to tenth) in its PayScale Mid-Career rating (fifth), test scores (SAT: ninth without the Writing component, tied for tenth with it; ACT: 5-way tie for tenth), and percentage of African-American students (only thirty-eighth, a point-and-a-half off of Princeton’s Ivy League high but vastly higher than California schools generally). Areas where it underperforms significantly in relation to its exalted overall rank are its 6-year graduation rate (twenty-second) and above all its relatively dismal 4-year graduation rate (eighty-fourth).  

     Stanford gets a so-so ‘yellow light’ rating from FIRE for having at least one ambiguous speech-code policy that encourages administrative abuse and arbitrary application.” Its selection by Princeton Review as one of the “Top 20 LGBTQ-Friendly Colleges and Universities in 2015” suggests oppressive conditions for students who adhere to a male-female foundation for marriage. An example of such is the 2014 decision by Stanford’s Graduate Student Council, at the behest of LGBT campus groups, to withdraw funding from the Catholic Anscombe Society for a conference on traditional/natural marriage, requiring them to pay $5,600 for “security costs” in order to guard against the threat of lawless behavior posed by none other than LGBT activists. Funds were apparently “found” after the Society protested and FIRE got involved. Stanford’s Dean for Religious Life, Jane Shaw, is a lesbian activist who describes herself as “not very churchy as a person” and advocates that churches should “certainly not convert” anyone, “not even necessarily to do religion all the time.”

     Based on political donations of the people who work there, Stanford University is the 234th most liberal university out of 446 (7.6 Liberal; CrowdPac). This is the forty-fourth most liberal school among the 84 schools of the GCR Top 133 that Crowdpac examines.

 

Test scores (Fall 2015 / C2019 enrolled students)

Mid-50% (25th -75th percentile): SAT CR 690-780, M 700-800, W 690-780, ACT 31-35

Average: CR+M: 1485 (avg. 742.5), ranked 9th;

CR+M+W: 2220 (avg. 740), ranked 10th;

ACT 33, ranked 10th (5-way tie)

Percent submitted SAT/ACT scores: 80%/51% (2014: 86%/39%)

 

Selectivity

Acceptance rate: Fall 2012: 6.61% / 2013: 5.69% / 2014: 5.087% / 2015: 5.036% (1st)      

Yield rate (of accepted students who enroll) Fall 2014 (C2018): 78.23% / Fall 2015 (C2019): 80.37 (1st)

Selectivity index (acceptance ÷ yield: the lower the score the more desirable): .0627 (1st)

 

Net Price (total expenses – grant/scholarship aid)

Net price average 2013-14 (from NCES) for beginning undergrads receiving any financial aid: $18,552 (3rd)

Net price average 2014-15 (from NCES) for beginning undergrads receiving any financial aid: $19,770 (6th)

Net price average 2014-15 (from CDS) for beginning undergrads…: $19,597 (6th) (total costs $62,888 - average need-based scholarship $43,291); and for all undergrads: $19,721 (5th) ($62,888 - $43,167).

By income (2013-14): $0 - $30,000: $3441 (3rd) / $30,001 – $48,000: $5479 (5th) / $48,001 – $75,000: $8176 (6th) / $75,001 – $110,000: $18,812 (8th)

By income (2014-15): $0 - $30,000: $2457 (2nd) / $30,001 – $48,000: $2548 (1st) / $48,001 – $75,000: $6964 (2nd) / $75,001 – $110,000: $14,841 (2nd)

No parental contribution expected for families making less than $65,000. The only payment expected is from the student’s summer earnings, part-time employment, and any savings the student may have. Tuition is free for families earning less than $125,000. Stanford offers no-loan financial aid packages for all students who receive financial aid.

 

Debt at Graduation (incl. rank among the GCR top 133) and Default Rates

Average student debt at graduation C2014: $19,230 (25th lowest) / C2015: $21,238 (38th lowest)

Percentage of graduates with debt: C2014: 23% (3rd lowest, tie) / C2015: 22% (3rd lowest, 4-way tie)

Student loan default rate 2010: .7% / 2011: 1% / 2012: .8% / 2013: .7% [4-yr avg.: .8%; 3-yr avg: .833%]

 

Graduation Rates, Student Enrollment, Student/Faculty Ratio, Endowment

1st-year retention rate (2014-15): 98% (6-way tie for 3rd)    

4- & 6-year grad rate (began Fall 2009):  75% (84th, tied) / 93% (22nd, tied)

Entering class size: C2019: 1720 (C2018: 1678); Student pop. C2019: 16,770 (6999 undergrad)

Student to faculty ratio: 6 to 1* (5-way tie for 4th)

*Stanford’s Common Data Set for 2015-16 has a ratio of 4.4 to 1. However, Stanford adds an asterisk noting (in tension with the government’s Common Data Set expectations) inclusion of faculty in graduate schools if they taught undergraduates (“exclude … faculty … in stand-alone graduate or professional programs … in which faculty teach virtually only graduate level students”), research faculty (exclude those not “full-time equivalent instructional faculty”), and lecturers and instructors who may have taught part-time (“Do not count undergraduate or graduate student teaching assistants as faculty”). I arrived at the ratio of 6 to 1 by subtracting from the 1589 full-time instructional faculty the 416 who teach virtually only graduate students, then dividing the 6999 total undergraduate population by this number. Inexplicably, the government's NCES College Navigator gives a ratio of 10 to 1 for 2014-15.

Endowment (2016): $22.398 billion (3rd in the US,* possibly the world**; in the US 4th both per student and per undergrad-only)

*Fourth if one counts the entire University of Texas System (endowment of $24.2 billion), which includes not only the flagship institution of UTexas Austin but also 14 educational institutions (8 academic universities and 6 health institutions) with a total enrollment of 216,000 students (50,950 of these are at UTexas Austin). I don't think that is a fair comparison so I don't count it. Single institutions should be compared with single institutions. One article stated that the University of Texas at Austin gets about 45% of the total UTexas-System endowment so a rough estimate of UTexas Austin’s endowment in 2016 is $10.89 billion. US News lists UTexas-Austin’s 2015 endowment at $3.342 billion.

**Depending on the 2015 endowment of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia, which in 2013 had a ballpark $20 billion.

 

African American Representation as a Measure of Diversity

Average number (and %) per class, *no TOMR (Fall 2015): 106* (6.08%) (38th in GCR)

Number, incl. TOMR: C2019: 168 (107*); C2018: 179 (101*); C2017: 97*; C2016: 142 (92*)

For Stanford C2019 AfrA 9.7% of the whole entering class includes Internationals (168; incl. multi-): http://facts.stanford.edu/academics/class-of-2019-profile; for C2018 10.6% (179). http://facts.stanford.edu/academics/class-of-2018-profile.

# National Achievement Scholarship Winners (2014): 61

 

Earning Potential

PayScale Salary 2016-17: Early career (0-5 years  of employment): $70,800; Mid-career (10+ years): $127,000 (5th)

 

World Rankings

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings (UK) 2016-17: 3

The Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings (UK) 2016: 3

QS World University Rankings (UK) 2016/17: 2

US News Best Global Universities Rankings 2017: 3

Academic Ranking of World Universities (Shanghai) 2016: 2

Center for World University Rankings (Saudi Arabia) 2016: 2

Composite Score: 15 (2nd in the world, behind Harvard)

 

FIRE Speech Code Rating (Green: protects; Yellow: may restrict; Red: clearly restricts)

Stanford University has been given the speech code rating Yellow. Yellow light colleges and universities are those institutions with at least one ambiguous policy that too easily encourages administrative abuse and arbitrary application. Read more here.

Selected by Princeton Review as fifth among the Top 20 “LGBTQ-Friendly” Colleges and Universities

This is an overall indicator of an institution’s zealous promotion of an “LGBTQ” agenda to the detriment of any who have moral qualms about such an agenda, through coercive indoctrination, active “diversity” recruitment, special resourcing, sanctions, and slander of those who support a male-female foundation for sexual unions as “hateful, ignorant, homophobic bigots” on a par with racists. For moderate-to-conservative students it represents the greatest threat to their freedom of speech and association, faith and religious liberty, and due process at this institution. Applicants may still thrive in this oppressive environment, off-set by association with like-minded persons, but should be aware of the risks before applying.


 

 

 

 

4.    Yale University, New Haven, CT 

Front of Sterling Memorial Library - "Cross Campus Highsmith" by Carol M. Highsmith - This image is available from the United States Library of Congress's Prints and Photographs division under the digital ID highsm.19228. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cross_Campus_Highsmith.jpg#/media/File:Cross_Campus_Highsmith.jpg

 

Rankings:       US News (NU) 3t   +    College Choice (NU) 1 × 2 = 8;   plus…         Forbes 6

WSJ/THE 5     Money 12     College Factual 1     College Raptor 3     Kiplinger 9     Niche 3   

PayScale ROI 24    

Total, with unranked or worst (outlier) score dropped, then full score: 51 (75) 

     Yale is of course the second oldest university/college in the nation and traditional rival to Harvard. Two of the lists give Yale a first-place ranking (College Choice for national universities and USA Today's College Factual, the latter for the second year in a row; second in 2015); three others give it a third-place ranking (US News for national universities, same as the previous year; College Raptor, same as last year; and Niche, same as 2016 and up slightly from 2015's fourth). Its other top 10 rankings are fifth (Wall St. Journal/Times Higher Education), and sixth (Forbes, down slightly from last year's fifth). Its twelfth-place showing in Money (albeit up significantly from last year's tie for twenty-first) is probably due in part to its surprisingly low twenty-fourth-place showing in the PayScale ROI (up from last year's twenty-ninth). Kiplinger rates it thirteenth (down from 2016's ninth and markedly so from 2015's second). US News also ranks Yale #3 in Best Undergraduate Teaching among National Universities. In the GCR composite list of the top six world rankings it averages a surprisingly low (for Yale) eleventh place (behind, among American schools, Harvard, Stanford, MIT, Caltech, Princeton, UCal Berkeley, UChicago, and Columbia).

     As for affordability, Yale ranked an impressive third in lowest average net price among the top 133 GCR schools for beginning undergrads receiving any financial aid in 2014-15 (fifth in 2013-14). This ranking does not factor in private outside scholarships; factored in, Yale ranks second (stats not available for Harvard and Columbia). Broken down into parental salary levels, in 2014-15 for beginning undergrads it ranked tenth for incomes $0-$30,000 (2013-14: seventh), seventeenth for $30,001-$48,000 (2013-14: tenth), an impressive fourth for $48,001-$75,000 (2013-14: third), and an even more impressive first for $75,001-$110,000 (2013-14: third).  For all undergrads receiving any financial aid in 2014-15 (compiled from CDSs that factor in private outside scholarships) it ranked an impressive third (stats not available for Harvard and Columbia). As for average net price in 2015-16 (private outside scholarships factored in) it ranked an impressive second both for beginning undergrads and for all undergrads (stats not available for Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, Duke UPenn, and Pomona).

     No parental contribution is expected for families making less than $65,000. Those making between $65,000 and $200,000 contribute a percentage of their yearly income on a sliding scale (1% for just above $65,000 moving toward 20% at $200,000). Yale offers no-loan financial aid packages to students whose family earns less than $130,000. Yale's average student loan at graduation for that portion of the Class of 2015 taking out any loans was fifth lowest among the GCR top 139 schools (behind Princeton, Wellesley, Pomona, and Haverford); the percentage of students graduating with debt was second lowest (only one point behind first-place Princeton). 

     Yale has an amazing series of second-place stats among the top 133 schools in the nation: endowment (absolute, per undergrad, and per all students and among all US schools), SAT scores, and 6-year graduation rate. It is in a 3-way tie for the highest first-year retention rate and a 4-way tie for the fourth lowest student-to-faculty ratio. As for desirability, it has the fourth lowest acceptance rate, fifth highest yield rate, and fourth best selectivity index (acceptance rate over yield rate).

     Below its overall rank but still in the top 16 are its ACT composite score (tenth highest, 5-way tie)and 4-year graduation rate (fifteenth; mitigated by the 2nd place 6-year grad rate).

     The only areas where Yale does not shine are in its African-American student representation and its PayScale ratings. Yale is not far off as regards the former, though it has room for improvement. It is ranked only twenty-fourth among the top 133 schools, fifteenth among non-Southern schools, and only fifth among eight Ivies. Yet in terms of percentage it is only .8% behind Princeton’s high and only 1% behind the seventh-ranked UNC. The real shocker comes in its PayScale ratings where it ranks only twenty-ninth for its 20-year net Return-on-Investment and a paltry forty-ninth (tie) for Mid-Career Salary.

     Yale had a spiraling incident in Oct.-Nov. 2015 where a residential college professor and his wife (who also served as a lecturer) were brutally maligned by numerous students over the relatively inane matter of questioning whether the University should be micromanaging students’ lives to the point of telling them what costumes they could not wear during Halloween. The incident led many to scratch their heads wondering whether free speech is still possible at Yale. Eventually the lecturer resigned although the administration issued a statement saying that “her teaching is highly valued and she is welcome to resume teaching anytime at Yale, where freedom of expression and academic inquiry are the paramount principle and practice.” FIRE has collected a number of articles on the matter here.

     Based on political donations of the people who work there, Yale University is the 208th most liberal university out of 446 (7.7 Liberal; CrowdPac). This is the fortieth most liberal school among the 84 schools of the GCR Top 133 that Crowdpac examines.

 

Test scores (Fall 2015 / C2019 enrolled students)

Mid-50% (25th -75th percentile): SAT CR 720-800, M 710-800, W 710-790; ACT 31-35*

*C2019 SAT ranges: 760-800: 50.8%R 49.9%M 49.4%W; 700-750: 29.2%R 32.3%M 31.4%W; 600-690: 16.8%R 16.7%M 16.9%W; below 600: 3.2%R 1.2%M 2.4%W. Yale College Class of 2019 Freshman Class Profile.

Average: CR+M: 1515 (avg. 757.5), ranked 2nd;

CR+M+W: 2265 (avg. 755), ranked 2nd;

ACT 33, ranked 10th (5-way tie)

Percent submitted SAT/ACT scores: 74%/45% (2014: 79%/41%; 2013: 81%/35%; 2012: 84%/35%)

 

Selectivity

Acceptance rate: Fall 2012: 7.05% / 2013: 6.86% / 2014: 6.30% / 2015: 6.727% (4th)

Yield rate (of accepted students who enroll) Fall 2014 (C2018): 71.7% / Fall 2015 (C2019): 67.06% (5th)

Selectivity/Desirability index (acceptance ÷ yield: the lower the score, the more desirable): .1003 (4th)

 

Net Price (total expenses – grant/scholarship aid)

Net price average 2013-14 (from NCES) for beginning undergrads receiving any financial aid: $19,697  (5th)

Net price average 2014-15 (from NCES) for beginning undergrads receiving any financial aid: $18,494  (3rd)

Net price average 2014-15 (from CDS) for beginning undergrads…: $17,063 (2nd) (total costs $64,300 - average need-based scholarship $47,237); and for all undergrads: $18,590 (3rd) ($64,300 - $45,710).*

*So the 2014-15 Common Data Set; but elsewhere on Yale’s  website the average need-based scholarship/grant for 2014-15 was $43,230, which indicates a net price of $21,070. This likely excludes the external scholarships/grants (non-federal or state) that the CDS figure includes.)

Net price average 2015-16 (from CDS) for beginning undergrads…: $16,341 (2nd) (total costs $66,700 - average need-based scholarship $50,359); and for all undergrads: $18,740 (2nd) ($66,700 - $47,960).

By income (2013-14): $0 - $30,000: $4298 (7th) / $30,001 – $48,000: $6667 (10th) / $48,001 – $75,000: $7293 (3rd) / $75,001 – $110,000: $16,609 (3rd)

By income (2014-15): $0 - $30,000: $6884 (10th) / $30,001 – $48,000: $8344 (17th) / $48,001 – $75,000: $7424 (4th) / $75,001 – $110,000: $12,889 (1st)

No parental contribution expected for families making less than $65,000. The only payment expected is from the student’s summer earnings, part-time employment, and any savings the student may have.

“Families earning between $65,000 and $200,000 (with typical assets) annually contribute a percentage of their yearly income towards their child’s Yale education, on a sliding scale that begins at 1% just above $65,000 and moves toward 20% at the $200,000 level.” Yale offers no-loan financial aid packages to students who receive financial aid (except for those whose family earns $130,000 or more).

 

Debt at Graduation (incl. rank among the GCR top 133) and Default Rates

Average student debt at graduation C2014: $14,853 (7th lowest) / C2015: $15,521 (5th lowest)

Percentage of graduates with debt: C2014: 16% (1st lowest) / C2015: 17% (2nd lowest)

Student loan default rate 2010: 1.9% / 2011: .9% / 2012: .6% / 2013: .6% [4-yr avg.: 1%; 3-yr avg: .7%]

 

Graduation Rates, Student Enrollment, Student/Faculty Ratio, Endowment

1st-year retention rate (2014-15): 99% (3-way tie for 1st)   

4- & 6-year grad rate (began Fall 2008):  87.74% (17th) / 96.78% (2nd, tied)

Entering class size: C2019: 1364 (C2018: 1361); Student pop.: 12,336 (5,477 undergraduate)

Student to faculty ratio: 6 to 1                 

Endowment (2016): $25.41 billion (2nd in the US and possibly in the world*; in the US 2nd in both endowment per student and endowment per undergrad-only)

**Depending on the 2015 endowment of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia, which in 2013 had $20 billion.

 

African American Representation as a Measure of Diversity

Average number (and %) per average class size over 4 undergrad classes, *no TOMR (Fall 2015): 94*/1382 (6.80% in GCR)

Number, incl. those of TOMR:2 C2019: 1361 (96*);  C2018: 133 (87*); C2017: 94*; C2016: 122 (98*)

# National Achievement Scholarship Winners (2014): 57

1 C2019 African American 10% (incl. multi-): Yale College Class of 2019 Freshman Class Profile. Categories do not add up to 100% because 19% of freshmen indicated two or more ethnicities and are therefore counted in more than one category.

 

Earning Potential

PayScale Salary 2016-17: Early career (0-5 years  of employment): $60,800; Mid-career (10+ years): $102,000 (tied for 49th)  

 

World Rankings

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings (UK) 2016-17: 12

The Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings (UK) 2016: 8

QS World University Rankings (UK) 2016/17: 15

US News Best Global Universities Rankings 2017: 14

Academic Ranking of World Universities (Shanghai) 2016: 11

Center for World University Rankings (Saudi Arabia) 2016: 10

Composite Score: 70 (11th in the world, behind Princeton and the 6 ahead of Princeton [q.v.], plus UChicago, UCal-Berkeley, and Columbia)

 

FIRE Speech Code Rating (Green: protects; Yellow: may restrict; Red: clearly restricts)

Yale University has been given the speech code rating Yellow. Yellow light colleges and universities are those institutions with at least one ambiguous policy that too easily encourages administrative abuse and arbitrary application. Read more here.

Selected by Princeton Review as twentieth among the Top 20 “LGBTQ-Friendly” Colleges and Universities

This is an overall indicator of an institution’s zealous promotion of an “LGBTQ” agenda to the detriment of any who have moral qualms about such an agenda, through coercive indoctrination, active “diversity” recruitment, special resourcing, sanctions, and slander of those who support a male-female foundation for sexual unions as “hateful, ignorant, homophobic bigots” on a par with racists. For moderate-to-conservative students it represents the greatest threat to their freedom of speech and association, faith and religious liberty, and due process at this institution. Applicants may still thrive in this oppressive environment, off-set by association with like-minded persons, but should be aware of the risks before applying.


 

 

 

 

 

5.    Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA

 

"HDR image of the Great Dome and Killian Court at MIT" by Madcoverboy - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons -https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Massachusetts_Institute_of_Technology#/media/File:MIT_Killian_Court.jpg 

 

Rankings:       US News (NU) 7   +    College Choice (NU) 3 × 2 = 20;   plus…       Forbes 5

WSJ/THE 2     Money 11     College Factual 12     College Raptor 5     Kiplinger 22     Niche 2   

PayScale ROI 1    

Total, with unranked or worst (outlier) score dropped, then full score: 63 (80)

 

     That other powerhouse school in Cambridge, MA, besides Harvard is this prince among engineering and science schools (where 72% have as their first major engineering and 23% science; for the rest there is a smattering of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences; Architecture; and Management). College Board, counting first and second majors, divvies the most common majors up as follows: engineering 35%, computer and information sciences 22%, math 10%, biology 9%, and physical scienes 9%.

     MIT is ranked once first by PayScale ROI (last year sixth), twice second by Wall St. Journal/Times Higher Education and Niche, once third by College Choice (for national universities), twice fifth by Forbes (last year tenth) and College Raptor (same as last year), and once each seventh by US News (for national universities; same as previous year), eleventh by Money (last year third), twelfth by College Factual (down slightly from last year's eleventh; fifth in 2015), and twenty-second by Kiplinger (down from 2016's and 2015's seventeenth). It also averages third in the GCR composite of six world rankings lists (which values highly the number of articles published by faculty, particularly in top science journals), behind only Harvard and Stanford (first in QS World University Rankings, second in US News Global Universities Rankings and The Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings, third in the Center for World University Rankings, and fifth in The Times Higher Education World University Rankings and the Academic Ranking of World Universities).

     As for affordability, MIT ranked twentieth in lowest average net price among the top 133 GCR schools for beginning undergrads receiving any financial aid in 2014-15 (twenty-first in 2013-14). This ranking does not factor in private outside scholarships; factored in, MIT ranks nineteenth (stats not available for Harvard and Columbia). Broken down into parental salary levels, in 2014-15 for beginning undergrads it ranked thirty-second for incomes $0-$30,000 (2013-14: twelfth), fourteenth for $30,001-$48,000 (2013-14: seventeenth), sixteenth for $48,001-$75,000 (2013-14: twelfth), and ninth for $75,001-$110,000 (2013-14: tenth).  For all undergrads receiving any financial aid in 2014-15 (compiled from CDSs that factor in private outside scholarships) it ranked ninth (stats not available for Harvard and Columbia). MIT's average student loan at graduation for that portion of the Class of 2015 taking out any loans was a surprisingly poor fifty-seventh among the GCR top 139 schools; the percentage of students graduating with debt was the sixteenth lowest

     MIT does better than its overall ranking nationally in three categories: its 3-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio (tied for first with Caltech), its ACT composite scores for the entering class (tied for second with Harvey Mudd, just behind Caltech), yield rate (third, behind Stanford and Harvard), and first-year retention rate (6-way tie for third).

     At or close to its overall ranking are its endowment (fifth) and endowment per undergrad (fifth; seventh per undergrad + grad), its PayScale Mid-Career Salary (second), selectivity (desirability) index (sixth), acceptance rate (sixth), and SAT scores for the entering class (fifth [tied] and seventh for without and with the Writing component).  MIT’s worse rankings are for its 4- and 6-year graduation rates (64th and 33rd respectively) and its African-American student representation (48th).

     Based on political donations of the people who work there, MIT is the 169th most liberal university out of 446 (7.9 Liberal; CrowdPac). This is the thirtieth most liberal school among the 84 schools of the GCR Top 133 that Crowdpac examines.

Test scores (Fall 2015 / C2019 enrolled students)

Mid-50% (25th -75th percentile): SAT CR 680-770, M 750-800, W 690-780, ACT 33-35

Average: CR+M: 1500 (avg. 747.5), ranked 5th (tied);

CR+M+W: 2235 (avg. 745), ranked 7th;

ACT 34, ranked 2nd (tie)

Percent submitted SAT/ACT scores: 80%/47% (2014: 84%/42%; 2013: 85%/40%)

 

Selectivity

Acceptance rate: Fall 2012: 8.95% / 2013: 8.15% / 2014: 7.88% / 2015: 8.298% (6th among nationally ranked schools

Yield rate (of accepted students who enroll) Fall 2014 (C2018): 72% / Fall 2015 (C2019): 72.81% (3rd)

Selectivity index (acceptance ÷ yield: the lower the score, the more desirable): .1140 (6th)

 

Net Price (total expenses – grant/scholarship aid)

Net price average 2013-14 (from NCES) for beginning undergrads receiving any financial aid: $23,934 (21st)

Net price average 2014-15 (from NCES) for beginning undergrads receiving any financial aid: $23,401 (20th)

Net price average 2014-15 (from CDS) for beginning undergrads…: $22,858 (19th) (total costs $62,740 - average need-based scholarship $39,882); and for all undergrads: $22,965 (3-way tie for 9th) ($62,740 - $39,775).

Net price average 2015-16 (from MIT website) for all undergrads: $28,208* (total costs $64,934 - average “MIT scholarship” $36,726).

*As a net price this figure may not take into account the federal and state/local grants and other external scholarships that the NCES figure for 2013-14 factors. If so, then the net price for 2015-16 would be about $3000 less: $25,208.

By income (2013-14): $0 - $30,000: $6850 (12th) / $30,001 – $48,000: $8419 (17th) / $48,001 – $75,000: $11,266 (12th) / $75,001 – $110,000: $19,714 (10th; for additional info using different income ranges go here)

By income (2014-15): $0 - $30,000: $10,513 (32nd) / $30,001 – $48,000: $8101 (14th) / $48,001 – $75,000: $13,360 (16th) / $75,001 – $110,000: $20,075 (9th)

Free Tuition for families making less than $75,000 (so 32% of undergrads in 2012-13).

MIT has no provision for eliminating parental contribution for low-income students. MIT offers no-loan financial aid packages to families with income under $75,000 but in 2012 increased the self-help expectation from students (from full-time summer employment and part-time academic year work-study) from $2850 in 2008 to $6000 in 2012 (the same amount expected of all students). All schools with no-loan financial aid policies expect a certain amount of self-help but it is usually less (for example, $3500 from freshmen for Princeton, $4500-5500 for sophomores on).

 

Debt at Graduation (incl. rank among the GCR top 133) and Default Rates

Average student debt at graduation C2014: $19,064 (22nd lowest) / C2015: $23,485 (57th lowest)

Percentage of graduates with debt: C2014: 40% (33rd lowest) / C2015: 32% (16th lowest)

Student loan default rate 2010: 1.7% / 2011: 1.7% / 2012: 1.7% / 2013: 1.0% [4-yr avg.: 1.525%; 3-yr avg: 1.467%]

 

Graduation Rates, Student Enrollment, Student/Faculty Ratio, Endowment

1st-year retention rate (2014-15): 98% (6-way tie for 3rd)   

4- & 6-year grad rate (began Fall 2009):  81.99% (64th) /91.93% (33rd)

Entering class size: C2019: 1109 (C2018: 1043); Student pop.: 11,319 (4,512 undergraduate)

Student to faculty ratio: 3 to 1 (tied for 1st)                

Endowment (2016): $13.18 billion (5th in the US* and 6th in the world; in the US 7th per student and 5th per undergrad-only) 

*Sixth if one counts the entire University of Texas System (endowment of $24.2 billion), which includes not only the flagship institution of UTexas Austin but also 14 educational institutions (8 academic universities and 6 health institutions) with a total enrollment of 216,000 students (50,950 of these are at UTexas Austin). I don't think that is a fair comparison so I don't count it. Single institutions should be compared with single institutions. One article stated that the University of Texas at Austin gets about 45% of the total UTexas-System endowment so a rough estimate of UTexas Austin’s endowment in 2016 is $10.89 billion. US News lists UTexas-Austin’s 2015 endowment at $3.342 billion.

 

African American Representation as a Measure of Diversity

Average number (and %) per class over 4 undergrad classes, *no TOMR (Fall 2015): 63.5* (5.68%) (48th in GCR)

Number, incl. those of TOMR:2 C2019: 100 (61*); C2018: 104 (72*); C2017: 52*; C2016: 91 (65*). Average per class for whole undergrad body as of 2014-15: 92.

# National Achievement Scholarship Winners (2014): 43

 

Earning Potential

PayScale Salary 2016-17: Early career (0-5 years  of employment): $78,300; Mid-career (10+ years): $134,000 (2nd) 

 

World Rankings

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings (UK) 2016-17: 5

The Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings (UK) 2016: 2

QS World University Rankings (UK) 2016/17: 1

US News Best Global Universities Rankings 2017: 2

Academic Ranking of World Universities (Shanghai) 2016: 5

Center for World University Rankings (Saudi Arabia) 2016: 3

Composite Score: 18 (3rd in the world, behind only Harvard and Stanford)


 

FIRE Speech Code Rating (Green: protects; Yellow: may restrict; Red: clearly restricts)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology has been given the speech code rating Yellow. Yellow light colleges and universities are those institutions with at least one ambiguous policy that too easily encourages administrative abuse and arbitrary application. Read more here.

 

Campus Pride” Index Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

This is an overall indicator of an institution’s zealous promotion of an “LGBTQ” agenda to the detriment of any who have moral qualms about such an agenda, through coercive indoctrination, active “diversity” recruitment, special resourcing, sanctions, and slander of those who support a male-female foundation for sexual unions as “hateful, ignorant, homophobic bigots” on a par with racists. For moderate-to-conservative students it represents the greatest threat to their freedom of speech and association, faith and religious liberty, and due process at this institution. Applicants may still thrive in this oppressive environment, off-set by association with like-minded persons, but should be aware of the risks before applying.

 

 

 

 

6.    University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

 

"College Hall and Ben Franklin Statue" by Bryan Y. W. Shin - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:College_Hall_(University_of_Pennsylvania)#/media/File:College_Hall_and_Ben_Franklin_Statue.jpg

 

Rankings:       US News (NU) 8   +    College Choice (NU) 9 × 2 = 34;   plus…       Forbes 11

WSJ/THE 4     Money 26     College Factual 3     College Raptor 9     Kiplinger 40     Niche 8   

PayScale ROI 9    

Total, with unranked or worst (outlier) score dropped, then full score: 111 (144)

 

     This second-largest of the Ivies is sometimes confused by the general public as though it were a public state school like Penn State. However, there should be no confusing of the fact that UPenn belongs to the upper echelon of Ivies, behind Harvard, Princeton, and Yale, in competition with Columbia. With two exceptions, all of the University of Pennsylvania’s rankings are between third and eleventh. Its best ratings are third (USA Today's College Factual, for the second year in a row; first in 2015), fourth (Wall St. Journal/Times Higher Education), twice eighth (US News [up slightly from last year's ninth] for national universities; and Niche, down slightly from last year's sixth), thrice ninth (College Raptor, down slightly from last year's seventh; College Choice, for national universities; also PayScale’s Return-on-Investment, last year sixteenth), and eleventh (Forbes, last year twelfth). The two exceptions are its twenty-sixth place ranking in Money (last year twelfth) and its fortieth place rank in Kiplinger (suggesting an issue with net price and financial aid; down from 2016's thirty-third and 2015's twenty-sixth). In the GCR composite list of the top six world rankings it is thirteenth (bested by 10 other American schools, including four other Ivy League schools [Harvard, Princeton, Columbia, Yale], plus Stanford, MIT, Caltech, UCal Berkeley, UChicago, UCLA).

     As for affordability, UPenn ranked a surprisingly low thirty-third in lowest average net price among the top 133 GCR schools for beginning undergrads receiving any financial aid in 2014-15 (twenty-fourth in 2013-14). This ranking does not factor in private outside scholarships; factored in, UPenn ranks twenty-third (stats not available for Harvard and Columbia). Broken down into parental salary levels, in 2014-15 for beginning undergrads it ranked thirty-third for incomes $0-$30,000 (2013-14: twentieth), twenty-fifth for $30,001-$48,000 (2013-14: thirteenth), twenty-fifth for $48,001-$75,000 (2013-14: twenty-first), and fifteenth for $75,001-$110,000 (2013-14: thirteenth).  For all undergrads receiving any financial aid in 2014-15 (compiled from CDSs that factor in private outside scholarships) it ranked twenty-first (stats not available for Harvard and Columbia). UPenn's average student loan at graduation for that portion of the Class of 2015 taking out any loans was a surprisingly poor eightieth among the GCR top 139 schools; the percentage of students graduating with debt was the eleventh lowest (tie).

     Areas where UPenn has a particularly strong rating include: (1) its third-place 6-way tie for lowest student-faculty ratio (6 to 1); (2) its third-place 7-way tie for the highest freshman retention rate; and (3) its sixth-highest yield rate (almost two-thirds of applicants enroll). It is also (4) the only school in the GCR top 20 to get FIRE’s top green-light rating for not penalizing free speech in its speech codes.

     Areas where its rating is generally commensurate with its overall place rank are: (1)  its seventh-highest 6-year graduation rate; (2) its eighth-place selectivity (desirability) index; (3) its seventh-highest endowment in the US (9th in the world; but 25th per student and 14th per undergrad-only); (4) its tenth-lowest acceptance rate (10.16%); (5) its eighth-highest (tie) PayScale Mid-CareerSalary rating among all schools; (6) its fourteenth-fifteenth place rankings for its C2019 test scores (1465/2200/32.5); and (7) its sixteenth-highest PayScale Return-on-Investment rating among all schools.

     Areas where it is weakest relative to its overall rank are (1) its seventeenth-highest African-American representation among undergrads (though only .6% off of Princeton's 9th-place, to-Ivy rank); (2) its nineteenth-place endowment-per-undergrad among all US schools; (3) its twenty-first-highest 4-year graduation rate; and (4) its twenty-eighth-place endowment-per-student ratio.

     Sadly, UPenn boasts one of the most extreme campus sexual politics, with a “perfect” “top-25” 5 out of 5 stars from “Campus Pride.”

     Based on political donations of the people who work there, the University of Pennsylvania is the 264th most liberal university out of 446 (7.3 Liberal; CrowdPac). This is the fifty-second most liberal school among the 84 schools of the GCR Top 133 that Crowdpac examines.

 

Test scores (Fall 2015 / C2019 enrolled students)

Mid-50% (25th -75th percentile): SAT CR 680-760, M 700-790, W 690-780; ACT 31-34  

Average: SAT CR+M: 1465 (avg. 732.5), ranked 15th (tie); CR+M+W: 2200 (avg. 733.3), ranked 14th (tie); ACT 32.5, ranked 14th (9-way tie)

Percent submitted SAT/ACT scores: 58%/42% (2014: 66%/34%; 2013: 81%/40%)

 

Selectivity

Acceptance rate: Fall 2012: 12.61% / 2013: 12.24% / 2014: 10.37% / 2015: 10.16% (10th among nationally ranked schools)          

Yield rate (of accepted students who enroll) Fall 2014 (C2018): 65.22% / Fall 2015 (C2019): 64.30% (6th)

Selectivity index (acceptance ÷ yield: the lower the score, the more desirable): .1580 (8th)

 

Net Price (total expenses – grant/scholarship aid)

Net price average 2013-14 (from NCES) for beginning undergrads receiving any financial aid: $24,206 (23rd)

Net price average 2014-15 (from NCES) for beginning undergrads receiving any financial aid: $25,356 (33rd)

Net price average 2014-15 (from CDS) for beginning undergrads…: $23,482 (23rd) (total costs $65,632 - average need-based scholarship $42,150); and for all undergrads: $24,034 (21st) ($65,632 - $41,598).

Net price average 2015-16 (from CDS) for beginning undergrads…: $? (total costs $68,026 - average need-based scholarship $?); and for all undergrads: $? ($68,026 - $?).

By income (2013-14): $0 - $30,000: $9148 (21st) / $30,001 – $48,000: $7842 (13th) / $48,001 – $75,000: $14,451 (21st) / $75,001 – $110,000: $20,622 (13th)

By income (2014-15): $0 - $30,000: $10,674 (33rd) / $30,001 – $48,000: $9761 (25th) / $48,001 – $75,000: $14,720 (25th) / $75,001 – $110,000: $21,476 (15th)

By income (2015-16; from UPenn website; note total costs $68,026) "median annual awards": $0 - $39,999: $63,790 [leaving $4336?] / $40,000 - $69,999: $63,500 [leaving $4526?] / $70,000 - $99,999: $56,770 [leaving $11,256?]*

*Likely that the median annual award includes federal work-study funds since there is such a disparity between these figures and the ones from 2013-14 obtained via the NCES Navigator site; possibly also summer earnings on the part of the student.

No provision is made for eliminating parental contribution from financial aid packages for low income students. However, there is an all-grant no-loan policy for all undergraduates who receive financial aid, making UPenn “the largest school in the nation to offer” such a deal.

 

Debt at Graduation (incl. rank among the GCR top 133) and Default Rates

Average student debt at graduation C2014: $19,442 (27th lowest) / C2015: $26,157 (80th lowest)

Percentage of graduates with debt: C2014: 36% (24th lowest, 3-way tie) / C2015: 28% (11th lowest, tie)

Student loan default rate 2010: 1.6% / 2011: 1.3% / 2012: 1.1% / 2013: 1.4% [4-yr avg.: 1.35%; 3-yr avg: 1.267%]

 

Graduation Rates, Student Enrollment, Student/Faculty Ratio, Endowment

1st-year retention rate (2014-15): 98% (7-way tie for 3rd)    4- & 6-year grad rate (began Fall 2009):  87.05% (21st) /95.34% (7th)

Entering class size: C2019: 2435 (C2018: 2425); Student pop. (2015-16): 21,395 (9726 undergraduate)

Student to faculty ratio (2015-16): 6 to 1 (a 6-way tie for 3rd)    

Endowment (2016): $10.715 billion (7th in the US*, 9th in the world; in the US 25th per student and 14th per undergrad-only

*Tenth if one counts system endowments rather than individual universities. The entire Texas A&M University System endowment of $11.1 billion in 2014 applies to 11 universities with 143,000 students (62,000 of these are at the flagship Texas A&M University at College Station). I’m estimating half of the Texas A&M University System’s endowment for the flagship university at College Station ($5.55 billion), though admittedly the estimate is based on nothing more than the number of students in the System who are not at College Station. Similarly, the University of Michigan System has a 2015 endowment of $10.26 billion. The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor operates satellite campuses in Flint and Dearborn with a combined student body of 17,500 as compared to the over 43,600 student population at Ann Arbor. Since the student body figure for the satellite campuses is 28.7% of the whole I deducted a proportional amount from the system endowment in order to arrive at an estimated endowment of $7.32 billion for UMichigan at Ann Arbor.

 

African American Representation as a Measure of Diversity

Average number (and %) per class over 4 undergrad classes, *no TOMR (Fall 2015): 172* (7.07%) (17th in GCR)

Number (* = excl. those of TOMR):  C2019: 165* (272); C2018: 149*

# National Achievement Scholarship Winners (2014): 19

 

Earning Potential

PayScale Salary 2016-17: Early career (0-5 years  of employment): $62,200; Mid-career (10+ years): $124,000 (tied for 8th)  

 

World Rankings

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings (UK) 2016-17: 13

The Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings (UK) 2016: 16

QS World University Rankings (UK) 2016/17: 18

US News Best Global Universities Rankings 2017: 17t

Academic Ranking of World Universities (Shanghai) 2016: 18

Center for World University Rankings (Saudi Arabia) 2016: 14

Composite Score: 96 (13th in the world, behind Yale and the 10 schools ahead of Yale [q.v.], plus UCLA)

 

FIRE Speech Code Rating (Green: protects; Yellow: may restrict; Red: clearly restricts) 

University of Pennsylvania has been given the speech code rating Green. Green light institutions are those colleges and universities whose policies nominally protect free speech. Read more here.

Campus Pride” Index Rating as one mark of an oppressive/coercive environment for conservative students

5 out of 5 stars

Selected as one of the Top 25 “LGBTQ-Friendly” Colleges & Universities in 2015

This is an overall indicator of an institution’s zealous promotion of an “LGBTQ” agenda to the detriment of any who have moral qualms about such an agenda, through coercive indoctrination, active “diversity” recruitment, special resourcing, sanctions, and slander of those who support a male-female foundation for sexual unions as “hateful, ignorant, homophobic bigots” on a par with racists. For moderate-to-conservative students it represents the greatest threat to their freedom of speech and association, faith and religious liberty, and due process at this institution. Applicants may still thrive in this oppressive environment, off-set by association with like-minded persons, but should be aware of the risks before applying.

Lest any doubt remains about UPenn's extreme sexual politics, consider this article by the New York Times: "Generaion LGBTQIA" (Jan. 9, 2013):

“Sometimes L.G.B.T.Q.I.A. is not enough. At the University of Pennsylvania last fall, eight freshmen united in the frustration that no campus group represented them. Sure, Penn already had some two dozen gay student groups, including Queer People of Color, Lambda Alliance and J-Bagel, which bills itself as the university’s ‘Jewish L.G.B.T.Q.I.A. Community.’ But none focused on gender identity (the closest, Trans Penn, mostly catered to faculty members and graduate students). Richard Parsons, an 18-year-old transgender male, discovered that when he attended a student mixer called the Gay Affair, sponsored by Penn’s L.G.B.T. Center…. ‘This is the L.G.B.T. Center, and it’s all gay guys.’ Through Facebook, Richard and others started a group called Penn Non-Cis, which is short for ‘non-cisgender.’ For those not fluent in gender-studies speak, ‘cis’ means ‘on the same side as’ and ‘cisgender’ denotes someone whose gender identity matches his or her biology, which describes most of the student body. The group seeks to represent everyone else…. On a brisk Tuesday night in November, about 40 students crowded into the L.G.B.T. Center, a converted 19th-century carriage house, for the group’s inaugural open mike. The organizers had lured students by handing out fliers on campus while barking: ‘Free condoms! Free ChapStick!’

“…‘There’s a really vibrant L.G.B.T. scene,’ Kate Campbell, one of the M.C.’s, began. ‘However, that mostly encompasses the L.G.B. and not too much of the T. So we’re aiming to change that.’ … She explained that being bi-gender is like manifesting both masculine and feminine personas, almost as if one had a ‘detachable penis.’ … In high school, Kate identified as ‘agender’ and used the singular pronoun ‘they’; she now sees her gender as an ‘amorphous blob.’ … ‘While I definitely knew that I liked girls, I didn’t know that I was one,’ Britt said…. She wasn’t ‘trapped in the wrong body,’ as the cliché has it — she just didn’t know which body she wanted.

“…Raised female, Richard [Parsons] grew up in Orlando, Fla., and realized he was transgender in high school… By the time he got to UPenn, he had been binding his breasts for more than two years and had developed back pain. At the open mike, he told a harrowing story about visiting the university health center for numbness and having a panic attack when he was escorted into a women’s changing room. Nevertheless, he praised the university for offering gender-neutral housing. The college’s medical program also covers sexual reassignment surgery… [The University of Pennsylvania] has not always been so forward-thinking [!]; a decade ago, the L.G.B.T. Center (nestled amid fraternity houses) was barely used. But in 2010, the university began reaching out to applicants whose essays raised gay themes.”

 

 

 

 

7.    California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA

 

"Robert A. Milliken Memorial Library — at Caltech, Pasadena. The tallest building on the Caltech campus" by Canon vs. nikon - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:California_Institute_of_Technology_campus#/media/File:Robert_A._Millikan_Memorial_Library_at_Caltech.jpg 

 

Rankings:       US News (NU) 12t  +  College Choice (NU) 6 × 2 = 36;   plus…      Forbes 39

WSJ/THE 10     Money 24     College Factual 16     College Raptor 7     Kiplinger 19     Niche 16   

PayScale ROI 2    

Total, with unranked or worst (outlier) score dropped, then full score: 145 (169)

 

     Caltech is to MIT what Stanford is to Harvard: a serious western-US contender to a more established school in the East, here for the title of top tech school in the country. More than a third of students major in engineering (36%), followed by physical sciences (22%), computer & information sciences (18%), biology (13%), and math (11%).

     Its top-10 ratings are second in PayScale's Return on Investment (second year in a row; MIT is first this year, up from sixth last year), sixth (College Choice for national universities), seventh (College Raptor, up from last year's tenth), and tenth (Wall St. Journal/Times Higher Education). In six of the ten lists it stands outside the top ten: twelfth (tie; US News for national universities, down slightly from last year's tie for tenth), nineteenth (Kiplinger, down slightly from 2016's fifteenth and 2015's sixteenth), twice sixteenth (USA Today's College Factual, up slightly from last year's seventeenth; and Niche, down substantially from 2016's seventh), twenty-fourth (Money, a surprisingly steep drop from last year's fifth), and thirty-ninth (Forbes, last year thirty-third).

     As for affordability, Caltech ranked sixteenth in lowest average net price among the top 133 GCR schools for beginning undergrads receiving any financial aid in 2014-15 (a major improvement from forty-second in 2013-14). This ranking does not factor in private outside scholarships; factored in, Caltech ranks ninth (stats not available for Harvard and Columbia). Broken down into parental salary levels, in 2014-15 for beginning undergrads it ranked twenty-eighth for incomes $0-$30,000 (2013-14: eleventh), fifteenth for $30,001-$48,000 (2013-14: second!), an impressive eighth for $48,001-$75,000 (2013-14: seventh), and a surprisingly high eighty-second for $75,001-$110,000 (2013-14: eleventh!).  For all undergrads receiving any financial aid in 2014-15 (compiled from CDSs that factor in private outside scholarships) it ranked fifteenth (stats not available for Harvard and Columbia). As for average net price in 2015-16 (private outside scholarships factored in) it ranked thirty-second for beginning undergrads and eighteenth for all undergrads (stats not available for Harvard, Stanford, Duke, Columbia, UPenn, UChicago, Pomona, Harvey Mudd, Middlebury, Emory, USC, and Carleton). Caltech's average student loan at graduation for that portion of the Class of 2015 taking out any loans was only thirtieth among the GCR top 139 schools (a drastic drop from its second place showing for the Class of 2014); the percentage of students graduating with debt was only thirty-fourth (5-way tie; markedly lower than its 3-way tie for fifteenth as regards the Class of 2014).

     Many of Caltech's other rankings are quite impressive. Its students have the highest average standardized test scores in the nation. For the second year in a row PayScale has given it the no. 2 rank in the nation for return on investment (ROI; MIT is first this year, up from sixth last year); its PayScale Mid-Career Salary is fifth. The student/teacher ratio is an amazing 3-to-1 for this small school, tied with MIT for the best in the nation). In standard world rankings lists, which favor technology and the sciences, Caltech stands in sixth place (including second in the prestigious Times Higher Education World University Rankings). MIT stands third. It is tenth in the selectivity (desirability) index.

     For all its strengths, Caltech's yield of admitted students is low for a top 10 school (thirty-sixth, 30% less than MIT). African-American student representation is paltry (1.5%), ranking it one-hundred thirty-first out of the top 133 schools, low even relative to MIT (5.68%, forty-eighth). Its endowment is less than a sixth of that of MIT (only thirty-eighth in the nation), though a respectable twelfth per student and sixth per undergrad-only. For other comparisons of the two tech giants go here.

     Based on political donations of the people who work there, Caltech is the 166th most liberal university out of 446 (8.0 Liberal; CrowdPac). This is the twenty-ninth most liberal school among the 84 schools of the GCR Top 133 that Crowdpac examines.

 

Test scores (Fall 2015 / C2019 enrolled students)

Mid-50% (25th -75th percentile): SAT CR 730-800, M 770-800, W 730-790; ACT 34-35*

Average: CR+M: 1550 (avg. 775), ranked 1st;

CR+M+W: 2310 (avg. 770), ranked 1st;

ACT (C 2019) 34.5, ranked 1st

Percent submitted SAT/ACT scores: 78%/50% (2014: 88%/41%; 2013: 88%/43%)

* C2019 SAT ranges: 700-800: CR 88.59%, M 98.91% (!), W 87.50%; 600-699 CR 11.41%, M 1.09%, W 12.50%; ACT 30-36: 100%. 

 

Selectivity

Acceptance rate: Fall 2012: 11.76% / 2013: 10.55%/ 2014: 8.83% / 2015: 8.807% (8th)                      

Yield rate (of accepted students who enroll): Fall 2014 (C2018): 39.24% / Fall 2015 (C2019): 42.06% (36th)

Selectivity index (acceptance ÷ yield: the lower the score, the more desirable): .2094 (10th)

 

Net Price (total expenses – grant/scholarship aid)

Net price average 2013-14 (from NCES) for beginning undergrads receiving any financial aid: $26,700 (41st)

Net price average 2014-15 (from NCES) for beginning undergrads receiving any financial aid: $23,003 (16th)

Net price average 2014-15 (from CDS) for beginning undergrads…: $20,720 (9th) (total costs $60,780 - average need-based scholarship $40,060); and for all undergrads: $23,223 (15th) ($60,780 - $37,557).

Net price average 2015-16 (from CDS) for beginning undergrads…: $25,388 (33rd) (total costs $63,261 - average need-based scholarship $37,873); and for all undergrads: $24,278 (19th) ($63,261 - $38,983).

By income (2013-14): $0 - $30,000: $6486 (11th) / $30,001 – $48,000: $4130 (2nd) / $48,001 – $75,000: $9053 (7th) / $75,001 – $110,000: $19,867 (11th)

By income (2014-15): $0 - $30,000: $9854 (28th) / $30,001 – $48,000: $8118 (15th) / $48,001 – $75,000: $10,054 (8th) / $75,001 – $110,000: $31,712 (82nd)

No-loan financial aid package for students whose parents make less than $60,000/yr.

 

Debt at Graduation (incl. rank among the GCR top 133) and Default Rates

Average student debt at graduation C2014: $12,104 (2nd lowest) / C2015: $20,677 (30th lowest)

Percentage of graduates with debt: C2014: 32% (15th lowest, 3-way tie) / C2015: 39% (34th lowest, 5-way tie)

Student loan default rate 2010: 3% / 2011: 0% / 2012: 2.5% / 2013: 1.9% [4-yr avg.: 1.85%; 3-yr avg: 1.467%]

 

Graduation Rates, Student Enrollment, Student/Faculty Ratio, Endowment

1st-year retention rate (2014-15): 97% (12-way tie for 15th)   

4- & 6-year grad rate (began Fall 2009):  84.46% (44th) / 90.84% (42nd)

Entering class size: C2019: 241 (C2018: 226); Student pop. (2015): 2,255 (1001 undergraduates)

Student to faculty ratio: 3 to 1 (1st)                

Endowment (2016): $2.199 billion (38th in the US but 12th per student and 6th per undergrad-only )

 

African American Representation as a Measure of Diversity

Average number (and %) per class over 4 undergrad classes, *no TOMR (Fall 2015): 4* out of 250 (1.50%) (131st in GCR)

Number, incl. those of TOMR: C2019: 3*; C2018: 2*; C2017: 4*; C2016: 5*

# National Achievement Scholarship Winners (2014): 3

 

Earning Potential

PayScale Salary 2016-17: For All Alumni (insufficient info for Bachelor's Only): Early career (0-5 years  of employment): $78,400; Mid-career (10+ years): $125,000 (tied for 14th)

For Bachelor's Only in 2015-16: Early career (0-5 years  of employment): $72,600; Mid-career (10+ years): $125,000 (5th)

 

World Rankings

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings (UK) 2016-17: 2

The Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings (UK) 2016: 10

QS World University Rankings (UK) 2016/17: 5

US News Best Global Universities Rankings 2017: 5

Academic Ranking of World Universities (Shanghai) 2016: 8

Center for World University Rankings (Saudi Arabia) 2016: 11

Composite Score: 41 (6th in the world, behind only Harvard, Stanford, MIT, Cambridge, Oxford)

 

FIRE Speech Code Rating (Green: protects; Yellow: may restrict; Red: clearly restricts)

California Institute of Technology has been given the speech code rating Red. A red light university has at least one policy that both clearly and substantially restricts freedom of speech. Read more here.

 

 

 

 

 

8.    Columbia University, New York City (Upper Manhattan), NY

 Columbia University 01.jpg

"Columbia University 01" [Main campus, Low Library to the right] by Momos - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Columbia_University_01.jpg#/media/File:Columbia_University_01.jpg

 

Rankings:       US News (NU) 5t   +   College Choice (NU) 5 × 2 = 20;   plus…       Forbes 16

WSJ/THE 3     Money 52t   College Factual 25   College Raptor 11   Kiplinger 28*  

Niche 12     PayScale ROI 16    

Total, with unranked or worst (outlier) score dropped, then full score: 131 (183)

*Columbia was excluded from Kiplinger’s 2015 and 2016 list because they “did not supply us with all the data required to accurately calculate their ranking.”

     Columbia’s highest ranking is third (the new Wall St. Journal/Times Higher Education ranking); then in the two lists that exclude liberal arts colleges: fifth (US News [tie], down slightly from last year's fourth; and College Choice). Otherwise its best rankings are eleventh (College Raptor, down from last year's eighth place), twelfth (Niche, up slightly from 2016's fourteenth and 2015's fifteenth), and twice sixteenth (Forbes, down slightly from last year's fifteenth; and PayScale ROI, up significantly from last year's twenty-eighth). Its lowest rankings are twenty-fifth (USA Today's College Factual, up slightly from last year's twenty-seventh), twenty-eighth (Kiplinger), and fifty-second (tied, Money; significantly down from last year's twenty-eighth). Columbia averages tenth in world universities rankings.

      As for affordability, Columbia ranked an impressive fifth in lowest average net price among the top 133 GCR schools for beginning undergrads receiving any financial aid in 2014-15 (twelfth in 2013-14; using NCES stats that do not factor in private outside scholarships). Broken down into parental salary levels, in 2014-15 for beginning undergrads it ranked eighteenth for incomes $0-$30,000 (2013-14: thirtieth) and an impressive ninth for $30,001-$48,000 (2013-14: eleventh), sixth for $48,001-$75,000 (2013-14: tenth), and fifth for $75,001-$110,000 (2013-14: seventh). Since Columbia does not publish its Common Data Sets, no information is available for 2015-16 that permits a ranking. Nor was there any information available regarding its average student loan debt at graduation.

    Among the GCR top 133 Columbia has the fourth lowest acceptance rate (in part due to its location in a high density population area), the seventh highest student yield, and third highest selectivity (desirability) index (acceptance rate divided by yield). It is tied for the ninth (CR+M+W) and tenth (CR+M) highest SAT scores, as well as in a 6-way tie for fourth highest composite ACT score. Columbia has the fifth lowest student-to-teacher ratio (5-way tie), surpassed in the Ivies only by Princeton and tied by Yale and UPenn. Its four-year graduation rate is twelfth (4-way tie; among the Ivies only Princeton does better; Dartmouth equals); its 6-year rate eighth (5-way tie). With regard to a first-year retention rate, it is in a 16-way tie for thirty-fourth (but still high: 95%). Its PayScale Mid-Career Salary rank is a surprisingly low thirty-fourth (tie).

     Columbia also has the ninth highest endowment among US schools, the twelfth highest endowment per undergrad, and (only) the forty-seventh highest endowment per student (including grad students). It has  the sixteenth highest percentage of African-American students (among the Ivies only .3% off first-place Princeton). With its setting in upper Manhattan Columbia offers the ideal location for anyone seeking the full range of cultural opportunities that urban life can afford (including location near great museums and theaters) and who is not bothered by the downside (traffic, crime, cost of living).

     Niche ranks Columbia no. 21 among the “2017 Most Liberal Colleges in America.” Based on political donations of the people who work there, Columbia University is the 233rd most liberal university out of 446 (7.6 Liberal; CrowdPac). This is the forty-third most liberal school among the 84 schools of the GCR Top 133 that Crowdpac examines.

 

Test scores (Fall 2014 / C2018 enrolled students)

Mid-50% (25th -75th percentile): SAT CR 690-780, M 700-790, W 700-780; ACT 32-35*   

Average: CR+M: 1480 (avg. 740), ranked 11th (tied);

CR+M+W: 2220 (avg. 740), ranked 10th (tied);

ACT 33.5, ranked 3rd (7-way tie)

Percent submitted SAT/ACT scores (2014): 81%/34% (2012: 90%/32%)

*For C2019 the middle 50% of admitted (not enrolled) students scored between 2160 and 2330 on the SAT; ACT 32-35. SAT Ranges: 760-800: 49%R, 53%M, 48%W; 700-750: 37%R, 28%M, 33%W; 600-690 17%R, 18%M, 17%W; below 600: 2%R, 1%M, 2%W. http://undergrad.admissions.columbia.edu/classprofile/2019.

 

Selectivity

Acceptance rate: Fall 2012: 7.42% / 2013: 6.89% / 2014: 6.95% / 2015: 6.13% (3rd)   

Yield rate (of accepted students who enroll) Fall 2014 (C2018): 63.85% / Fall 2015 (C2019): 65.14

Selectivity index (acceptance ÷ yield: the lower the score, the more desirable): .0941 (4th)

 

 Net Price (total expenses – grant/scholarship aid)

Net price average 2013-14 (from NCES) for beginning undergrads receiving any financial aid: $22,310 (12th)

Net price average 2014-15 (from NCES) for beginning undergrads receiving any financial aid: $22,310 (12th)

Note: Columbia does not publish online its CDSs.

According to its website, in 2015-16 "50% of Columbia students receive[d] grants from Columbia and the average amount awarded is $46,516." This amount does not factor in government grants and private outside scholarships. The full cost of attendance in 2015-16 was $70,360. "16% of Columbia’s undergraduates receive the Pell Grant, a Federal Grant reserved for the students with the highest need in the country." 

By income (2013-14): $0 - $30,000: $10,614 (30th) / $30,001 – $48,000: $6779 (11th) / $48,001 – $75,000: $10,682 (10th) / $75,001 – $110,000: $18,615 (7th)

By income (2013-14): $0 - $30,000: $8505 (18th) / $30,001 – $48,000: $6038 (9th) / $48,001 – $75,000: $9876 (6th) / $75,001 – $110,000: $17,354 (4th)

No parental contributon expected for families making less than $60,000/yr. The only payment expected is from the student’s summer earnings, part-time employment, and any savings the student may have. A no-loan policy for all financial aid awards.

 

Debt at Graduation (incl. rank among the GCR top 133) and Default Rates

Average student debt at graduation [no info available]

Percentage of C2014 graduates with debt: [no info available]

Student loan default rate 2010: 2.9% / 2011: 2% / 2012: 1.7% / 2013: 1.4%  [4-yr avg.: 2%; 3-yr avg: 1.7%]

 

Graduation Rates, Student Enrollment, Student/Faculty Ratio, Endowment

1st-year retention rate (2013-14): 96%     4- & 6-year grad rate (began Fall 2008):  88%/95%

Entering class size: C2019: 1406 (C2018: 1430); Student pop. 27,589 (6170 undergraduate)

Student to faculty ratio: 6 to 1                 

Endowment (2016): $9.04 billion (9th in the US*, 10th in the world**; in the US 47th per student and 12th per undergrad-only)

*My endowment ranking counts only individual universities, not university systems like those of the Texas A&M University and the University of Michigan. Texas A&M University System had an endowment of $10.54 billion in 2016, comprising 11 universities with 143,000 students, along with “seven state agencies, two service units and a comprehensive health science center” (the student population at College Station is thus 44.6% of the whole). US News lists the 2015 endowment as $9.754 billion (93% of the system endowment). I compromised 70% of the system endowment: $7.38 billion. The University of Michigan System had an endowment of $9.74 billion in 2016. The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor operates satellite campuses in Flint and Dearborn with a combined student body of 17,500 as compared to the over 43,651 student body at Ann Arbor. Since the student body figure for the satellite campuses is 28.7% of the whole and US News gives for the 2015 endowment of the flagship school $9.8097 (98.6% of the system endowment) I compromised with a 10% reduction from the system endowment, leaving $8.77 billion for Ann Arbor.

**The only non-US university with a larger endowment is  King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia ($20 billion in 2013). The next largest endowments outside the US are the University of Cambridge ($7.3 billion in 2014) and the University of Oxford ($5.83 billion in 2015).

 

African American Representation as a Measure of Diversity

Average number (and %) per class over 4 undergrad classes, *no TOMR (Fall 2015): 158* (7.34% in GCR)*

Number, incl. those of TOMR:** C2019: 160; C2018: 162; C2016: 201

# National Achievement Scholarship Winners (2014): 34 

*Petersons.com lists Black or African American at 11.51% and under TOMR “not reported.” The 11.51% amounts to an average 178 students per class.

**http://undergrad.admissions.columbia.edu/classprofile/2019: Fourteen percent of students who are US Citizens and Permanent Residents identify as African American. International students (by home address or place of schooling) account for 19% of C2019; Foreign Citizens 15%. With a class size of 1406, 19% = 267; so non-international students = 1139; 14% of that is 160. For C2018 the figure is also 14% of domestic students with 19% International; so 162 AfrA students (ttp://undergrad.admissions.columbia.edu/sites/default/files/2018profile.pdf). Compare the 2014 Peterson.com figure (Black 11.85% + multi- “not reported” = 180?), though the JBHE figure for Fall 2012 is 201.

 

Earning Potential

PayScale Salary 2016-17: Early career (0-5 years  of employment): $64,000; Mid-career (10+ years): $109,000 (tie for 34th)

 

World Rankings

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings (UK) 2016-17: 16

The Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings (UK) 2016: 9

QS World University Rankings (UK) 2016/17: 20

US News Best Global Universities Rankings 2017: 9

Academic Ranking of World Universities (Shanghai) 2016: 9

Center for World University Rankings (Saudi Arabia) 2016: 6

Composite Score: 69 (10th; behind Princeton [q.v.] and the 6 schools in front of it; plus UChicago and UCal-Berkeley)

 

FIRE Speech Code Rating (Green: protects; Yellow: may restrict; Red: clearly restricts)

Columbia University has been given the speech code rating Red. A red light university has at least one policy that both clearly and substantially restricts freedom of speech. Read more here.

Campus Pride” Index Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

This is an overall indicator of an institution’s zealous promotion of an “LGBTQ” agenda to the detriment of any who have moral qualms about such an agenda, through coercive indoctrination, active “diversity” recruitment, special resourcing, sanctions, and slander of those who support a male-female foundation for sexual unions as “hateful, ignorant, homophobic bigots” on a par with racists. For moderate-to-conservative students it represents the greatest threat to their freedom of speech and association, faith and religious liberty, and due process at this institution. Applicants may still thrive in this oppressive environment, off-set by association with like-minded persons, but should be aware of the risks before applying.

 

 

 

 

 

9.    Duke University, Durham, NC

 

 

Rankings:       US News (NU) 8t   +    College Choice (NU) 8 × 2 = 32;   plus…       Forbes 26

WSJ/THE 7     Money 39   College Factual 4   College Raptor 18   Kiplinger 4   Niche 11 

PayScale ROI 37    

Total, with unranked or worst (outlier) score dropped, then full score: 139 (178)

 

     This no. 1 school of the South might be better known for its college basketball team, the Blue Devils. Yet make no mistake about it: Duke belongs in the upper tier of the top universities and colleges nationally. Its best ratings among the ten lists consulted here are fourth (twice: USA Today's College Factual, up slightly from 2016's fifth and down slightly from 2015's third; Kiplinger, up from 2016's eleventh and 2015's tenth) and seventh (Wall St. Journal/Times Higher Education), with two others rating it eighth (US News [same as last year, except now tied] and College Choice, among national research universities). It is ranked outside the top 10 but still in the ballpark in its eleventh (Niche, down from last year's seventh; in 2015 also eleventh) and eighteenth (College Raptor, down from last year's sixteenth) place rankings. Out of the top 10 ballpark are three rankings: twenty-sixth (Forbes, down from last year's twenty-second), thirty-seventh (PayScale ROI, way down from last year's twenty-second), and thirty-ninth (Money, way down from last year's tie for twenty-second). US News also ranks Duke #14 (4-way tie) in Best Undergraduate Teaching among National Universities. Duke is ranked twentieth in the world according to the GCR composite world rankings list (fifteenth among US schools in the list). 

      As for affordability, Duke ranked eleventh in lowest average net price among the top 133 GCR schools for beginning undergrads receiving any financial aid in 2014-15 (sixteenth in 2013-14; using NCES stats that do not factor in private outside scholarships). Broken down into parental salary levels, in 2014-15 for beginning undergrads it ranked forty-sixth for incomes $0-$30,000 (2013-14: twenty-second), an impressive third for $30,001-$48,000 (2013-14: thirty-eighth) and fifth for $48,000-$75,000 (2013-14: thirty-fourth), and thirty-sixth for $75,000-$110,000 (2013-14: forty-fifth). For all undergrads receiving any financial aid in 2014-15 (compiled from CDSs that factor in private outside scholarships) it ranked thirteenth (stats not yet available for Harvard and Columbia). Duke's average student loan at graduation for that portion of the Class of 2015 taking out any loans was twentieth among the GCR top 139 schools; the percentage of students graduating with debt was the twenty-third lowest (tie).

    In 2015 Duke has the fourteenth highest endowment in the US (sixteenth highest in the world); per undergrad it is ranked seventeenth and per student (including grad students) thirty-third. Its PayScale Mid-Career Salary rank is thirteenth (4-way tie). Among the GCR top 133 Duke has the third highest African-American representation. In Fall 2015 Duke had the fifteenth lowest acceptance rate, the fifteenth highest yield rate, and the thirteenth best selectivity (desirability) index. Its Fall 2015 class had the seventeenth (CR+M+W) and eighteenth (CR+M) highest SAT score and was in a 9-way tie for the fifteenth highest composite ACT score. Duke's student-to-faculty ratio puts it in a 16-way tie for fifteenth; its first-year retention rate in a 15-way tie for fifteenth; its 4-year graduation rate in a 4-way tie for twenty-second; and its 6-year graduation rate in a 5-way tie for eighth.

     Based on political donations of the people who work there, Duke University is the 332nd most liberal university out of 446 (6.8 Liberal; CrowdPac). This is the sixty-seventh most liberal school among the 84 schools of the GCR Top 133 that Crowdpac examines.

 

Test scores (Fall 2015 / C2019 enrolled students)

Mid-50% (25th -75th percentile): SAT CR 670-760, M 690-790, W 690-780; ACT 31-34  

Average: CR+M: 1455 (avg. 727.5), ranked 18th;

CR+M+W: 2190 (avg. 730), ranked 17th;

ACT 32.5, ranked 15th (9-way tie)

Percent submitted SAT/ACT scores: 67%/56% (2014: 72%/50%; 2013: 75%/49%)

 

Selectivity

Acceptance rate: Fall 2012: 13.42% / 2013: 12.44% / 2014: 11.41% / 2015: 11.84% (15th)

Yield rate (of accepted students who enroll) Fall 2014 (C2018): 47.86% / Fall 2015 (C2019): 48.93% (15th)

Selectivity index (acceptance ÷ yield: the lower the score, the more desirable): .2420 (13th)

 

Net Price (total expenses – grant/scholarship aid)

Net price average 2013-14 (from NCES) for beginning undergrads receiving any financial aid: $22,794 (16th)

Net price average 2014-15 (from NCES) for beginning undergrads receiving any financial aid: $22,329 (11th)

Note: Duke does not publish online its CDSs.

Net price average 2014-15 (from CDS) for beginning undergrads…: $24,192 (29th) (total costs $65,033 - average need-based scholarship $40,841*); and for all undergrads: $23,123 (12th) ($65,033 - $41,910*).

*Data supplied in private correspondence with Duke. But here Duke advertised  that the average need-based grant for 2014-2015 was $42,345, which would mean a net price of $22,688.

By income (2013-14): $0 - $30,000: $9807 (23rd) / $30,001 – $48,000: $12,945 (39th) / $48,001 – $75,000: $17,210 (35th) / $75,001 – $110,000: $26,115 (45th)

By income (2014-15): $0 - $30,000: $12,938 (46th) / $30,001 – $48,000: $4351 (3rd) / $48,001 – $75,000: $8607 (5th) / $75,001 – $110,000: $25,106 (36th)

No parental contribution expected for families making less than $60,000/yr. The only payment expected is from the student’s summer earnings, part-time employment, and any savings the student may have.

Graduated loan policy: No loans for those with family incomes less than $40,000. Graduated loans for those making $40,000-$100,000: $2000 loan for $40,000-$55,000; $3000 loan for $55,000-$70,000; $4000 loan for $70,000-$85,000; $5000 loan for $85,000 and over. 

 

Debt at Graduation (incl. rank among the GCR top 133) and Default Rates

Average student debt at graduation C2014: $20,556 (35th lowest) / C2015: $19,104 (20th lowest)

Percentage of graduates with debt: C2014: 36% (24th lowest, 3-way tie) / C2015: 35% (23rd lowest, tie)

Student loan default rate 2010: 1% / 2011: 1.1% / 2012: .6% / 2013: .4% [4-yr avg.: .775%; 3-yr avg: .7%]

 

Graduation Rates, Student Enrollment, Student/Faculty Ratio, Endowment

1st-year retention rate (2013-14): 97% (12-way tie for 15th)   

4- & 6-year grad rate (began Fall 2009):  86.18% (30th) / 95% (5-way tie for 8th)

Entering class size: C2019: 1745 (C2018: 1721); Student pop. 15,984 (6,639 undergraduate)

Student to faculty ratio (2015-16): 6 to 1 (6-way tie for 4th)                

Endowment (2016): $6.84 billion (14th in the US, 16th in the world*; in the US 33rd per student and 17th per undergrad-only)

*The only non-US universities with a larger endowment are King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia ($20 billion in 2013), the University of Cambridge ($7.3 billion in 2014), and possibly (though not likely) the University of Oxford ($5.83 billion in 2015)

 

African American Representation as a Measure of Diversity

Average number (and %) per class over 4 undergrad classes, *no TOMR (Fall 2015): 158* (9.75%) (3rd in GCR)

Number, incl. those of TOMR:1 C2019: 193 (162*); C2018: 190 (168*); C2017: 163*; C2016: 198 (171*)

# National Achievement Scholarship Winners (2014): 18

1 C2019 AfrA 11% (incl. multi-); same % C2018: http://admissions.duke.edu/images/uploads/process/DukeClass2018Profile.pdf.

 

Earning Potential

PayScale Salary 2016-17: Early career (0-5 years  of employment): $61,300; Mid-career (10+ years): $119,000 (13th, 4-way tie)  

 

World Rankings

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings (UK) 2016-17: 18

The Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings (UK) 2016: 28

QS World University Rankings (UK) 2016/17: 24

US News Best Global Universities Rankings 2017: 19t

Academic Ranking of World Universities (Shanghai) 2016: 25

Center for World University Rankings (Saudi Arabia) 2016: 29

Composite Score: 143 (20th in the world, 15th among US schools; behind UPenn and the twelve schools in front of it, plus Cornell, Johns Hopkins, Imperial College [London], Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, University College [London], UMichigan)

 

FIRE Speech Code Rating (Green: protects; Yellow: may restrict; Red: clearly restricts)

Duke University has been given the speech code rating Yellow. Yellow light colleges and universities are those institutions with at least one ambiguous policy that too easily encourages administrative abuse and arbitrary application. Read more here.

Campus Pride” Index Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

This is an overall indicator of an institution’s zealous promotion of an “LGBTQ” agenda to the detriment of any who have moral qualms about such an agenda, through coercive indoctrination, active “diversity” recruitment, special resourcing, sanctions, and slander of those who support a male-female foundation for sexual unions as “hateful, ignorant, homophobic bigots” on a par with racists. For moderate-to-conservative students it represents the greatest threat to their freedom of speech and association, faith and religious liberty, and due process at this institution. Applicants may still thrive in this oppressive environment, off-set by association with like-minded persons, but should be aware of the risks before applying.

 

 

 

 

10.    Brown University, Providence, RI

 Brown University Sayles Hall.JPG

"Brown University Sayles Hall" by Ad Meskens - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Brown_University_Sayles_Hall.JPG#/media/File:Brown_University_Sayles_Hall.JPG

 

Rankings:       US News (NU) 14   + College Choice (NU) 14 × 2 = 56;   plus…        Forbes 8

WSJ/THE 20     Money 31t   College Factual 7   College Raptor 15   Kiplinger 21   Niche 10 

PayScale ROI 26    

Total, with unranked or worst (outlier) score dropped, then full score: 163 (194)

 

     Brown University has a third of its ten rankings in the top 10: one in seventh place (USA Today's College Factual, down slightly from last year's sixth), one in eighth (Forbes, same as previous year), and one in tenth (Niche, down slightly from 2016's eighth but up from 2015's twelfth); a third more between 11 and 20, in fourteenth (US News [same as last year] and College Choice for national universities), fifteen (College Raptor, up from last year's eighteenth place), and twentieth place (Wall St. Journal/Times Higher Education); and finally a third more between 21 and 31: twenty-first (Kiplinger, up from 2016's thirty-first and 2015's twenty-eighth), twenty-sixth (PayScale's Return of Investment), and thirty-first (Money, up slightly from last year's thirty-second place, both tied). US News also ranks Brown #4 in Best Undergraduate Teaching among National Universities. Its place on the GCR composite world ranking list is only seventy-third (second lowest in the Ivy League, with only Dartmouth lower).

     In terms of affordability Brown ranked twenty-sixth in lowest average net price among the top 133 GCR schools for beginning undergrads receiving any financial aid in 2014-15 (thirteenth in 2013-14). This ranking (compiled from NCES figures adjusted for standard expenses) does not factor in private outside scholarships; factored in, Brown ranks eighteenth (but stats not available for Harvard and Columbia). Broken down into parental salary levels, in 2014-15 for beginning undergrads it ranked an impressive seventh for incomes $0-$30,000 (2013-14: eighth) but only eighteenth for $30,001-$48,000 (2013-14: sixteenth), twenty-fourth for $48,001-$75,000 (2013-14: thirteenth), and twentieth for $75,001-$110,000 (2013-14: twenty-fourth).  For all undergrads receiving any financial aid in 2014-15 (compiled from CDSs that factor in private outside scholarships) it ranked twelfth (but stats not available for Harvard and Columbia). As for average net price in 2015-16 (private outside scholarships factored in) it ranked twenty-fifth for beginning undergrads and eleventh for all undergrads (but stats not available for Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, Duke, UPenn, Pomona, Middlebury, Carleton, and Trinity College).

     Brown's average student loan at graduation for that portion of the Class of 2015 taking out any loans was a low forty-ninth among the GCR top 139 schools; the percentage of students graduating with debt was the eighteenth lowest (5-way tie). No parental contribution is expected for families making less than $60,000 and there is a no-loan financial aid policy for those under $100,000.

     Relative to its overall ranking, Brown outperforms in its first-year retention rate (6-way tie for third)and its 6-year graduation rate (fifth). Brown performs in a manner commensurate with its overall rank (eighth to eighteenth) in its selectivity (desirability) index (acceptance rate over yield; ninth) and test scores (SAT: tied for fifteenth [CR+M]; 3-way tie for fourteenth [CR+M+W]; ACT: 9-way tie for fifteenth). Brown underperforms (twentieth to seventy-second) slightly in PayScale Mid-Career Salary rating (twentieth), its African-American representation (twenty-seventh, second lowest in the Ivies), and endowment (thirtieth, lowest in the Ivy League); more so in its student-to-faculty ratio (17-way tie for thirty-third) and endowment-per-student ratio (thirty-sixth per undergrad and fiftieth per undergrad + grad); and particularly in its 4-year graduation rate (forty-seventh, lowest in the Ivies). Brown also has a bad "red-light" rating as regards a restrictive speech code, according to FIRE.

     Niche ranks Brown no. 6 among the “2017 Most Liberal Colleges in America.” Princeton Review list of the top 20 schools with “Most Liberal Students” puts Brown at no. 20 (the only GCR top 40 school to make the list). Based on political donations of the people who work there, Brown University is the 137th most liberal university out of 446 (8.1 Liberal; CrowdPac). This is the twenty-third most liberal school among the 84 schools of the GCR Top 133 that Crowdpac examines; third among the Ivies behind Cornell and Dartmouth.

 

Test scores (Fall 2015 / C2019 enrolled students)

Mid-50% (25th -75th percentile): SAT CR 680-780, M 690-780, W 690-780; ACT 31-34*    

Average: CR+M: 1465 (avg. 732.5), ranked 15th (tied);

CR+M+W: 2200 (avg. 733.3), ranked 13th (4-way tie);

ACT 32.5, 15th (9-way tie)

Percent submitted SAT/ACT scores: 71%/44% (2014: 77%/40%; 2013: 79%/38%)

For C2019 there are charts showing distribution of test scores by applicants with admit and enroll rates:  https://www.brown.edu/admission/undergraduate/explore/admission-facts#distribution. .

 

Selectivity

Acceptance rate: Fall 2012: 9.60% / 2013: 9.18% / 2014: 8.74% / 2015: 9.458% (9th among nationally ranked schools)                                                                                              

Yield rate (of accepted students who enroll) Fall 2014 (C2018): 58.7% / Fall 2015 (C2019): 56.17% (9th)

Selectivity index (acceptance ÷ yield: the lower the score, the more desirable): .1684 (9th)

 

Net Price (total expenses – grant/scholarship aid)

Net price average 2013-14 (from NCES) for beginning undergrads receiving any financial aid: $22,465 (13th)

Net price average 2014-15 (from NCES) for beginning undergrads receiving any financial aid: $24,191 (26th)

Net price average 2014-15 (from CDS) for beginning undergrads…: $22,830 (18th) (total costs $63,928 - average need-based scholarship $41,098); and for all undergrads: $23,011 (12th) ($63,928 - $40,917).*

Net price average 2015-16 (from CDS) for beginning undergrads…: $24,437 (26th) (total costs $66,546 - average need-based scholarship $42,109); and for all undergrads: $23,501 (12th) ($66,546 - $43,045).

*So the 2014-15 Common Data Set. Different data for need-based scholarship for 2014-15 appear on Brown’s website: $40,055 for beginning undergrads and $39,767 for all undergrads, resulting in an avg. net price of $23,873 and $24,161 respectively. This difference of $1043 and $1150 respectively is probably due to the fact that the CDS figure includes scholarships/grants from external services (e.g., Kiwanis, National Merit) not awarded by the college.

By income (2013-14): $0 - $30,000: $4458 (8th) / $30,001 – $48,000: $8401 (16th) / $48,001 – $75,000: $11,972 (13th) / $75,001 – $110,000: $23,554 (25th)

By income (2014-15): $0 - $30,000: $5929 (7th) / $30,001 – $48,000: $8353 (18th) / $48,001 – $75,000: $14,440 (24th) / $75,001 – $110,000: $22,377 (20th)

No parental contribution expected for families making less than $60,000/yr. The only payment expected is from the student’s summer earnings, part-time employment, and any savings the student may have. A no-loan financial aid policy for families earning less than $100,000/yr; for those making between $100,000 and $125,000 the cap on four-year debt is $12,000.

 

Debt at Graduation (incl. rank among the GCR top 133) and Default Rates

Average student debt at graduation C2014: $24,300 (65th lowest) / C2015: $22,197 (49th lowest)

Percentage of graduates with debt: C2014: 35% (22nd lowest, tie) / C2015: 34% (18th lowest, 5-way tie)  

Student loan default rate 2010: 2% / 2011: 1.3% / 2012: .5% / 2013: 1.7% [4-yr avg.: 1.375%; 3-yr avg: 1.167%]

 

Graduation Rates, Student Enrollment, Student/Faculty Ratio, Endowment

1st-year retention rate (2014-15): 98% (6-way tie for 3rd)   

4- & 6-year grad rate (began Fall 2009):  83.03% (47th) / 95.91% (5th)

Entering class size: C2019: 1615 (C2018: 1567); Student pop. (Fall 2015) 9458 (6652 undergrad)

Student to faculty ratio (2015-16): 9 to 1 (17-way tie for 34th)       

Endowment (2016): $2.96 billion (30th in the US*, 33th to 35th in the world; in the US 50th per student and 36th per undergrad-only)

*One notch lower if one counts the entire Ohio State University endowment. In addition to its main campus, OSU also governs regional campuses in Wooster, Lima, Mansfield, Marion, and Newark. Given their miniscule size in comparison to the main campus (a combined student body of 6,600 compared to the main campus student body of over 58,300, i.e. 10% of the total), the kind of major adjustment that I have given to flagship public universities with larger systems is not necessary. I deducted only 10% from the entire endowment of OSU ($3.634 billion) to arrive at a figure for the main campus of $3.27 billion.

 

African American Representation as a Measure of Diversity

Average number (and %) per class over 4 undergrad classes, *no TOMR (Fall 2015): 106* (6.71%) (27th in GCR)

Number, incl. those of TOMR: C2019: 1461 (100*); C2018: 106*; C2017: 117*; C2016: 1462 (111*)

# National Achievement Scholarship Winners (2014): 15

1 Calculated from a 9% estimate.

2 As elsewhere the C2016 (= Fall 2012) figure is from “Black First-Year Students at the Nation’s Leading Research Universities,” Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, Dec. 17, 2012. On their own site Brown for C2016 has Black 9% (which would be 140; includes multi-): http://www.brown.edu/admission/undergraduate/sites/brown.edu.admission.undergraduate/files/uploads/BrownByNumbers.pdf.

 

Earning Potential

PayScale Salary 2016-17: Early career (0-5 years  of employment): $58,600; Mid-career (10+ years): $116,000 (20th)  

World Rankings

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings (UK) 2016-17: 51t

The Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings (UK) 2016: 71-80

QS World University Rankings (UK) 2016/17: 49

US News Best Global Universities Rankings 2017: 85t

Academic Ranking of World Universities (Shanghai) 2016: 90t

Center for World University Rankings (Saudi Arabia) 2016: 87

Composite Score: 437 (averages 73rd in the world)


 

FIRE Speech Code Rating (Green: protects; Yellow: may restrict; Red: clearly restricts)

Brown University has been given the speech code rating Red. A red light university has at least one policy that both clearly and substantially restricts freedom of speech. Read more here.

 

Selected by Princeton Review as tenth among the Top 20 “LGBTQ-Friendly” Colleges and Universities

This is an overall indicator of an institution’s zealous promotion of an “LGBTQ” agenda to the detriment of any who have moral qualms about such an agenda, through coercive indoctrination, active “diversity” recruitment, special resourcing, sanctions, and slander of those who support a male-female foundation for sexual unions as “hateful, ignorant, homophobic bigots” on a par with racists. For moderate-to-conservative students it represents the greatest threat to their freedom of speech and association, faith and religious liberty, and due process at this institution. Applicants may still thrive in this oppressive environment, off-set by association with like-minded persons, but should be aware of the risks before applying.

 

 

 

 

 

11.    Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH 

 

Dartmouth College campus 2008-08-20 Dartmouth Hall 01 - edit 1.jpg

"Dartmouth College campus 2008-08-20 Dartmouth Hall 01 - edit 1" by Kane5187 - Own work. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dartmouth_College_campus_2008-08-20_Dartmouth_Hall_01_-_edit_1.jpg#/media/File:Dartmouth_College_campus_2008-08-20_Dartmouth_Hall_01_-_edit_1.jpg

 

Rankings:       US News (NU) 11   + College Choice (NU) 10 × 2 = 44;   plus…     Forbes 17

WSJ/THE 16     Money 33   College Factual 11   College Raptor 22   Kiplinger 26   Niche 13 

PayScale ROI 19    

Total, with unranked or worst (outlier) score dropped, then full score: 167 (200)

 

     Dartmouth College is the smallest of the Ivy League colleges, with Princeton and Yale each having respectively only 210 and 250 more undergraduates per class. Though having a number of graduate schools, it continues to focus on undergraduate education, albeit with a student-teacher ratio a bit higher than four or five other Ivies. It is the premier New England college north of Massachusetts and proud of its winter activities for easing the discomfort of the cold.

     Its best rankings are tenth (College Choice for national universities only), twice eleventh (US News for national universities only; and USA Today's College Factual; in both lists up slightly from last year's twelfth), thirteenth (Niche, up substantially from 2016's twenty-second and 2015's twenty-seventh), sixteenth (Wall St. Journal/Times Higher Education), seventeenth (Forbes, down from fourteenth last year), and nineteenth (PayScale Return on Investment, up from last year's twenty-fifth). Its worse rankings are twenty-second (College Raptor, down substantially from thirteenth the previous year), twenty-sixth (Kiplinger, compare 2016's twenty-seventh and 2015's twenty-third), and thirty-third (Money, down substantially from last year's twenty-first). US News also ranks Dartmouth #7 (3-way tie) in Best Undergraduate Teaching among National Universities. In the GCR composite world ranking list, Dartmouth ranks one-hundred fortieth-plus, lowest among the Ivies by a substantial amount.

      In terms of affordability for the past several years Dartmouth has averaged sixteenth in net price (both when different income levels are factored in and when they are not). Dartmouth's average student loan at graduation for that portion of the Class of 2015 taking out any loans was twenty-first among the GCR top 133 schools; the percentage of students graduating with debt was only the fifty-first lowest (9-way tie). Dartmouth does not have a full-ride provision for students whose parents make less than $60,000/yr (unlike other Ivies) but it does have a free-tuition, no-loan financial aid package for students whose parents earn less than $100,000/yr.

     Relative to its overall rank, Dartmouth performs best especially in its six-year graduation rate (96.6%, fifth in the GCR Top 133); then its four-year graduation rate (88.1%, thirteenth in the GCR), acceptance rate (10.6%, thirteenth in the GCR), first-year retention rate (97.5%, tied for thirteenth in the GCR), mid-career salary average according to PayScale (a 4-way tie for thirteenth among all schools). It performs rank-wise "worst" in its absolute endowment (but still $4.47 billion, twenty-first in the US; seventeenth per student and sixteenth per undergrad-only), SAT (CR+M) average for its entering class (1445, 3-way tie for twentieth in the GCR), and African-American representation in the student body (6.9%, twentieth in the GCR). All other rankings categories (apart from affordability) range from fifteenth to nineteenth. So the only outlier ranks are the six-year grad rate (fifth) and the percentage of students graduating with debt (fifty-first); otherwise Dartmouth consistently ranks between thirteenth and twenty-first.

     In November 2015 there was a startling incident at Dartmouth in connection with a “Black Lives Matter” protest in which some of the protestors screamed profanities at students studying at the main library for not joining the protest, bullying them, and blocking the movement of one or more students. One administrator apologized not to the students who were intimidated and verbally assaulted but to the protestors, complaining that conservatives were "not nice." The President issued an initial tepid school-wide email and only later, in response to a media storm, suggested that sanctions might be in order for the protestors (I am not aware of any sanctions being imposed). The incident raises questions about double standards by Dartmouth administrators, particularly against moderates and conservatives, and whether Dartmouth can be a welcoming place for all students. For the story go here, here, here, here, here, and here.  

     In August 2013 President Hanlon withdrew a job offer to James Tengatenga, a bishop of the Anglican Church in Malawi, to be Dean of the Tucker Foundation (which oversees spiritual, ethical, and social justice matters at the College) simply because previously Bishop Tengatenga had held the historic and orthodox Christian view that homosexual practice was sinful; a decade earlier he had been critical of Gene Robinson's appointment as the Episcopal Church's first "gay bishop." Even though Tengatenga now expressed support for "gay rights" and even "gay marriage" he could not save his job. The College then hired as Director of Religious and Spiritual Life of the Tucker Foundation (now restructured to split the religious aspect from community service) a lesbian Episcopal priest. By Dartmouth standards Jesus and Paul could not have qualified for the job of spiritual and moral leadership at Dartmouth. So much for diversity. (For the story go here, here, and here.)

     On a similar note, the evangelical group Christian Union has been repeatedly denied recognition as an official student group, despite its phenomenal growth and recognition of similar chapters at other Ivy League schools. Even though other officially recognized groups are allowed to require that leaders agree with the stated purposes of the group, CU was rejected because it required its leaders to be professing Christians who abided by orthodox Christian sexual ethics. Dartmouth alone among the Ivy League does not allow recognized religious groups the same freedom of expression and association that recognized non-religious groups have (for more info go here, here, and here).

      Based on political donations of the people who work there, Dartmouth College is the 124th most liberal university out of 446 (8.2 Liberal; CrowdPac). This is the twenty-first most liberal school among the 84 schools of the GCR Top 133 that Crowdpac examines and second among the Ivies.

 

Test scores of enrolled students

Fall 2016 (C2020):

Mid-50% (25th -75th percentile): SAT CR 670-780, M 680-780, W 680-790; ACT 30-34   

SAT Average: CR+M:  1455 (avg. 727.5), ranked 13th +

                         CR+M+W: 2190 (avg. 730), ranked 8th + (3-way tie)

ACT composite average: 32.5, ranked 18th (6-way tie)

Percent submitted SAT/ACT scores: 51%/47%

*C2020 SAT actual means were: CR 717; M 723, W 722; ACT 32. https://admissions.dartmouth.edu/facts-advice/facts/testing-statistics.  

Fall 2015 (C2019):

Mid-50% (25th -75th percentile): SAT CR 660-780, M 670-780, W 670-780; ACT 30-34*       

SAT Average: CR+M:  1445 (avg. 722.5), ranked 20th (3-way tie)

                         CR+M+W:  2170 (avg. 723.3), ranked 19th (tie)

ACT composite average: 32, ranked 23rd (5-way tie)

Percent submitted SAT/ACT scores:  59%/41% (2014: 65%/35%; 2012: 69%/31%)

*C2019 SAT actual means were: CR 717; M 722, W 721; ACT 32. https://admissions.dartmouth.edu/facts-advice/facts/testing-statistics.  

 

Selectivity

Acceptance rate: Fall 2012: 9.78% / 2013: 10.42% / 2014: 11.50% / 2015: 10.97% (13th) / 2016: 10.59% (13th among GCR Top 133)

Yield rate (of accepted students who enroll) Fall 2014 (C2018): 51.89% / 2015: 49.6% (13th) / 2016: 51.19% (16th)

Selectivity index (acceptance ÷ yield: the lower the score, the more desirable): .2212 (12th) / 2016: .2069 (15th)

 

Net Price (total expenses – grant/scholarship aid)

Net price average 2016-17 for beginning undergrads…: $21,649 (7th +) (total costs $70,674 - average need-based scholarship $49,025); and for all undergrads: $23,904 (10th +) ($70,674 - $46,770)

Net price average 2015-16 (from CDS) for beginning undergrads…: $21,717 (13th) (total costs $68,634 - average need-based scholarship $46,917); and for all undergrads: $23,854 (18th) ($68,634 - $44,780)

Net price average 2014-15 (from NCES) for beginning undergrads receiving any financial aid: $22,662 (12th)

Net price average 2014-15 (from CDS) for beginning undergrads…: $21,770 (13th) (total costs $66,617 - average need-based scholarship $44,847); and for all undergrads: $24,318 (22nd) ($66,617 - $42,299)

Net price average 2013-14 (from NCES) for beginning undergrads receiving any financial aid: $22,696 (15th)

By income (2014-15): $0 - $30,000: $7733 (14th) / $30,001 – $48,000: $8083 (13th) / $48,001 – $75,000: $13,651 (17th) / $75,001 – $110,000: $18,466 (5th)

By income (2013-14): $0 - $30,000: $8948 (19th) / $30,001 – $48,000: $8300 (15th) / $48,001 – $75,000: $13,995 (20th) / $75,001 – $110,000: $20,987 (16th)

No full-ride provision for students whose parents make less than $60,000/yr (unlike other Ivies) but free tuition and a no-loan financial aid package for students whose parents earn less than $100,000/yr. Students from families earning $100,000 to $200,000 have a loan as part of their financial aid package, limited to $2,500 to $5,500 annually. (This change was instituted in Fall 2012; from Fall 2008 to Spring 2012 loans were not part of any financial aid package.)

 

Debt at Graduation (incl. rank among the GCR top 133) and Default Rates

Average student debt at graduation C2014: $17,171 (12th lowest) / C2015: $19,135 (21st lowest)

Percentage of graduates with debt: C2014: 46% (59th lowest, 6-way tie) / C2015: 43% (51st lowest, 9-way tie)

Student loan default rate 2010: 2.4% / 2011: 1.4% / 2012: 1.7% / 2013: .9% [4-yr avg.: 1.6%; 3-yr avg: 1.333%]

 

Graduation Rates, Student Enrollment, Student/Faculty Ratio, Endowment

1st-year retention rate (2014-15): 97.2%  / (2015-16) 97.5% (13th, tie in GCR Top 133) 

4- & 6-year grad rate (began Fall 2009):  88%/95% / (began Fall 2010): 88.14% (13th) / 96.57% (5th)

Entering class size: C2020: 1,121 (C2019: 1,112 (C2018: 1,152)

Student pop.: (Fall 2016) 6,409 (4,310 undergrad) / (Fall 2015) 6,350 (4,307 undergrad)

Student to faculty ratio:  (2016-17) 7.44 to 1 (16th)        

Endowment (2016): $4.47 billion (21st in US, 24th in the world; in the US 17th per student [undergrad + grad] and 16th per undergrad-only

 

African American Representation as a Measure of Diversity

Average number (and %) per class over 4 undergrad classes, *no TOMR (Fall 2016): 73*/1058 (6.93%; 20th in GCR)

Number, incl. those of TOMR:* C2020: 80*; C2019: 74*; C2018: 84*; C2017: 73*; C2016: 75* (87)

*Relative to the Common Data Set figures, online class profiles for the past few years (https://admissions.dartmouth.edu/facts-advice/facts/class-profile) inflate African-American representation as 8% and deflate multi-racial representation as 2-3%. CDS figures average 7% and 5% respectively.   

 

Earning Potential

PayScale Salary 2016-17: Early career (0-5 years of employment): $60,800; Mid-career (10+ years): $119,000 (13th, 4-way tie)

 

World Rankings

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings (UK) 2016-17: 82t

The Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings (UK) 2016: 101+ [unranked in top 100]

QS World University Rankings (UK) 2016/17: 158

US News Best Global Universities Rankings 2017: 198t

Academic Ranking of World Universities (Shanghai) 2016: 201-300

Center for World University Rankings (Saudi Arabia) 2016: 50

Composite Score: 840+ (averages 140th+ in the world)

 

FIRE Speech Code Rating (Green: protects; Yellow: may restrict; Red: clearly restricts)

Dartmouth College has been given the speech code rating Yellow. Yellow light colleges and universities are those institutions with at least one ambiguous policy that too easily encourages administrative abuse and arbitrary application. Read more here.

 

 

 

 

12.    Rice University, Houston, TX 

"Rice University - Rice statue with Lovett Hall" by Daderot - Own work. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Rice_University_-_Rice_statue_with_Lovett_Hall.JPG#/media/File:Rice_University_-_Rice_statue_with_Lovett_Hall.JPG

 

Rankings:       US News (NU) 15t   + College Choice (NU) 13 × 2 = 62;   plus…     Forbes 30

WSJ/THE 18     Money 4   College Factual 30   College Raptor 26   Kiplinger 17   Niche

PayScale ROI 21    

Total, with unranked or worst (outlier) score dropped, then full score: 178 (208)

 

     Rice University is our no. 2 Southern school, after Duke. Its best rankings are fourth (Money, up from last year's fourteenth) and sixth (Niche, down slightly from last year's fifth); its middle rankings are thirteenth (College Choice, national universities only),  a 4-way tie for fifteenth (US News, national universities only; last year eighteenth, no tie), seventeen (Kiplinger, down from 2016's and 2015's seventh), and eighteenth (Wall St. Journal/Times Higher Education); its worst rankings are twenty-first (PayScale's Return on Investment, down from last year's tenth), twenty-sixth (College Raptor, down slightly from last year's twenty-second) and twice thirtieth (Forbes, up slightly from last year's thirty-second; and USA Today's College Factual, down slightly from last year's twenty-ninth). US News also ranks Rice #5 (tie) in Best Undergraduate Teaching among National Universities. In the GCR composite world ranking list it comes in only at eighty-eighth-plus.

      In terms of affordability Rice in 2014-15 ranked thirty-first in lowest average net price among the top 133 GCR schools for beginning undergrads receiving any financial aid (twenty-ninth in 2013-14). This ranking (compiled from NCES figures adjusted for standard expenses) does not factor in private outside scholarships; factored in (using CDS figures), Rice ranks thirty-ninth (stats not available for Harvard and Columbia). Broken down into parental salary levels, in 2014-15 for beginning undergrads it ranked twenty-third for incomes $0-$30,000 (2013-14: thirty-second), sixteenth for $30,001-$48,000 (2013-14: twenty-sixth), eleventh for $48,001-$75,000 (2013-14: twenty-seventh), and thirty-third for $75,001-$110,000 (2013-14: fifty-first). For all undergrads receiving any financial aid in 2014-15 (compiled from CDS figures that factor in private outside scholarships) it ranked seventeenth (but stats not available for Harvard and Columbia). As for average net price in 2015-16 (private outside scholarships factored in) it ranked twenty-first for beginning undergrads and twentieth for all undergrads (but stats not yet available for Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, Duke, UPenn, Pomona, Middlebury, Carleton, and Trinity College).

     Rice's average student loan at graduation for that portion of the Class of 2015 taking out any loans was a surprisingly bad seventy-second among the GCR top 139 schools; the percentage of students graduating with debt was the thirteenth lowest (tie). However, the percentage of students graduating with debts is an impressive eighth lowest. Rice has a no-loan financial aid package for students whose parents earn less than $80,000/yr. For families with incomes above $80,000, Rice awards a $2,500 subsidized loan, capping total loans for four years at about $10,000 for students with financial need.

    Areas where Rice has a particularly strong rating include: (1) its fourth-place student-to-faculty ratio (5.7 to 1); (2) its eighth-place endowment per undergrad ratio and its thirteenth-place endowment per student (undergrad and grad) ratio; and (3) its tenth place PayScale Return-on-Investment ranking among all schools.

     More or less commensurate with its overall rank are (1) its C2019 average test scores for admission, with its thirteenth-place SAT averages (1475 for CR+M [tied] and 2200 for CR+M+W [4-way tie]) and especially its fourth-place ACT average (33.5; 6-way tie); (2) its first-year retention rate of 96% (in a 12-way tie for fifteenth); and (3) its endowment of 5.6 billion (nineteenth in the US; fourteenth in endowment per student and seventh per undergrad-only).

     Areas where it is weakest relative to its overall rank, other than in net price and debt for graduates are (1) its PayScale Mid-Career Salary rating among all schools for which sufficient data exists (twenty-fourth, tied); (2) its twenty-fifth place acceptance rate (16%); (3) its proportion of African American students (6.5%, thirtieth); (4) its selectivity (desirability) index (thirty-first); and especially (5) its 4- and 6-year graduation rates (sixty-seventh and forty-fifth respectively) and (6) its yield rate (sixty-second, with only a third of accepted students choosing to enroll). According to FIRE, Rice also has “at least one [speech code] policy that both clearly and substantially restricts freedom of speech.”

 

     Based on political donations of the people who work there, Rice University is the 363rd most liberal university out of 446 (6.5 Liberal; CrowdPac). This is the seventy-sixth most liberal school among the 84 schools of the GCR Top 133 that Crowdpac examines.

 

Test scores (Fall 2015 / C2019 enrolled students)

Mid-50%  (25th -75th percentile): SAT CR 680-760, M 710-800, W 680-770; ACT 32-35       

Average: CR+M: 1475 (avg. 737.5), ranked 13th (tie);

CR+M+W: 2200 (avg. 733.3), ranked 13th (tie);

ACT 33.5, ranked 4th (6-way tie)

Percent submitted SAT/ACT scores: 72%/58% (2014: 77%/51%; 2013: 80%/53%)

 

Selectivity

Acceptance rate: Fall 2012: 16.71% / 2013: 16.74% / 2014: 15.10%  / 2015: 15.96% (25th)          

Yield rate (of accepted students who enroll) Fall 2014 (C2018): 35.45% / Fall 2015 (C2019): 33.82% (61st)

Selectivity index (acceptance ÷ yield: the lower the score, the more desirable): .4719 (31st)

 

Net Price (total expenses – grant/scholarship aid)

Net price average 2013-14 (from NCES) for beginning undergrads receiving any financial aid: $24,812 (28th)

Net price average 2014-15 (from NCES) for beginning undergrads receiving any financial aid: $24,612 (31st)

Net price average 2014-15 (from CDS) for beginning undergrads…: $25,231 (39th) (total costs $58,466 - average need-based scholarship $33,235); and for all undergrads: $23,512 (17th) ($58,466 - $34,954)

Net price average 2015-16 (from CDS) for beginning undergrads…: $23,835 (22nd) (total costs $60,403 - average need-based scholarship $36,568); and for all undergrads: $24,378 (21st) ($60,403 - $36,025)

By income (2013-14): $0 - $30,000: $10,768 (32nd) / $30,001 – $48,000: $10,383 (26th) / $48,001 – $75,000: $15,837 (27th) / $75,001 – $110,000: $26,983 (51st)

By income (2014-15): $0 - $30,000: $9309 (23rd) / $30,001 – $48,000: $8239 (16th) / $48,001 – $75,000: $12,137 (11th) / $75,001 – $110,000: $24,884 (33rd)

No full-ride provision but it does have a no-loan financial aid policy: “Rice will not award loans to students whose family total income is below $80,000. The student's financial need will be met through a combination of grants, work study, merit aid (if qualified) and institutional funds.  For families with incomes above $80,000, Rice will award a $2,500 subsidized loan, grants, work study, merit aid (if qualified) and institutional funds to cover 100% of the student's demonstrated institutional need.”  For students with financial need Rice caps total loans for four years of college at about $10,000.

 

Debt at Graduation (incl. rank among the GCR top 133) and Default Rates

Average student debt at graduation C2014: $22,241 (50th lowest) / C2015: $25,528 (72nd lowest)

Percentage of graduates with debt: C2014: 29% (9th lowest) / C2015: 29% (13th lowest, tie)

Student loan default rate 2010: 2.9% / 2011: 1.3% / 2012: 1.7% / 2013: .3% [4-yr avg.: 1.55%; 3-yr avg: 1.1%]

 

Graduation Rates, Student Enrollment, Student/Faculty Ratio, Endowment

1st-year retention rate (2014-15): 96%  (11-way tie for 15th)  

4- & 6-year grad rate (began Fall 2009):  80.05% (67th) / 90.53% (45th)

Entering class size: C2019: 969 (C2018: 949); Student pop.: (Fall 2015) 6,679 (3,870 undergrad)

Student to faculty ratio: 5.7 to 1 (3rd)       

Endowment (2016): $5.324 billion (19th in the US,* 22nd in the world; in the US 14th per student, 7th per undergrad)

 

African American Representation as a Measure of Diversity

Average number (and %) per class over 4 undergrad classes, *no TOMR (Fall 2015): 63*/970 (6.52%; 30th in GCR)

Number, excl. those of TOMR: C2019: 62*; C2018: 80*; C2017: 54*; C2016: 64*

# National Achievement Scholarship Winners (2014): 13

 

Earning Potential

PayScale Salary 2016-17: Early career (0-5 years of employment): $62,300; Mid-career (10+ years): $113,000 (tied for 24th)

 

World Rankings

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings (UK) 2016-17: 87

The Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings (UK) 2016: 101+ [unranked in top 100]

QS World University Rankings (UK) 2016/17: 90

US News Best Global Universities Rankings 2017: 61

Academic Ranking of World Universities (Shanghai) 2016: 72t

Center for World University Rankings (Saudi Arabia) 2016: 114

Composite Score: 525+ (averages 88th+ in the world) 

 

FIRE Speech Code Rating (Green: protects; Yellow: may restrict; Red: clearly restricts)

Rice University has been given the speech code rating Red. A red light university has at least one policy that both clearly and substantially restricts freedom of speech. Read more here.

 

 

 

 

13.    Amherst College, Amherst, MA

 Amherst College Main Quad.jpg

"Amherst College Main Quad" by David Emmerman - PicasaWeb. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Amherst_College_Main_Quad.jpg#/media/File:Amherst_College_Main_Quad.jpg

 

Rankings:       US News (LA) 2   +    College Choice (LA) 1 × 2 = 6+30LA = 36;     Forbes 12

WSJ/THE 23     Money 7   College Factual 6   College Raptor 13   Kiplinger 14   Niche 28 

PayScale ROI -    

Total, with unranked or worst (outlier) score dropped, then full score: 139 (-)

 

     Amherst College is the first liberal arts college to make our list of top universities and colleges. Its best rankings are understandably in lists that exclude national universities with graduate school programs: first in College Choice and second in US News (for the latter, same as last year). In the other lists, its best ratings are sixth (USA Today's College Factual, up slightly from last year's seventh), seventh (Money, up from last year's tie for ninth), twelfth (Forbes, down from last year's ninth), thirteenth (College Raptor, up slightly from last year's fourteenth), and fourteenth (Kiplinger, up from 2016's twentieth and down from 2015's eleventh). Its lowest ratings are twenty-third (Wall St. Journal/Times Higher Education), and twenty-eighth (Niche, up from 2016's and 2015's thirty-fourth). PayScale's Return on Investment did not give it a rating this year (presumably for insufficient information), though last year it had Amherst ninety-eighth. On the basis of aggregate score minus the single lowest or unregistered score Amherst would be in a tie with Duke for eighth nationally.  One could make a reasonable case of ranking Amherst tenth, ahead of Brown, Dartmouth, and Rice. US News also ranks Amherst  #13 (4-way tie) in Best Undergraduate Teaching among National Liberal Arts Colleges.

      In terms of affordability for the past several years Amherst has averaged an impressive eighth in net price when different income levels are factored in and fourth when they are not. Amherst's average student loan at graduation for that portion of the Class of 2015 taking out any loans was seventh among the GCR top 133 schools; the percentage of students graduating with debt was the eighth lowest. Amherst has a no-loan financial aid package for all students who receive financial aid. For some low-income students there will be no parental contribution but Amherst does not state a cut-off figure. Other rankings categories range from fifteenth to twenty-second.

     Relative to its overall rank, Amherst performs best in African-American student representation (second in the GCR top 133; 1.75% more than third-place Duke and the highest percentage among the GCR top 66) and endowment per undergrad (eleventh among all schools). It performs rank-wise worst in average mid-career salary according to PayScale (eight-way tie for seventy-third); after this the lowest rankings are in absolute endowment (fortieth among all US schools), yield rate (thirty-ninth in the GCR; 40.6%), first-year retention rate (a ten-way tie for thirty-second in the GCR but still 96%), and four-year graduation rate (thirty-first; 86.1%). Other rankings categories range from fifteenth to twenty-second.

     Unfortunately Amherst occupies an extreme place in sexual and racial politics, even in relation to the usual extremes that persist in the nation’s top colleges and universities, as these links make clear (go here, here, here, and here). Based on political donations of the people who work there, Amherst College is the 37th most liberal university out of 446 (8.7 Liberal; CrowdPac). This is the fifth most liberal school among the 84 schools of the GCR Top 133 that Crowdpac examines.    

 

Test scores of enrolled students

Fall 2016 (C2020):

Mid-50% (25th -75th percentile): CR 680-780, M 680-780, W 680-780; ACT 31-34  

SAT Average: CR+M:  1460 (avg. 730), ranked 11th +

                         CR+M+W: 2190 (avg. 730), ranked 9th + (tie)

ACT composite average: 32.5, ranked 10th (8-way tie)

Percent submitted SAT/ACT scores: 52%/51%

Fall 2015 (C2019):

Mid-50% (25th -75th percentile): CR 680-780, M 680-780, W 680-770; ACT 31-34       

SAT Average: CR+M:  1460 (avg. 730), ranked 17th (tie)

                         CR+M+W:  2185 (avg. 728.3), ranked 18th

ACT composite average: 32.5, ranked 15th (8-way tie)

Percent submitted SAT/ACT scores:  53%/49% (2014: 58%/45%; 2013: 63%/41%)

 

Selectivity

Acceptance rate: Fall 2012: 12.96% / 2013: 14.28% / 2014: 13.84% / 2015: 14.12% (20th)  / 2016 (C2020): 13.81% (22nd in the GCR Top 133)         

Yield rate (of accepted students who enroll) Fall 2014: 39.98% / 2015: 39.42% (44th)/ 2016: 40.57% (39th in the GCR Top 133)

Selectivity index (acceptance ÷ yield: the lower the score, the more desirable): 2015: .3582 (25th) / 2016: .3404 (28th)

 

Net Price (total expenses – grant/scholarship aid)

Net price average 2016-17 for beginning undergrads…: $19,173 (2nd +) (total costs $70,686 - average need-based scholarship $51,513); and for all undergrads: $20,306 (2nd +) ($70,686 - $50,380)

Net price average 2015-16 for beginning undergrads…: $18,758 (7th) (total costs $68,272 - average need-based scholarship $49,514); and for all undergrads: $19,138 (3rd) ($68,272 - $49,134).

Net price average 2014-15 (from NCES) for beginning undergrads receiving any financial aid: $18,561 (4th)

Net price average 2014-15 (from CDS) for beginning undergrads…: $17,601 (3rd) (total costs $65,706 - average need-based scholarship $48,105); and for all undergrads: $18,463 (2nd) ($65,706 - $47,243)

Net price average 2013-14 (from NCES) for beginning undergrads receiving any financial aid: $16,387 (2nd)

By income (2014-15): $0 - $30,000: $5653 (6th) / $30,001 – $48,000: $5546 (5th) / $48,001 – $75,000: $14,259 (22nd) / $75,001 – $110,000: $21,017 (14th)

By income (2013-14): $0 - $30,000: $5400 (10th) / $30,001 – $48,000: $6540 (9th) / $48,001 – $75,000: $12,459 (16th) / $75,001 – $110,000: $22,106 (18th)

No provision for eliminating parental contribution for low-income families but there is a no-loan financial aid policy for all students who receive financial aid.

 

Debt at Graduation (incl. rank among the GCR top 133) and Default Rates

Average student debt at graduation C2014: $14,490 (6th lowest) / C2015: $15,756 (7th lowest)

Percentage of graduates with debt: C2014: 31% (11th lowest, 4-way tie) / C2015: 25% (8th lowest)

Student loan default rate 2010: 4.5% / 2011: 4.5% / 2012: 1.5% / 2013: 2.4% [4-yr avg.: 3.225%; 3-yr avg: 2.8%]

 

Graduation Rates, Student Enrollment, Student/Faculty Ratio, Endowment

1st-year retention rate (2014-15): 97.7% / (2015-16) 96% (32nd, 10-way tie)  

4- & 6-year grad rate (began Fall 2009):  88%/95% / (began Fall 2010): 86.09% (31st) / 93.46% (22nd)

Entering class size: C2020: 471 (C2019: 477; C2018: 469)

Student pop.: (Fall 2016) 1,849 (all undergrad) / (Fall 2015) 1,795 (all undergrad)

Student to faculty ratio:  (2016-17) 7.82 to 1 (19th)      

Endowment (2016): $2.03 billion (only 40th in the US, tied for 47th or 48th in the world; but in the US 8th per student, 11th per undergrad-only)

     

African American Representation as a Measure of Diversity

Average number (and %) per class over 4 undergrad classes, *no TOMR (Fall 2015): 53.5*/462 (11.57%) (2nd)

Number, excl. those of TOMR: C2020: 53*; C2019: 50*; C2018: 59*; C2017: 57*; C2016: 48*

 

Earning Potential

PayScale Salary 2016-17: For All Alumni (insufficient info for Bachelor's Only): Early career (0-5 years  of employment): $54,500; Mid-career (10+ years): $103,000 (8-way tie for 73rd)

 

World Rankings

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings (UK) 2016-17: [unranked in top 800]

The Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings (UK) 2016: [unranked in top 100]

QS World University Rankings (UK) 2015/16: [unranked in top 701+]

US News Best Global Universities Rankings 2016: [unranked in top 750]

Academic Ranking of World Universities (Shanghai) 2015: [unranked in top 500]

Center for World University Rankings (Saudi Arabia) 2015: [unranked in top 1000]

Composite Score: [unranked] 

 

FIRE Speech Code Rating (Green: protects; Yellow: may restrict; Red: clearly restricts)

Amherst College has been given the speech code rating Yellow. Yellow light colleges and universities are those institutions with at least one ambiguous policy that too easily encourages administrative abuse and arbitrary application. Read more here

 

Campus Pride” Index Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

This is an overall indicator of an institution’s zealous promotion of an “LGBTQ” agenda to the detriment of any who have moral qualms about such an agenda, through coercive indoctrination, active “diversity” recruitment, special resourcing, sanctions, and slander of those who support a male-female foundation for sexual unions as “hateful, ignorant, homophobic bigots” on a par with racists. For moderate-to-conservative students it represents the greatest threat to their freedom of speech and association, faith and religious liberty, and due process at this institution. Applicants may still thrive in this oppressive environment, off-set by association with like-minded persons, but should be aware of the risks before applying.

 

 

 

 

14.    Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN

 VanderbiltPeabodyLibrary.JPG

"VanderbiltPeabodyLibrary" by Dansan4444 - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:VanderbiltPeabodyLibrary.JPG#/media/File:VanderbiltPeabodyLibrary.JPG

 

Rankings:       US News (NU) 15t  +  College Choice (NU) 12 × 2 = 54;   plus…    Forbes 45

WSJ/THE 21     Money 27   College Factual 17   College Raptor 23   Kiplinger 8   Niche 14 

PayScale ROI 54    

Total, with unranked or worst (outlier) score dropped, then full score: 209 (263)

 

     Vanderbilt University is our third-place Southern school behind Duke and Rice. It has one top-ten ranking (eighth, Kiplinger; compare to 2016's sixth and 2015's fifteenth); another four between eleventh and twentieth (twelfth, College Choice for national universities only; fourteenth, Niche, up slightly from 2016's seventeenth and down slightly from 2015's tenth; tied for fifteenth, US News for national universities only, same rank as last year; and seventeenth, USA Today's College Factual, down slightly from last year's sixteenth); three more between twenty-first and thirtieth (twenty-first, Wall St. Journal/Times Higher Education; twenty-third, College Raptor, down slightly from last year's twentieth; and twenty-seventh, Money, down slightly from last year's twenty-fourth tied); and finally two as far down as forty-fifth (Forbes, up slightly from last year's forty-seventh) and fifty-fourth (PayScale's Return on Investment, down from last year's thirty-ninth). US News also ranks Vanderbilt #10 (tie) in Best Undergraduate Teaching among National Universities. Its composite world rank is one-hundredth-first-plus, brought down by a poor QS World University Ranking  (203) and a non-showing in the top 100 of the Times Higher Education World Reputation Ranking. For the other four world rankings lists it averaged seventy-sixth (108 in the Times Higher Education World University Ranking).

      In terms of affordability for the past several years Vanderbilt has averaged a respectable twelfth in net price when different income levels are factored in and sixteenth when they are not. Vanderbilt's average student loan at graduation for that portion of the Class of 2015 taking out any loans was twenty-second among the GCR top 133 schools; the percentage of students graduating with debt was the third lowest (4-way tie). Vanderbilt has a no-loan financial aid package for all students who receive financial aid; but no elimination of parental contribution for low-income students.

     Relative to its overall rank, Vanderbilt performs best in standardized test scores of its entering class (for the C2019 in SAT scores fourth [CR+M] and tied for fifth [CR+M+W]; in ACT composite score a 5-way tie for fourth) and in African-American representation (9.2%, fifth in the 2016-17 GCR).  The only areas where Vanderbilt falls considerably short of its overall rank are in its mid-career average salary, where it ranks only seventy-first, and its endowment per student, where it ranks fifty-first (but twenty-third in total endowment amount [$3.8 billion]). Otherwise, its lowest rankings are in its 6-year graduation rate (twenty-ninth but still 92.4%), its yield rate (46%, twenty-sixth), and its 4-year grad rate (twenty-first but still 87.4%).

      Events at Vanderbilt have left orthodox Christians and politically moderate-to-conservative persons wondering whether Vanderbilt is intolerant of their views and a denier of free speech and academic freedom. Vanderbilt kicks off campus any Christian group that requires leaders to adhere to the group’s view of orthodoxy and orthopraxy (if you guessed that the “GLBTQI” push for forced acceptance is at the root of the controversy, you guessed right; go also here, here, and here). Imagine the absurdity of requiring College Democrats to have Republican leaders or a campus Muslim group to have Christian leaders. Professor of law Carol Swain (who happens to be African-American and orthodox Christian) was viciously attacked by students for her critique of Islam, though the real impetus for much of the attack on Swain appears to be payback for her views on a male-female foundation for marriage and her defense of Christian groups (go also here). The administration was of little help. The Chancellor’s response was a case of double-(or triple-)speak, at once attacking Swain, defending freedom of speech and “the expression of unpopular and offensive views,” and warning against speech “whose … effect is to discriminate, stigmatize, … offend, foment hatred…, or cause harm” which “has no place in this university.” So Vanderbilt protects offensive speech and yet will not tolerate speech that offends? Of course, the most threatened, offended, stigmatized, and discriminated groups on campus are the orthodox Christians and those holding politically moderate-to-conservative views. Dr. Swain left Vanderbilt this year.

     Based on political donations of the people who work there, Vanderbilt University is surprisingly only the 355th most liberal university out of 446 (6.6 Liberal; CrowdPac). This is the seventy-fourth most liberal school among the 84 schools of the GCR Top 133 that Crowdpac examines.

 

Test scores of enrolled students

Fall 2016 (C2020):

Mid-50% (25th -75th percentile): SAT CR 700-790, M 720-800, W 690-770, Essay 8-10; ACT 32-35   

SAT Average: CR+M: 1505 (avg. 752.5), ranked 2nd + (tie)

                         CR+M+W: 2235 (avg. 745), ranked th +

ACT composite average: 33.5, ranked 2nd +  (6-way tie)

Percent submitted SAT/ACT scores: 37.6%/67.2%

Fall 2015 (C2019):

Mid-50% (25th -75th percentile): SAT CR 710-790, M 720-800, W 690-770; ACT 32-35        

SAT Average: CR+M: 1510 (avg. 755), ranked 4th

                         CR+M+W: 2240 (avg. 746.7), ranked 5th (tie)

ACT composite average: 33.5, ranked 4th (5-way tie)

Percent submitted SAT/ACT scores:  41%/63% (2014: 41%/62%; 2013: 44%/62%)

 

Selectivity

Acceptance rate: Fall 2012: 14.23% / 2013: 12.74% / 2014: 13.09% / 2015: 11.68% (15th) / 2016: 10.75% (16th in the GCR Top 133)

Yield rate (of accepted students who enroll) Fall 2014: 41.5% / 2015: 43.74% (30th) / 2016: 45.86% (26th)

Selectivity index (acceptance ÷ yield: the lower the score, the more desirable): Fall 2015: .2670 (15th) / 2016: .2344 (16th)

 

Net Price (total expenses – grant/scholarship aid)

Net price average 2016-17 for beginning undergrads…: $23,374 (11th +) (total costs $65,804 - average need-based scholarship $42,430); and for all undergrads: $24,473 (12th +) ($65,804 - $41,331)

Net price average 2015-16 (from CDS) for beginning undergrads…: $22,164 (15th) (total costs $63,882 - average need-based scholarship $41,718); and for all undergrads: $23,615 (16th) ($63,882 - $40,267)

Net price average 2014-15 (from NCES) for beginning undergrads receiving any financial aid: $23,337 (19th)

Net price average 2014-15 (from CDS) for beginning undergrads…: $22,389 (15th) (total costs $62,720 - average need-based scholarship $40,331); and for all undergrads: $22,767 (8th) ($62,720 - $39,953)

Net price average 2013-14 (from NCES) for beginning undergrads receiving any financial aid: $22,633 (14th)

By income (2014-15): $0 - $30,000: $7347 (11th) / $30,001 – $48,000: $6015 (8th) / $48,001 – $75,000: $9978 (7th) / $75,001 – $110,000: $16,185 (3rd)

By income (2013-14): $0 - $30,000: $7365 (14th) / $30,001 – $48,000: $6512 (8th) / $48,001 – $75,000: $9080 (8th) / $75,001 – $110,000: $16,478 (2nd)

Vanderbilt offers no-loan financial aid packages to all students who receive financial aid. There is no mention of eliminating an expectation of parental contribution for low-income students.

 

Debt at Graduation (incl. rank among the GCR top 133) and Default Rates

Average student debt at graduation C2014: $20,790 (38th lowest) / C2015: $21,506 (22nd lowest)

Percentage of graduates with debt: C2014: 24% (4th lowest) / C2015: 22% (3rd lowest, 4-way tie)  

Student loan default rate 2010: 2.9% / 2011: 1.3% / 2012: 1.7% / 2013: 1.2% [4-yr avg.: 1.775%; 3-yr avg: 1.4%]

 

Graduation Rates, Student Enrollment, Student/Faculty Ratio, Endowment

1st-year retention rate: (2014-15): 97% / (2015-16) 97% (17th, 8-way tie)  

4- & 6-year grad rate  (began Fall 2009):  87%/92% / (began Fall 2010): 87.42% (21st) / 92.42% (29th)

Entering class size: C2020: 1599 (C2019: 1607; C2018: 1605)

Student pop.: (Fall 2016) 12,587 (6,871 undergrad) / (Fall 2015) 12,567 (6,883 undergrad)

Student to faculty ratio:  (2016-17) 7.54 to 1 (16th)      

Endowment (2016): $3.82 billion (23rd in the US, 26th in the world; in the US 51st per student, 33rd per undergrad-only)

 

African American Representation as a Measure of Diversity

Average number (and %) per class over 4 undergrad classes, *no TOMR (Fall 2016): 158*/1,711 (9.23%) (5th)

Number, excl. those of TOMR:1 C2020: 178*; C2019: 155*; C2018: 153*; C2017: 139*; C2016: 152 (127*)

 

Earning Potential

PayScale Salary 2016-17: Early career (0-5 years of employment): $57,900; Mid-career (10+ years): $98,700 (71st)

 

World Rankings

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings (UK) 2016-17: 108

The Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings (UK) 2016: 101+ [unranked in top 100]

QS World University Rankings (UK) 2016/17: 203

US News Best Global Universities Rankings 2017: 63t

Academic Ranking of World Universities (Shanghai) 2016: 60t

Center for World University Rankings (Saudi Arabia) 2016: 71

Composite Score: 606+ (averages 101st+ in the world)

 

FIRE Speech Code Rating (Green: protects; Yellow: may restrict; Red: clearly restricts)

Vanderbilt University has been given the speech code rating Yellow. Yellow light colleges and universities are those institutions with at least one ambiguous policy that too easily encourages administrative abuse and arbitrary application. Read more here.

 

Campus Pride” Index Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

This is an overall indicator of an institution’s zealous promotion of an “LGBTQ” agenda to the detriment of any who have moral qualms about such an agenda, through coercive indoctrination, active “diversity” recruitment, special resourcing, sanctions, and slander of those who support a male-female foundation for sexual unions as “hateful, ignorant, homophobic bigots” on a par with racists. For moderate-to-conservative students it represents the greatest threat to their freedom of speech and association, faith and religious liberty, and due process at this institution. Applicants may still thrive in this oppressive environment, off-set by association with like-minded persons, but should be aware of the risks before applying.

 

 

 

 

 

15.    Pomona College, Claremont, CA

 Crookshank Hall.jpg

An aerial perspective of the Stanley Academic Quadrangle, with the San Gabriel Mountains in the distance"/ "Crookshank Hall" by Officialpomonacollege - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Crookshank_Hall.jpg#/media/File:Crookshank_Hall.jpg

 

Rankings:       US News (LA) 7t  +  College Choice (LA) 3 × 2 = 14+30LA = 44;   Forbes 7

WSJ/THE 28     Money 22t   College Factual 21   College Raptor 8   Kiplinger 12   Niche 15 

PayScale ROI 382t    

Total, with unranked or worst (outlier) score dropped, then full score: 163 (545)

 

     Pomona College is our second liberal arts college to make the list of top universities and colleges, after no. 11 Amherst. Its highest ranking is in a list that ranks liberal arts colleges only: third in College Choice. US News last year had Pomona in a tie for fourth among liberal arts colleges only; this year it dropped three notches to a tie for seventh. In the lists combining research universities and liberal arts colleges, its best ratings are seventh (Forbes, down from last year's top spot) and eighth (College Raptor, slightly up from last year's ninth). With one exception all its other rankings range from twelfth to twenty-eighth: twelfth (Kiplinger, down from 2016's eighth and 2015's ninth), fifteenth (Niche, up significantly from 2016's twenty-ninth and 2015's twenty-first), twenty-first (USA Today's College Factual, down from last year's eighteenth), a tie for twenty-second (Money, up significantly from last year's tie for thirty-eighth), and twenty-eighth (Wall St. Journal/Times Higher Education). The exception is a dismal tie for the three hundred eighty-second place in PayScale's Return on Investment, a result that may in part be due to a very small response rate (only 17 alum responding). Its related PayScale Mid-Career Salary rank is sixty-second (tie; but data only for all alumni; insufficient for bachelor's only). With outlier PayScale ROI ranking dropped and compared with other schools with lowest or unregistered score dropped, Pomona could rank as high as eleventh in the GCR (tied with Brown and ahead of Dartmouth, Rice, and Vanderbilt). While I am not inclined to put too much weight in this outlier, I also am not inclined to disregard it altogether. US News also ranks Pomona #5 (tie) in Best Undergraduate Teaching among National Liberal Arts Colleges.

      In terms of affordability Pomona ranks high, with an average net price for 2013-14, 2014-15, and 2015-16 of twelfth (when ranks across individual low-income ranges is included) and ninth (when only averages among all income levels are considered). In 2015-16, Pomona's net price  ranked no lower than sixth for beginning undergraduates receiving any financial aid and no lower than ninth for all undergraduates (factoring in assumed rankings for Harvard and Columbia where no data is yet available). Pomona's average student loan at graduation for that portion of the Class of 2015 taking out any loans was an impressive third among the GCR top 139 schools (though, surprisingly, the percentage of students graduating with debt was only in a 5-way tie for thirty-fourth lowest). Pomona does not offer a provision for eliminating parental contribution to students from low-income families but it does provide no-loan financial aid to all students who receive any aid.

     Relative to its overall rank, Pomona performs best in its 4-year graduation rate (92%, first in the GCR top 133) and 6-year graduation rate (97%, third); its endowment per student (sixth; only forty-first in total endowment of 2 billion owing to small size); its percentage of African-American students as a marker of campus ethnic diversity (8.3%, sixth in the GCR and highest by far among GCR schools on the west coast; Stanford is almost two percentage points lower); its admission rate (9.4%, eleventh), yield (53.7%, twelfth), and selectivity (i.e., overal desirability) index (tenth in GCR). The only area where Pomona falls considerably short of its overall rank is in its mid-career average salary, where it ranks only sixty-second (but perhaps not a reliable figure due to insufficient response rate).

     Based on political donations of the people who work there, Pomona College is the 54th most liberal university out of 446 (8.6 Liberal; CrowdPac). This is the eighth most liberal school among the 84 schools of the GCR Top 133 that Crowdpac examines.

 

Test scores of enrolled students

Fall 2016 (C2020):

Mid-50% (25th -75th percentile): SAT CR 670-770, M 670-770, W 670-770;* ACT 30-34 

SAT Average: CR+M: 1440 (avg. 720), ranked 14th +

                         CR+M+W: 2160 (avg. 720), ranked 11th +

ACT composite average: 32, ranked 16th + (6-way tie)

Percent submitted SAT/ACT scores: 65%/53%

Fall 2015 (C2019):

Mid-50% (25th -75th percentile): SAT CR 670-760, M 690-770, W 680-770; ACT 30-34       

SAT Average: CR+M: 1445 (avg. 722.5), ranked 20th (3-way tie)

                         CR+M+W: 2170 (avg. 723.3), ranked 19th (tie)

ACT composite average: 32, ranked 23rd (5-way tie)

Percent submitted SAT/ACT scores:  61%/59% (2014: 73%/52%; 2013: 78%/51%)

*Fall 2016 figures include only old SAT scores, which in any case would include the vast majority of scores.

 

Selectivity

Acceptance rate: Fall 2012: 12.96% / 2013: 13.92% / 2014: 12.19% / 2015: 10.30% (12th) /2016: 9.40% (11th among nationally ranked schools)

Yield rate (of accepted students who enroll) Fall 2014: 47.77% / 2015: 47.96% (18th) / 2016: 53.73% (12th)

Selectivity index (acceptance ÷ yield: the lower the score, the more desirable): 2015: .2148 (11th) / 2016: .1757 (10th)

 

Net Price (total expenses – grant/scholarship aid)

Net price average 2015-16 for beginning undergrads…: $17,837 (5th) (total costs $67,270 - average need-based scholarship $49,433); and for all undergrads: $21,231 (7th) ($67,270 - $46,039)

Net price average 2014-15 (from NCES) for beginning undergrads receiving any financial aid: $20,823 (7th)

Net price average 2014-15 (from CDS) for beginning undergrads…: $19,343 (5th) (total costs $65,032 - average need-based scholarship $45,689); and for all undergrads: $22,968 (11th) ($65,032 - $42,064)

Net price average 2013-14 (from NCES) for beginning undergrads receiving any financial aid: $21,655 (10th)

By income (2015-16) (from Pomona website): $0 - $30,000: $1,500 – $2,500 / $30,001 – $48,000: $2,500 – $7,300 / $48,001 – $60,000: $7,300 – $8,800 / $60,001 – $80,000: $8,800 – $13,000 / $80,001 – $100,000: $13,000 – $15,500 / $100,001 – $120,000: $15,500 – $21,300

By income (2014-15): $0 - $30,000: $9393 (25th) / $30,001 – $48,000: $10,027 (26th) / $48,001 – $75,000: $12,537 (13th) / $75,001 – $110,000: $18,601 (6th)

By income (2013-14): $0 - $30,000: $8257 (17th) / $30,001 – $48,000: $8549 (18th) / $48,001 – $75,000: $10,702 (11th) / $75,001 – $110,000: $15,813 (1st)

No provision for eliminating parental contribution but does offer a no-loan financial aid package for all students who receive financial aid.

 

Debt at Graduation (incl. rank among the GCR top 133) and Default Rates

Average student debt at graduation C2014: $16,273 (10th lowest) / C2015: $13,381 (3rd lowest)

Percentage of graduates with debt: C2014: 34% (20th lowest, tie) / C2015: 39% (34th lowest, 5-way tie)  

Student loan default rate 2010: 1.6% / 2011: 0% / 2012: 0% / 2013: 1.7% [4-yr avg.: .825%; 3-yr avg: .567%]

 

Graduation Rates, Student Enrollment, Student/Faculty Ratio, Endowment

1st-year retention rate: (2014-15) 96.9% / (2015-16) 96.75% (27th)

4- & 6-year grad rate (began Fall 2009):  91.3%/94% / (began Fall 2010): 92.02% (1st) / 97.01% (3rd)

Entering class size: C2020: 411 (C2019: 402; C2018: 450)

Student pop.: (Fall 2016) 1,660 (all undergraduate) / (Fall 2015) 1,663 (all undergraduate)

Student to faculty ratio:  (2016-17) 7.98 to 1 (20th)    

Endowment (2016): $1.985 billion (41st in the US*, 48th or 49th in the world; but in the US 6th per student, 8th per undergrad-only) 

*Forty-second if one counts university systems. Pennsylvania State University in University Park is the flagship institution of the Penn State System comprising 24 campuses across the state and 97,500 students (the University Park campus has almost half the total student body population: 46,800). The 2015 system-wide endowment was $3.74 billion.  I estimate half that for the University Park campus.

 

African American Representation as a Measure of Diversity

Average number (and %) per class over 4 undergrad classes, *no TOMR (Fall 2016): 34*/410.5 (8.28%) (6th in GCR Top 133) 

Number (* = excl. those of TOMR): C2020: 44*; C2019: 39*; C2018: 39*; C2017: 18*; C2016: 24*

 

Earning Potential

PayScale Salary 2016-17: For All Alumni (insufficient info for Bachelor's Only): Early career (0-5 years  of employment): $52,000; Mid-career (10+ years): $106,000 (tied for 62nd)

 

World Rankings

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings (UK) 2016-17: [unranked in top 800]

The Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings (UK) 2016: [unranked in top 100]

QS World University Rankings (UK) 2015/16: [unranked in top 701+]

US News Best Global Universities Rankings 2016: [unranked in top 750]

Academic Ranking of World Universities (Shanghai) 2015: [unranked in top 500]

Center for World University Rankings (Saudi Arabia) 2015: [unranked in top 1000]

Composite Score: [unranked] 

 

FIRE Speech Code Rating (Green: protects; Yellow: may restrict; Red: clearly restricts)

Pomona College has been given the speech code rating Yellow. Yellow light colleges and universities are those institutions with at least one ambiguous policy that too easily encourages administrative abuse and arbitrary application. Read more here.

 

 

 

 

16.    University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame IN

 

 

"Main Building University of Notre Dame" by Know1one1 - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Main_Building_University_of_Notre_Dame.jpg#/media/File:Main_Building_University_of_Notre_Dame.jpg

"Touchdown Jesus at Notre Dame" by Mendaliv - Self-photographed. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Touchdown_Jesus_at_Notre_Dame.jpg#/media/File:Touchdown_Jesus_at_Notre_Dame.jpg

 

Rankings:       US News (NU) 15t  +  College Choice (NU) 17 × 2 = 64;   plus…    Forbes 13

WSJ/THE 25     Money 31t   College Factual 10   College Raptor 16   Kiplinger 39   Niche 18 

PayScale ROI 41t    

Total, with unranked or worst (outlier) score dropped, then full score: 216 (257)

 

     Known for its nationally ranked football team and for the inspiring sports movie Rudy (and, before that, Knute Rockne and the "gipper"), the University of Notre Dame is also the foremost Catholic university in the nation and the first school in the GCR list from the Midwest (surprisingly, perhaps, given the likes of the University of Chicago and Northwestern). About 80-82% of the student body identifies as Catholic.

     Notre Dame’s best ratings are tenth (USA Today's College Factual, for the second year in a row), thirteenth (Forbes, same as previous year), fifteenth (tied; US News, for national universities only; up slightly from last year's eighteenth), twice sixteenth (College Raptor, up slightly from last year's seventeenth; College Choice, for national universities only), and eighteenth (Niche, down slightly from 2016's thirteenth and 2015's sixteenth); its worst twenty-fifth (Wall St. Journal/Times Higher Education), a tie for thirty-first (Money, up from last year's tie for forty-fourth), thirty-ninth (Kiplinger, up from 2016's forty-sixth and 2015's forty-seventh), and a tie for forty-first (PayScale's Return of Investment, up from last year's fifty-third). US News also ranks Notre  Dame #7 (3-way tie) in Best Undergraduate Teaching among National Universities. In the GCR composite list of the top six world rankings it averages one-hundredth fifty-eighth.

      In terms of affordability Notre Dame is not up to what one would expect of a school ranked in the top 20. From Fall 2013 through Spring 2016 its net price averaged only forty-sixth in the GCR Top 133. Notre Dame's average student loan at graduation for that portion of the Class of 2015 taking out any loans was a relatively dismal ninety-first in the GCR top 139 schools; the percentage of students graduating with debt was the eighty-second lowest (3-way tie).

     Notre Dame beats its overall rank in its 4- and 6-year graduation rates (89.8% and 95.1% respectively, third and ninth), first-year retention rate (9-way tie for third), ACT average for the class entering Fall 2015 (6-way tie for ninth), total endowment ($8.4 billion, eleventh; also a strong eighteenth in endowment per student), and yield rate (56%, eleventh). Other than affordability, its lowest rankings are in its percentage of African-Americans in its student body (4%, ninety-third), student-to-faculty ratio (seventy-second), mid-career salary average according to PayScale (forty-fifth nationally), and acceptance rate (18.7%, thirty-seventh).

      Based on political donations of the people who work there, Notre Dame is the 327th most liberal university out of 446 (6.8 Liberal; CrowdPac). This is the sixty-sixth most liberal school among the 84 schools of the GCR Top 133 that Crowdpac examines.

 

Test scores of enrolled students

Fall 2016 (C2020):

Mid-50% (25th -75th percentile): SAT CR 670-760, M 680-780, W 650-750; ACT 32-35

SAT Average: CR+M: 1445 (avg. 722.5), ranked 12th + (tie)

                         CR+M+W: 2145 (avg. 715), ranked 12th +

ACT composite average: 33.5, ranked 2nd +  (6-way tie)

Percent submitted SAT/ACT scores: 36%/64%

Fall 2015 (C2019):

Mid-50% (25th -75th percentile): SAT CR 670-760, M 680-770, W 650-750; ACT 32-34       

SAT Average: CR+M: 1440 (avg. 720), ranked 23rd (tie)

                         CR+M+W: 2140 (avg. 713.3), ranked 27th

ACT composite average: 33, ranked 9th (6-way tie)

Percent submitted SAT/ACT scores: 41%/59% (2014: 42%/58%; 2013: 44%/56%) 

 

Selectivity

Acceptance rate: Fall 2012: 23.28% / 2013: 22.30% / 2014: 21.14% / 2015: 19.80% (34th) / 2016: 18.73% (37th in GCR)

Yield rate (% of accepted students who enroll) Fall 2014: 53.13% / 2015: 55.83% (10th) / 2016: 55.99% (11th

Selectivity index (acceptance ÷ yield: the lower the score, the more desirable): Fall 2015: .3546 (24th) / 2016: .3345 (27th)

 

Net Price (total expenses – grant/scholarship aid)

Net price average 2016-17 for beginning undergrads…: $29,499 (42nd +) (total costs $68,543 - average need-based scholarship $39,044); and for all undergrads: $31,153 (43rd +) ($68,543 - $37,390)

Net price average 2015-16 (from CDS) for beginning undergrads…: $27,940 (50th) (total costs $66,275 - average need-based scholarship $38,335); and for all undergrads: $30,468 (61st) ($66,275 - $35,807)

Net price average 2014-15* (from NCES) for beginning undergrads receiving any financial aid: $28,198 (47th)

Net price average 2014-15* (from CDS) for beginning undergrads…: $27,963 (65th) (total costs $63,961 - average need-based scholarship $35,998); and for all undergrads: $27,547 (48th) ($63,961 - $33,025)

Net price average 2013-14* (from NCES) for beginning undergrads receiving any financial aid: $28,525 (54th)

By income (2016-17: total cost [$68,543] - "median university scholarship"):* $0 - $19,999: $10,093 / $20,000 - $39,999: $14,543 / $40,000 - $59,999: $15,843 / $60,000 - $79,999: $19,243 / $80,000 - $99,999: $22,296

By income (2015-16: total cost [$66,275] - "median university scholarship"):* $0 - $19,999: $9,425 / $20,000 - $39,999: $11,475 / $40,000 - $59,999: $12,200 / $60,000 - $79,999: $19,375 / $80,000 - $99,999: $23,375

By income (2014-15):* $0 - $30,000: $12,901 (45th) / $30,001 – $48,000: $14,982 (49th) / $48,001 – $75,000: $16,177 (33th) / $75,001 – $110,000: $24,635 (30th)

By income (2013-14):* $0 - $30,000: $10,548 (29th) / $30,001 – $48,000: $13,020 (39th) / $48,001 – $75,000: $17,465 (36th) / $75,001 – $110,000: $24,599 (34th)

Notre Dame does not have a provision of no parental contribution for low-income students or a no-loan financial aid package for some or all students who qualify for financial aid. The average first-year need-based loan is $3,800.

*Only need-based scholarships/grants were cited above. Notre Dame also has a limited amount of academic merit scholarships and athletic scholarships.

 

Debt at Graduation (incl. rank among the GCR top 133) and Default Rates

Average student debt at graduation C2014: $26,674 (90th lowest) / C2015: $27,237 (91st lowest)

Percentage of graduates with debt: C2014: 50% (74th lowest, 5-way tie) / C2015: 50% (82nd lowest, 3-way tie)  

Student loan default rate 2010: .8% / 2011: .8% / 2012: .6% / 2013: .4% [4-yr avg.: .65%; 3-yr avg: .6%]

 

Graduation Rates, Student Enrollment, Student/Faculty Ratio, Endowment

1st-year retention rate: (2014-15) 98% (7-way tie for 3rd in GCR) / (2015-16) 98% (9-way tie for 3rd) 

4- & 6-year grad rate (began Fall 2009):  90.9% (tied for 3rd) / 96.5% (3rd) / (began Fall 2010): 89.79% (3rd) / 95.09% (9th)

Entering class size: C2020: 2,046 (C2019: 2,007; C2018: 2,011)

Student pop.: (Fall 2016) 12,393 (8,530 undergrad) / (Fall 2015) 12,292 (8,462 undergrad)

Student to faculty ratio: 10.19 to 1 (72nd)     

Endowment (2016): $8.374 billion (11th in the US*, 12th in the world**; in the US 18th both per student and undergrad-only) 

*My endowment ranking counts only individual universities, not university systems like those of the Texas A&M University and the University of Michigan. The Texas A&M University System had an endowment of $10.54 billion in 2016. That System comprises 11 universities with 143,000 students, along with “seven state agencies, two service units and a comprehensive health science center.” The flagship school at College Station had 63,810 students in 2015-16. US News lists the 2015 endowment of the flagship College Station school as $9.754 billion (93% of the system endowment). However, since the student population at College Station is only 44.6% of the system whole, I arrived at a compromise rate of 70% of the system endowment: $7.38 billion. If one adopted the US News figure, Notre Dame's endowment would rank twelfth in the US. On the other hand, although I rank the endowment for the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor as just ahead of Notre Dame's at $8.957 billion, arguably it could be lower, in which case Notre Dame would have the tenth highest endowment in the US. The University of Michigan System had an endowment of $9.74 billion in 2016. The flagship University of Michigan in Ann Arbor operates satellite campuses in Flint and Dearborn with a combined student body of 17,500 as compared to the over 43,651 student body at Ann Arbor. Since the student body figure for the satellite campuses is 28.7% of the whole and US News gives for the 2015 endowment of the flagship school $9.8097 (98.6% of the system endowment) I compromised with a 10% reduction from the system endowment, leaving $8.77 billion for Ann Arbor.

**The only non-US university with a larger endowment is  King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia ($20 billion in 2013). The next largest endowments outside the US are the University of Cambridge ($7.3 billion in 2014) and the University of Oxford ($5.83 billion in 2015).

 

African American Representation as a Measure of Diversity

Average number (and %) per class over 4 undergrad classes, *no TOMR (Fall 2016): 85.5*/2124  (4.025%) (93rd in GCR)

Number (* = excl. those of TOMR): C2020: 92*; C2019: 80*; C2018: 78*; C2017: 89*; C2016: 110 (75*)

 

Earning Potential

PayScale Salary 2016-17: Early career (0-5 years of employment): $61,200; Mid-career (10+ years): $104,000 (45th, tie)

 

World Rankings

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings (UK) 2016-17: 143

The Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings (UK) 2016: [unranked in top 100]

QS World University Rankings (UK) 2016/17: 203

US News Best Global Universities Rankings 2017: 156

Academic Ranking of World Universities (Shanghai) 2016: 201-300

Center for World University Rankings (Saudi Arabia) 2016: 94

Composite Score: 947+ (averages 158th + in the world)

 

FIRE Speech Code Rating (Green: protects; Yellow: may restrict; Red: clearly restricts)

University of Notre Dame has been given the speech code rating Red. A red light university has at least one policy that both clearly and substantially restricts freedom of speech. Read more here.

[Note that Notre Dame receives this speech code rating because of its desire to retain its Catholic ethos, which arguably is a good thing. FIRE expresses concern over ND's "Responsible Use of Information Technologies" which prohibits use of "University resources to post, view, print, store, or send obscene, pornographic, sexually explicit, or offensive material, except for officially approved, legitimate academic or University purposes." I would agree, though, that "offensive material" is too broad a rubric.]

 

 

 

 

17.    Williams College, Williamstown, MA

 

Williams College - Chapin Hall.JPG

"Williams College - Chapin Hall" by Daderot - Own work. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Williams_College_-_Chapin_Hall.JPG#/media/File:Williams_College_-_Chapin_Hall.JPG

 

Rankings:       US News (LA) 1   +    College Choice (LA) 2 × 2 = 6+30LA = 36; Forbes 2

WSJ/THE 22     Money 49   College Factual 51   College Raptor 17   Kiplinger 13   Niche 26 

PayScale ROI 108t    

Total, with unranked or worst (outlier) score dropped, then full score: 216 (324)

 

     Williams College is our third liberal arts college to make the list of the top 133 universities and colleges (after Amherst and Pomona). In rankings that list only liberal arts colleges it is ranked first (US News, for the fourteenth consecutive year) and second (College Choice). In lists that combine both research universities and liberal arts colleges, its best rating by far is second (Forbes, as in previous year); then fifteenth (Kiplinger, down slightly from 2016's thirteenth and 2015's fourteenth), seventeenth (College Raptor, down from last year's eleventh), twenty-second (Wall St. Journal/Times Higher Education), and twenty-sixth (Niche, down from 2016's nineteenth and 2015's twenty-second). In three other lists it takes a nose dive, relatively speaking: forty-ninth (TIME's Money), fifty-first (USA Today's College Factual, last year fiftieth), and one-hundred eighth (PayScale's Return on Investment; based, however, on a very small number of respondents [16]; compare its thirty-sixth, 3-way tie, rank in PayScale's Mid-Career Salary, all alumni). US News also ranks Williams #2 in Best Undergraduate Teaching among National Liberal Arts Colleges. Like virtually all liberal arts colleges it is unranked in the major world rankings lists.

      In terms of affordability Williams performs well: Its average net price ranking in 2013-14, 2014-15, and 2015-16 is eighth (ranging from fourth to seventeenth). Williams' average student loan at graduation for that portion of the Class of 2015 taking out any loans was ninth among the GCR top 139 schools. Oddly, the percentage of students graduating with debt was only the fifty-first lowest (9-way tie). While having neither a provision for zero parental contribution for students from low-income families (unlike Harvard, Stanford, Princeton, Yale, Columbia, and Brown) nor a no-loan policy for all students receiving financial aid (unlike Harvard, Stanford, Princeton, UPenn, Columbia; cp. also Yale [$130,000]), it does have a no-loan policy for families earning less than $75,000/yr. Williams is distinctive in providing a grant to pay for all required books available to all students on financial aid and a grant for health insurance available to students whose expected parental contribution is under $4000.

     Relative to its overall rank, Williams fares best (apart from its affordability) in its endowment per student (ninth), student-to-faculty ratio (7 to 1) and percentage of African-American students (7.5%; both twelfth), 6-year graduation rate (94%, fifteenth), and first-year retention rate (97%, seventeenth). Its lowest ranks are in its 4-year graduation rate (86%, thirty-fifth), total endowment ($2.3 billion, thirty-fourth), and acceptance (17.6%) and yield (45%) rates along with selectivity/desirability index (thirty-fourth, thirtieth, and thirty-second respectively).

     Williams has a reputation for extreme left-wing politics that could make conservative students feel unsupported and out of place.  How extreme is Williams? Go here, here, here, and here. Based on political donations of the people who work there, Williams College is the 87th most liberal university out of 446 (8.4 Liberal; CrowdPac). This is the twelfth most liberal school among the 84 schools of the GCR Top 133 that Crowdpac examines.

 

Test scores of enrolled students

Fall 2016 (C2020):

Mid-50% (25th -75th percentile): SAT CR 670-770, M 660-770, W 670-770;* ACT 31-34**  

SAT Average: CR+M: 1435 (avg. 717.5; actual median/mean: 1450/1427 [= 725/713.5]), ranked 15th +

                         CR+M+W: 2155 (avg. 718.3; actual median/mean: 2180/2141 [= 726.7/713.7]), ranked 12th +

ACT composite average: 32.5 (actual median/mean: 33), ranked 10th + (5-way tie)

Percent submitted SAT/ACT scores: 68%/49%

*Actual median/mean: CR 730/715; M 720/712; W 730/714.

**C2020 SAT distribution: only 12% got 650 or below for CR; only 14% for M; only 12% got 700 or below in W; only 10% got below a 28 on the ACT: https://admission.williams.edu/files/Williams-College-2017-Profile1.pdf

Fall 2015 (C2019):

Mid-50% (25th -75th percentile): SAT CR 670-780, M 660-770, W 670-780;* ACT 31-34       

SAT Average: CR+M: 1440 (avg. 720; actual median/mean 1460/1428 [= 730/714]), ranked 23rd (tie)

                         CR+M+W: 2165 (avg. 721.7; actual median/mean 2190/2142 [= 730/714]), ranked 21st (tie)

ACT composite average: 32.5 (actual median/mean 33/32), ranked 15th (8-way tie)

Percent submitted SAT/ACT scores:  75%/45% (2014: 83%/39%; 2013: 81%/40%)

*Actual median/mean: CR 730/720; M 720/708; W 730/714.

**C2019 SAT distribution: only 20.1% got 650 or below for CR; only 24.5% for M; only 39.5% got 700 or below in W: http://admission.williams.edu/files/Williams-Student-Profile-2015-2016.pdf

 

Selectivity

Acceptance rate: Fall 2012: 17.02% / 2013: 17.51% / 2014: 19.32% / 2015: 17.61% (30th) / 2016: 17.61% (34th in GCR)         

Yield rate (of accepted students who enroll) Fall 2014: 44.75% / 2015: 45.46%  (25th) / 2016: 44.96% (30th)

Selectivity index (acceptance ÷ yield: the lower the score, the more desirable): .3874 (28th) / .3917 (32nd)

 

Net Price (total expenses – grant/scholarship aid)*

Net price average 2016-17 for beginning undergrads…: $19,694 (3rd +) (total costs $69,980 - average need-based scholarship $50,286); and for all undergrads: $21,095 (3rd +) ($69,980 - $48,885)

Net price average 2015-16 (from CDS) for beginning undergrads…: $17,964 (6th) (total costs $66,340 - average need-based scholarship $48,376); and for all undergrads: $20,333 (5th) ($66,340 - $46,007). Elsewhere on their website it states that grants averaged $42,000, which would mean a net price of $23,590.

Net price average 2014-15 (from NCES) for beginning undergrads receiving any financial aid: $23,096 (17th)

Net price average 2014-15 (from CDS) for beginning undergrads…: $21,310 (11th) (total costs $64,770 - average need-based scholarship $43,460); and for all undergrads: $21,081 (6th) ($64,770 - $43,689)

Net price average 2013-14 (from NCES) for beginning undergrads receiving any financial aid: $21,065 (6th)

By income (2014-15): $0 - $30,000: $5183 (4th)/ $30,001 – $48,000: $6882 (11th) / $48,001 – $75,000: $11,400 (10th) / $75,001 – $110,000: $20,807 (12th)

By income (2013-14): $0 - $30,000: $3877 (4th)/ $30,001 – $48,000: $5721 (6th) / $48,001 – $75,000: $8169 (5th) / $75,001 – $110,000: $17,649 (5th)

*Note that variable expenses were adjusted from $2950 to the standard $4500 by adding $1550; then $800 was deducted to account for free books.

No provision for eliminating parental contribution for low-income families but there is a no-loan financial aid policy for families with incomes up to $75,000. For others receiving need-based financial aid the amount of loan is no higher than $4000/yr. There is no full-ride provision for low-income families. “All applicants who qualify for aid receive a book grant that covers the actual cost of ALL required textbooks, course packets, and studio art fees taken for academic credit during the fall and spring semester(s) when in residence.” There is also a health insurance grant for “financial aid recipients who enroll in the Williams student health insurance plan and have parent contributions of $4,000/year or less.”

 

Debt at Graduation (incl. rank among the GCR top 133) and Default Rates

Average student debt at graduation C2014: $14,170 (5th lowest) / C2015: $16,593 (9th lowest)

Percentage of graduates with debt: C2014: 35% (22nd lowest, tie) / C2015: 43% (51st lowest, 9-way tie)  

Student loan default rate 2010: 2.6% / 2011: 1.8% / 2012: 2.3% / 2013: 1.7% [4-yr avg.: 2.1%; 3-yr avg: 1.933%]

 

Graduation Rates, Student Enrollment, Student/Faculty Ratio, Endowment

1st-year retention rate: (2014-15) 97% / (2015-16) 97% (7-way tie for 17th)

4- & 6-year grad rate: (began Fall 2009)  88%/96% / (began Fall 2010) 85.95% (35th) /  93.98% (15th)

Entering class size: C2020: 553 (C2019: 551; C2018: 550)

Student pop.: (Fall 2016) 2,134 (2,076 undergrad) / (Fall 2015) 2153 (2099 undergrad)

Student to faculty ratio: 6.89 to 1 (12th)       

Endowment (2016): $2.256 billion (34th in the US, 40th or 41st in the world; in the US 9th per student, 15th per undergrad-only)

 

African American Representation as a Measure of Diversity

Average number (and %) per class over 4 undergrad classes, *no TOMR (Fall 2016): 38*/510.5 (7.49%) (12th)

Number, incl. those of TOMR: C2020: 43* (61); C2019: 51* (56); C2018: 35* (52); C2017: 38*; C2016: 37* (59)

For C2020 AfrA 12% (incl. multi-) of US students (7% International); for C2019 AfrA 11% (incl. multi-) (8% International). 

 

Earning Potential

PayScale Salary 2016-17: For All Alumni (insufficient info for Bachelor's Only): Early career (0-5 years of employment): $54,900; Mid-career (10+ years): $122,000 (tie for 20th)

 

World Rankings

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings (UK) 2016-17: [unranked in top 800]

The Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings (UK) 2016: [unranked in top 100]

QS World University Rankings (UK) 2015/16: [unranked in top 701+]

US News Best Global Universities Rankings 2016: [unranked in top 750]

Academic Ranking of World Universities (Shanghai) 2015: [unranked in top 500]

Center for World University Rankings (Saudi Arabia) 2015: [unranked in top 1000]

Composite Score: [unranked] 

  

FIRE Speech Code Rating (Green: protects; Yellow: may restrict; Red: clearly restricts)

Williams College has been given the speech code rating Red. A red light university has at least one policy that both clearly and substantially restricts freedom of speech. Read more here.

 

Campus Pride” Index Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Selected as one of the Top 25 “LGBTQ-Friendly” Colleges & Universities in 2015

This is an overall indicator of an institution’s zealous promotion of an “LGBTQ” agenda to the detriment of any who have moral qualms about such an agenda, through coercive indoctrination, active “diversity” recruitment, special resourcing, sanctions, and slander of those who support a male-female foundation for sexual unions as “hateful, ignorant, homophobic bigots” on a par with racists. For moderate-to-conservative students it represents the greatest threat to their freedom of speech and association, faith and religious liberty, and due process at this institution. Applicants may still thrive in this oppressive environment, off-set by association with like-minded persons, but should be aware of the risks before applying.

 

 

 

 

 

18.    Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

Cornellpicture.jpg 

"Cornell picture" by Cornell010 at English Wikipedia - Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons by Sreejithk2000 using CommonsHelper.. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cornellpicture.jpg#/media/File:Cornellpicture.jpg

 

Rankings:       US News (NU) 15t  +  College Choice (NU) 15 × 2 = 60;   plus…     Forbes 30

WSJ/THE 9     Money 64   College Factual 8   College Raptor 25   Kiplinger 37   Niche 29  PayScale ROI 32    

Total, with unranked or worst (outlier) score dropped, then full score: 230 (294)

 

     Cornell University has a number of distinctive features as an Ivy League school: It is the lowest ranked among the eight Ivy League schools (though not far behind Dartmouth in the thirteenth position), the largest Ivy League school, and the only Ivy League school not chartered before the American Revolution (Cornell was founded in 1865).* Its best rankings are eighth (USA Today's College Factual, for the second year in a row), ninth (Wall St. Journal/Times Higher Education), and twice fifteenth (US News [same as last year's rank], a 4-way tie; and College Choice, both exclusive of liberal arts colleges). Its midrange scores are twenty-fifth (College Raptor, up slightly from last year's twenty-sixth) and twenty-ninth (Niche, slightly down from 2016's twenty-third and 2015's twenty-sixth); and its lowest scores are thirtieth (Forbes, down slightly from last year's twenty-fifth), thirty-second (PayScale's Return on Investment, up slightly from last year's thirty-third), thirty-seventh (Kiplinger, down from 2016's thirty-fifth and 2015's twenty-seventh), and especially sixty-fourth (Money, plummeting inexplicably from last year's twenty-fourth). In a composite of the six most significant world rankings lists Cornell comes out an impressive fourteenth (tied with Johns Hopkins).

     Cornell also has the most highly rated undergraduate engineering program among the Ivies (ranked ninth, tie, among schools with a doctoral program in engineering according to US News; eighth according to Business Insider; twenty-fifth according to CollegeChoice; below Georgia Tech, UCal Berkeley, MIT, UIllinois - Urbana, Stanford, UMichigan - Ann Arbor, UTexas - Austin, Caltech, Purdue, and Texas A&M). 

      In terms of affordability Cornell ranks well below where it should be given its overall rank. It is the least affordable among the Ivy Leagues. Over the past several years it has averaged roughly fifty-fifth in net price. Cornell's average student loan at graduation for that portion of the Class of 2015 taking out any loans was an unimpressive sixtieth among the GCR top 139 schools; the percentage of students graduating with debt was the fifty-first lowest (9-way tie). Cornell maintains the usual Ivy policy of eliminating parental contribution for students whose families earn less than $60,000 (not a policy of UPenn and Dartmouth; not found outside the Ivies except for Stanford). However, its no-loan policy extends only to this income bracket. For students whose families make more than $60,000/yr. there is a graduated loan policy. Even so, Cornell will match the family contribution components and lower loan level of financial aid offers from other Ivy League schools, as well as need-based offers from Stanford, MIT, and Duke.

     Relative to its overall rank Cornell particularly excels in its yield rate (52.3%, fifteenth), first-year retention rate and 6-year graduation rate (both seventeenth in the GCR), and total endowment (5.8 billion, eighteenth). Apart from its affordability, its lowest rankings are in endowment per student (sixtieth), mid-career salary average according to PayScale and percentage of African American students (both thirty-fourth), and student to faculty ratio (thirty-third).

     Based on political donations of the people who work there, Cornell University is the 79th most liberal university out of 446 (8.5 Liberal; CrowdPac). This is the eleventh most liberal school among the 84 schools of the GCR Top 133 that Crowdpac examines and the most liberal of the Ivy Leagues.

*Only two non-Ivy League schools were chartered in the colonial period: Rutgers University and the College of William and Mary.

 

Test scores of enrolled students

Fall 2016 (C2020):

Mid-50% (25th -75th percentile): SAT CR 650-750, M 680-780 [Writing not reported]; ACT 31-34

SAT Average: CR+M: 1430 (avg. 715), ranked 15th + (tie)

ACT composite average: 32.5, ranked 10th + (4-way tie)

Percent submitted SAT/ACT scores: 69%/51%

Fall 2015 (C2019):

Mid-50% (25th -75th percentile): SAT CR 650-750, M 680-780, [Writing not reported]; ACT 30-34      

SAT Average: CR+M: 1430 (avg. 715), ranked 27th

ACT composite average: 32, ranked 23rd (5-way tie)

Percent submitted SAT/ACT scores:  75%/45.3% (2014: 80%/41%; 2013: 82%/39%)

 

Selectivity

Acceptance rate: Fall 2012: 16.55% / 2013: 15.56% / 2014: 14.19% / 2015: 15.07% (22nd) / 2016: 14.09% (23rd in GCR)            

Yield rate (of accepted students who enroll) Fall 2014: 52.83% / 2015: 50.36% (12th) / 2016: 52.31% (15th)

Selectivity index (acceptance ÷ yield: the lower the score, the more desirable): Fall 2015: .2992 (18th) / 2016: .2694 (18th)

 

Net Price (total expenses – grant/scholarship aid)

Net price average 2016-17 for beginning undergrads…: $29,020 (41st +) (total costs $69,353 - average need-based scholarship $40,333); and for all undergrads: $29,758 (37th +) ($69,353 - $39,595)

Net price average 2015-16 (from CDS) for beginning undergrads…: $27,507 (48th) (total costs $67,294 - average need-based scholarship $39,787); and for all undergrads: $28,917 (55th) ($67,294 - $38,377)

Net price average 2014-15 (from NCES) for beginning undergrads receiving any financial aid: $30,516 (62nd)

Net price average 2014-15 (from CDS) for beginning undergrads…: $26,708 (50th) (total costs $65,466 - average need-based scholarship $38,758); and for all undergrads: $27,907 (52nd) ($65,466 - $37,559)

Net price average 2013-14 (from NCES) for beginning undergrads receiving any financial aid: $30,457 (68th)

By income (2014-15): $0 - $30,000: $14,263 (60th) / $30,001 – $48,000: $13,432 (42nd) / $48,001 – $75,000: $18,737 (47th) / $75,001 – $110,000: $29,117 (68th)

By income (2013-14): $0 - $30,000: $13,585 (50th) / $30,001 – $48,000: $12,360 (35th) / $48,001 – $75,000: $20,480 (52nd) / $75,001 – $110,000: $28,406 (62th)

No parental contribution expected for families making less than $60,000/yr. The only payment expected is from the student’s summer earnings, part-time employment, and any savings the student may have.

Graduated loan policy: (1) Students from families with a total annual income under $60,000 will have no student loans as part of their financial aid package; (2) between $60,000 and $75,000 a maximum annual loan of $2500; (3) between $75,000 and $120,000 a maximum annual loan of $5000; over $120,000 a maximum annual loan of $7500.

Award Matching Initiative: Cornell will match the family contribution components and lower loan level of financial aid offers from other Ivy League schools, as well as need-based offers from Stanford, MIT, and Duke.

 

Debt at Graduation (incl. rank among the GCR top 133) and Default Rates

Average student debt at graduation C2014: $21,411 (44th lowest) / C2015: $24,394 (60th lowest)

Percentage of graduates with debt: C2014: 45% (52nd lowest, 7-way tie) / C2015: 43% (51st lowest, 9-way tie)  

Student loan default rate 2010: 2.2% / 2011: 1.5% / 2012: 1% / 2013: .6% [4-yr avg.: 1.325%; 3-yr avg: 1.033%]

 

Graduation Rates, Student Enrollment, Student/Faculty Ratio, Endowment

1st-year retention rate (2014-15): 96.7% / (2015-16) 97% (7-way tie for 17th)  

4- & 6-year grad rate (began Fall 2009):  86.4%/93.48% / (began Fall 2010): 87.11% (23rd) / 93.89% (17th)

Entering class size: C2020: 3,315 (C2019: 3180; C2018: 3261)

Student pop.: (Fall 2016) 22,319 (14,566 undergrad) / (Fall 2015) 21,904 (14,315 undergrad)

Student to faculty ratio: 8.65 to 1 (33rd)          

Endowment (2016): $5.758 billion (18th in the US*, 21st in the world; in the US 60th per student, 39th per undergrad-only)

*Eighteenth if one counts the entire Texas A&M University System (endowment of $11.1 billion in 2014), which comprises 11 universities with 143,000 students (62,000 of these are at the flagship Texas A&M University at College Station), along with 7 state agencies, 2 service units, and a comprehensive health science center. I don't think that it is fair to compare a single institution to a system so I don't count System endowments. Single institutions should be compared with single institutions. I’m estimating half of the Texas A&M University System’s endowment for the flagship university at College Station ($5.55 billion), though admittedly the estimate is based on nothing more than the number of students in the System who are not at College Station.

 

African American Representation as a Measure of Diversity

Average number (and %) per class over 4 undergrad classes, *no TOMR (Fall 2015): 229*/3,618 (6.34%) (34th)

Number (* = excl. those of TOMR): C2020: 223*; C2019: 223*; C2018: 198*; C2017: 225*; C2016: 257 (182*)

 

Earning Potential

PayScale Salary 2016-17: Early career (0-5 years of employment): $63,200; Mid-career (10+ years): $109,000 (34th, tie)

 

World Rankings

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings (UK) 2016-17: 19

The Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings (UK) 2016: 17

QS World University Rankings (UK) 2016/17: 16

US News Best Global Universities Rankings 2017: 22

Academic Ranking of World Universities (Shanghai) 2016: 13

Center for World University Rankings (Saudi Arabia) 2016: 12

Composite Score: 99 (averages 14th in the world, tied with Johns Hopkins) 

 

FIRE Speech Code Rating (Green: protects; Yellow: may restrict; Red: clearly restricts)

Cornell University has been given the speech code rating Red. A red light university has at least one policy that both clearly and substantially restricts freedom of speech. Read more here.

Campus Pride” Index Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Selected as one of the Top 25 “LGBTQ-Friendly” Colleges & Universities in 2015

This is an overall indicator of an institution’s zealous promotion of an “LGBTQ” agenda to the detriment of any who have moral qualms about such an agenda, through coercive indoctrination, active “diversity” recruitment, special resourcing, sanctions, and slander of those who support a male-female foundation for sexual unions as “hateful, ignorant, homophobic bigots” on a par with racists. For moderate-to-conservative students it represents the greatest threat to their freedom of speech and association, faith and religious liberty, and due process at this institution. Applicants may still thrive in this oppressive environment, off-set by association with like-minded persons, but should be aware of the risks before applying.

 

 

 

 

19.    Northwestern University, Evanston, IL

 

"Student Union & University Library, Northwestern" by Amerique - Own work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Student_Union_%26_University_Library,_Northwestern.JPG#/media/File:Student_Union_%26_University_Library,_Northwestern.JPG

 

Rankings:       US News (NU) 12t  +  College Choice (NU) 16 × 2 = 56;   plus…       Forbes 15

WSJ/THE 13t     Money 70   College Factual 13   College Raptor 20   Kiplinger 45   Niche 24  PayScale ROI 63    

Total, with unranked or worst (outlier) score dropped, then full score: 249 (319)

       Northwestern University is the second most highly rated Midwestern school on the GCR, after Notre Dame (no. 16); University of Chicago will follow next. Northwestern’s best ratings are twice thirteenth (Wall St. Journal/Times Higher Education; USA Today's College Factual, for the second year in a row), fifteenth (Forbes, up slightly from last year's sixteenth), twentieth (College Raptor, down from last year's fifteenth), twenty-fourth (Niche, up significantly from 2016's thirtieth and 2015's twenty-eighth), and its twelfth and sixteenth rating for lists evaluating only national universities (US News [tied; same as last year's rank] and College Choice, respectively). Three of its nine rankings are significantly lower: fifty-ninth (Kiplinger, down from 2016's forty-fifth and 2015's fiftieth), sixty-third (PayScale's Return on Investment, up from last year's seventy-seventh), and seventieth (Money, up from last year's eighty-ninth, tied). In the GCR composite of the six most significant world rankings lists, Northwestern emerges as a respectable twenty-first (sixteenth among US schools).

      As regards affordability, Northwestern performs significantly below its overall rank, averaging fifty-first in net price through various GCR rankings in 2013-14, 2014-15, and 2015-16. In 2014-15 it ranked a surprisingly low sixty-eighth in lowest average net price among the top 133 GCR schools for beginning undergrads receiving any financial aid (sixty-second in 2013-14). Northwestern's average student loan at graduation for that portion of the Class of 2015 taking out any loans was an unimpressive fifty-fourth among the GCR top 139 schools; the percentage of students graduating with debt was the sixty-fourth lowest (tie). However, we can expect these figures to improve measurably with Northwestern's new financial aid no-loan policy, instituted in Fall 2016. Initial figures for various income levels in 2016-17 suggest a lowering of net price by $3500 over that of 2015-16, which might move NU in rank up about twenty notches.

     Relative to its overall rank, Northwestern fares best in its first-year retention rate (98%, 9-way tie for third in the GCR), total endowment (9.65 billion, eighth nationally; though twenty-eighth per student), standardized test scores for the entering class (ninth and tenth for SAT scores, 8-way tie for fifteenth for ACT), student-to-faculty ratio (6.8 to 1, eleventh in GCR), selectivity (fourteenth to fifteenth in acceptance rate, yield, overall desirability in GCR), and 6-year graduation rate (93.5%, twenty-first in GCR). It has its lowest ranks in its 4-year graduation rate (forty-seventh in GCR but still 84%), average mid-career salary according to PayScale (9-way tie for forty-ninth nationally), and percentage of African-American students (5.66%, fifty-first in GCR).

     FIRE reports on speech problems at Northwestern a couple of years ago: "Students and professors who make controversial statements about sex and relationships are at risk of triggering an investigation by bureaucrats dedicated to an overly broad definition of sexual harassment. Laura Kipnis, a professor at Northwestern University, learned this the hard way. After she penned an article for The Chronicle of Higher Education about how the university’s oppressive Title IX bureaucracy was making life worse on campus, students who didn’t like her views filed complaints against her. She was subsequently subjected to an absurd investigation that wasted both her time and the university’s financial resources. And though she was ultimately cleared of any wrongdoing, professors who advocated on her behalf were eventually accused of violating Title IX as well." For articles on this story go here.

     Based on political donations of the people who work there, Northwestern University is the 247th most liberal university out of 446 (7.5 Liberal; CrowdPac). This makes it the forty-seventh most liberal school among the 84 schools of the GCR Top 133 that Crowdpac examines.

 

Test scores of enrolled students

Fall 2016 (C2020):

Mid-50% (25th -75th percentile): SAT CR 690-760, M 710-800 [no Writing score reported]; ACT 32-34 

SAT Average: CR+M: 1480 (avg. 740), ranked 7th + (tie)

ACT composite average: 33, ranked 8th +  (tie)

Percent submitted SAT/ACT scores: 38%/71%

Fall 2015 (C2019):

Mid-50% (25th -75th percentile): SAT CR 690-760, M 710-800, [W 690-770]; ACT 31-34       

SAT Average: CR+M: 1480 (avg. 740), ranked 9th (tie)

                         CR+M+W: 2210 (avg. 736.7), ranked 10th

ACT composite average: 32.5, ranked 15th (8-way tie)

Percent submitted SAT/ACT scores:  50%/67% (2014: 65%/55%; 2013: 63%/60%)

 

Selectivity

Acceptance rate: Fall 2012: 15.32% / 2013: 14.02% / 2014: 13.14% / 2015: 13.22%  (19th) / 2016: 10.66% (15th in GCR Top 133)

Yield rate (of accepted students who enroll) Fall 2014: 47.52% / 2015: 47.50% (20th) / 2016: 53.03% (14th)

Selectivity index (acceptance ÷ yield: the lower the score, the more desirable): Fall 2015: .2783 (16th) / 2016: .2010 (14th)  

 

Net Price (total expenses – grant/scholarship aid)

Net price average 2016-17 for beginning undergrads…: $27,868 (36th +) (total costs $70,844 - average need-based scholarship $42,976); and for all undergrads: $31,435 (47th +) ($70,844 - $39,409)

Net price average 2015-16 for beginning undergrads…: $26,395 (44th) (total costs $68,483 - average need-based scholarship $42,088); and for all undergrads: $28,275 (48th) ($68,483 - $40,208)

Net price average 2014-15 (from NCES) for beginning undergrads receiving any financial aid: $31,173 (66th)

Net price average 2014-15 for beginning undergrads…: $27,039 (53rd) (total costs $66,140 - average need-based scholarship $39,101); and for all undergrads: $28,466 (58th) ($66,140 - $37,674)

Net price average 2013-14 (from NCES) for beginning undergrads receiving any financial aid: $29,363 (62nd)

By income (2016-17; subtracting need-based aid from total costs $70,844): $0 - $29,999: $13,583 / $30,000 - $59,999: $12,822 / $60,000 - $89,999: $18,521 / $90,000 - $119,999: $25,213

By income (2015-16; subtracting need-based aid from total costs $68,095): $0 - $29,999: $13,348 / $30,000 - $59,999: $15,236 / $60,000 - $89,999: $22,468 / $90,000 - $119,999: $29,732

By income (2014-15): $0 - $30,000: $14,561 (62nd) / $30,001 – $48,000: $12,166 (39th) / $48,001 – $75,000: $16,896 (36th) / $75,001 – $110,000: $25,692 (46th)

By income (2013-14): $0 - $30,000: $12,396 (42th) / $30,001 – $48,000: $13,678 (45th) / $48,001 – $75,000: $15,986 (29th) / $75,001 – $110,000: $28,734 (66th)

"Beginning with the 2016-17 academic year, entering first-year students who qualify for Northwestern grant assistance will be awarded aid packages without any loans." Previous to this NU offered no-loan financial aid packages only to students who qualified for Pell grants (mostly whose families made less than $55,000/yr); all other students had their total loan over four years capped at $25,000.

 

Debt at Graduation (incl. rank among the GCR top 133) and Default Rates

Average student debt at graduation C2014: $19,864 (30th lowest) / C2015: $23,051 (54th lowest)

Percentage of graduates with debt: C2014: 46% (59th lowest, 6-way tie) / C2015: 45% (64th lowest, tie)  

Student loan default rate 2010: 1.8% / 2011: 1.3% / 2012: 1% / 2013: 1.3% [4-yr avg.: 1.35%; 3-yr avg: 1.3%]

 

Graduation Rates, Student Enrollment, Student/Faculty Ratio, Endowment

1st-year retention rate  (2014-15): 97%  / (2015-16): 98% (9-way tie for 3rd)  

4- & 6-year grad rate (began Fall 2009):  82.42%/92.76% / (began Fall 2010): 83.96% (47th) / 93.51% (21st)

Entering class size: C2020: 1,985; C2019: 2,017

Student pop.: (Fall 2016) 21,208 (8,353 undergraduate) / 2015: 21,642 (9001 undergraduate)

Student to faculty ratio: 6.84 to 1 (11th)        

Endowment (2016): $9.65 billion (8th in the US*, 9th in the world; in the US tied for 28th per student, 10th per undergrad-only) 

*Ninth or tenth, depending on how one treats system endowments at a couple of public universities. My endowment ranking counts only individual universities, not university systems like those of the Texas A&M University ($10.54 billion) and the University of Michigan ($9.74 billion). Single institutions should be compared with single institutions. The Texas A&M University System comprises 11 universities with 143,000 students, along with “seven state agencies, two service units and a comprehensive health science center.” The flagship school at College Station had 63,810 students in 2015-16. US News lists the 2015 endowment of the flagship College Station school as $9.754 billion (93% of the system endowment). However, since the student population at College Station is only 44.6% of the system whole, I arrived at a compromise rate of 70% of the system endowment: $7.38 billion. The flagship University of Michigan in Ann Arbor operates satellite campuses in Flint and Dearborn with a combined student body of 17,500 as compared to the over 43,651 student body at Ann Arbor. Since the student body figure for the satellite campuses is 28.7% of the whole and US News gives for the 2015 endowment of the flagship school $9.8097 (98.6% of the system endowment in 2015, which was $9.952 billion) I compromised with a 10% reduction from the system endowment, leaving $8.77 billion for Ann Arbor.

 

African American Representation as a Measure of Diversity

Average number (and %) per class over 4 undergrad classes, *no TOMR (Fall 2016): 118*/2088 (5.66%) (51st)

Number (* = excl. those of TOMR): C2020: 100*; C2019: 1841 (133*); C2018: 115*; C2017: 122*; C2016: 161 (111*)

1 C2019 AfrA 9%: http://dailynorthwestern.com/2014/05/29/campus/class-of-2018-to-be-most-diverse-in-northwestern-history/.

 

Earning Potential

PayScale Salary 2016-17: Early career (0-5 years of employment): $56,800; Mid-career (10+ years): $102,000 (49th, 6-way tie)

 

World Rankings

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings (UK) 2016-17: 20

The Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings (UK) 2016: 30t

QS World University Rankings (UK) 2016/17: 26

US News Best Global Universities Rankings 2017: 25

Academic Ranking of World Universities (Shanghai) 2016: 26

Center for World University Rankings (Saudi Arabia) 2016: 21

Composite Score: 148 (21st in the world, 16th among US schools, just behind Duke) 


 
FIRE Speech Code Rating (Green: protects; Yellow: may restrict; Red: clearly restricts)

Northwestern University has been given the speech code rating Yellow. Yellow light colleges and universities are those institutions with at least one ambiguous policy that too easily encourages administrative abuse and arbitrary application. Read more here.

Campus Pride” Index Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

This is an overall indicator of an institution’s zealous promotion of an “LGBTQ” agenda to the detriment of any who have moral qualms about such an agenda, through coercive indoctrination, active “diversity” recruitment, special resourcing, sanctions, and slander of those who support a male-female foundation for sexual unions as “hateful, ignorant, homophobic bigots” on a par with racists. For moderate-to-conservative students it represents the greatest threat to their freedom of speech and association, faith and religious liberty, and due process at this institution. Applicants may still thrive in this oppressive environment, off-set by association with like-minded persons, but should be aware of the risks before applying.

 

 

 

 

20.    University of Chicago, Chicago, IL

 

University of Chicago main quadrangles.jpg

"University of Chicago main quadrangles" by Ndshankar - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:University_of_Chicago_main_quadrangles.jpg#/media/File:University_of_Chicago_main_quadrangles.jpg

 

Rankings:       US News (NU) 3t  +  College Choice (NU) 18 × 2 = 44;   plus…      Forbes 20

WSJ/THE 13t     Money 83   College Factual 38   College Raptor 6   Kiplinger 42   Niche 19  PayScale ROI 133t    

Total, with unranked or worst (outlier) score dropped, then full score: 261 (394)

     The University of Chicago, which was founded in 1890 by John D. Rockefeller, is located on a “215-acre campus seven miles south of the main business district of Chicago” in a “neighborhood of Hyde Park, a residential community of 43,000 on the banks of Lake Michigan.” It is the third most highly rated Midwestern school on the GCR, after Notre Dame (no. 16) and Northwestern (no. 20). One can make a strong argument for rating it as the top Midwestern school in the US and, indeed, a top 10 school in the nation as a whole (see below). From an academic standpoint UChicago is clearly a top ten institution of higher learning. Niche, which rates UChicago nineteenth generally (up slightly from 2016's twentieth and down slightly from 2015's eighteenth), elsewhere in a “Best Academics” list puts it at fourth (behind MIT, Stanford, and Yale; ahead of Harvard and Princeton). UChicago's website boasts that “the University of Chicago has one of the most distinguished faculties in the world. More Nobel laureates (89) have been associated with UChicago than any other university in the world” (eight of which are current faculty members). “Among other awards associated with current and former faculty and alumni of UChicago” include: 17 John Bates Clark Medalists (economics); 6 Fields Medalists (mathematics), two currently on faculty; 29 MacArthur “genius” fellows; 12 National Humanities Medal winners; 15 National Medal of Science winners; and 20 Pulitzer Prize winners. UChicago has a widely known reputation for having among this nation’s hardest working students (second in this Niche list; thirteenth in this Princeton Review list). I’ll note other academic aspects below. In a composite of the six most significant world rankings lists UChicago comes out an impressive ninth (seventh among American schools).

     The reason that it is ranked as low as it is in the GCR (not low in absolute terms but rather relative to what many might expect) receives its simplest explanation in the fact that this is where it lands when ten US college rankings lists are averaged. The most influential college rankings list, that of US News, puts UChicago in a tie for third place with Yale among national universities, but excluding liberal arts colleges (up slightly from 2016's three-way tie for fourth place with Columbia and Stanford). College Raptor rates it sixth (same as last year's rank). However, none of the other seven rankings lists rates UChicago better than a tie for thirteenth (Wall St. Journal/Times Higher Education); then eighteenth (College Choice, and that among just national research universities), nineteenth (Niche, up slightly from 2016's twentieth and down slightly from 2015's eighteenth), and twentieth (Forbes, same as previous year). Its mid-range ratings are thirty-eighth (USA Today's College Factual, down slightly from last year's thirty-sixth) and forty-second (Kiplinger, slightly down from 2016's and 2015's fortieth). Money gives UChicago the astoundingly low rating of eighty-third (though up significantly from last year's one-hundredth twenty-seventh), no doubt partly as a reflection of its one-hundredth thirty-third ranking by PayScale's Return on Investment (down significantly from last year's still-low ninety-second rank).

     UChicago has a great many things that would qualify it for a top 10 ranking, in addition to the honors accorded its faculty and its reputation for hard-working students. As of 2014-15 it had the highest first-year retention rate in the GCR Top 133 (100%) and the sixth lowest student-to-faculty ratio (5-way tie). As regards standardized test scores, UChicago's Class of 2019 ranked in SAT scores an impressive second (CR+M) and third (CR+M+W [Class of 2018]); in ACT composite score, fourth (5-way tie). For 2016-17 among the GCR top 133 UChicago was an impressive seventh in acceptance rate, yield rate, and selectivity (desirability) index. It has the thirteenth highest single-institution endowment in the US (fifteenth in the world), though twenty-ninth highest per student.

     So what accounts for UChicago’s lower-than-expected twenty-first place ranking? Its ranking drops in three main areas usually considered in rankings: graduation rates, financial aid, and average earnings of graduates; to which we add African-American representation. (1) UChicago's PayScale Mid-Career Salary rank is "only' twenty-first, which is commensurate with its overall rank in the GCR and, to be sure, a significant improvement over its rank in Payscale's Return on Investment. (2) It has only the thirty-third highest 4-and 6-year graduation rates (tied). (3) African-American representation at UChicago is a paltry sixty-second among the GCR top 133.

     (4) As regards affordability, UChicago (like its midwest competitor Northwestern) performs significantly below its overall rank when it comes to average net price; but (paradoxically and unlike Northwestern) quite well for students whose families make less than $110,000/year. In 2014-15 it ranked a surprisingly low eighty-eighth in lowest average net price among the top 133 GCR schools for beginning undergrads receiving any financial aid (one-hundred seventh in 2013-14). Yet when considering only parental salary levels below $110,000 UChicago does markedly better, averaging fourteenth. The enormous disparity between average net cost rank and rankings for different salary levels is puzzling but is probably to be explained by the dearth of financial aid for families that make over $110,000/year (note that the net price goes up from $19,618 for income levels between $75,001 and $110,000 per year to $41,141 for over $110,000/year) and a relatively small number of students in lower income brackets. The "plot thickens" when one considers what "the average University of Chicago aid applicant receives ... in scholarships each year" according to UChicago's admissions page, which would give UChicago a net price rank in the GCR of twenty-ninth for all undergrads receiving any financial aid in 2015-16. Has the net price at UChicago improved so markedly in the past year or two (about $8500 lower) or is there some inaccuracy in figures?

     UChicago's average student loan at graduation for that portion of the Class of 2015 taking out any loans was only thirty-ninth among the GCR top 139 schools (though a significant improvement from the previous year's fifty-seventh rank); the percentage of students graduating with debt was the eighteenth lowest (5-way tie). In its favor, UChicago does offer no-loan financial aid packages for all students who receive need-based aid. This is a new development. Previously UChicago made such an offer only to students from families earning less than $60,000/year. 

     The University of Chicago in 2014-15 put together an excellent “Freedom of Expression” statement that Princeton University and a few other institutions have since adopted. The statement is designed to protect campus free speech rights, though FIRE identifies "at least one ambiguous policy that too easily encourages administrative abuse and arbitrary application."

      Based on political donations of the people who work there, the University of Chicago is the 206th most liberal university out of 446 (7.8 Liberal; CrowdPac). This is the thirty-ninth most liberal school among the 84 schools of the GCR Top 133 that Crowdpac examines.

 

Unfortunately (and inexplicably) the UChicago administration does not release to the general public its Common Data Sets, which restricts current information available to the public for making an informed decision.

 

Test scores of enrolled students

Fall 2016 (C2020):

Mid-50% (25th -75th percentile): SAT CR + M: 1460-1550; ACT 32-35

SAT Average: CR+M: 1505 (avg. ), ranked 2nd + (tie)

ACT composite average: 33.5, ranked 2nd +  (6-way tie)

Fall 2015 (C2019):

Mid-50% (25th -75th percentile): SAT CR 720-800, M 720-800, W 700-780; ACT 32-35        

SAT Average: CR+M: 1520 (avg. 760), ranked 2nd

                         CR+M+W: 2260 (avg. 753.3), ranked 3rd

ACT composite average: 33.5, ranked 4th (5-way tie)

Percent submitted SAT/ACT scores: 63%/56% (2014: 66%/53%; 2013: 70%/51%)

 

Selectivity

Acceptance rate*: Fall 2012: 13.24% / 2013: 8.81% / 2014: 8.38% / 2015: 8.35% (7th) / 2016: 7.95% (7th among nationally ranked schools)

Yield rate (of accepted students who enroll) Fall 2014: 60% / 2015: 60.97% (8th) / 2016: 63.69% (7th)

Selectivity index (acceptance ÷ yield: the lower the score, the more desirable): .1370 (7th) / .1248 (7th)

*UChicago’s acceptance rate has dramatically lowered over the past 7 years: Fall 2008 (27.8%), Fall 2009 (26.8%), Fall 2010 (18.4%), Fall 2011 (15.8%). In the 6 years from Fall 2009 to Fall 2015 the acceptance level dropped an astounding 19%.

 

Net Price (total expenses – grant/scholarship aid)

As of 3/8/17 the UChicago admissions page states: "The average University of Chicago aid applicant receives $45,500 in scholarships each year." Costs in 2016-17 (tuition, room & board, my $4500 standard estimate for all other expenses) are $70,590; in 2015-16 (according to the NCES Navigator) they were $70,623. Using a ballpark estimate of $70,600, the average net price would then be $25,100. The amount is so much smaller than the amount determined from NCES in 2014-15 and 2013-14 that it raises questions about accuracy. Have scholarships increased at UChicago to this extent in the past two years? If so, UChicago's net price would rank for 2015-16 at least twenty-ninth in lowest net price in the GCR.

Net price average 2014-15 (from NCES) for beginning undergrads receiving any financial aid: $33,630 (88th)

Net price average 2013-14 (from NCES) for beginning undergrads receiving any financial aid: $35,031 (107th)

By income (2014-15): $0 - $30,000: $6783 (9th) / $30,001 – $48,000: $5786 (7th) / $48,001 – $75,000: $10,992 (9th) / $75,001 – $110,000: $19,618 (8th)

By income (2013-14): $0 - $30,000: $9643 (21st) / $30,001 – $48,000: $7261 (12th) / $48,001 – $75,000: $13,029 (17th) / $75,001 – $110,000: $24,353 (29th)

UChicago offers no-loan financial aid packages for all students who receive need-based aid. There is also a need-based Odyssey Scholarship program for family incomes under $90,000. In addition to receiving grants covering a significant part of college coasts, Odyssey Scholars are “guaranteed a summer internship or research opportunity with a minimum stipend of $4,000 for the summer between their first and second years in the College.”

 

Debt at Graduation (incl. rank among the GCR top 133) and Default Rates

Average student debt at graduation C2014: $23,223 (57th lowest) / C2015: $21,291 (39th lowest)

Percentage of graduates with debt: C2014: 41% (36th lowest, 3-way tie) / C2015: 34% (18th lowest, 5-way tie)  

Student loan default rate 2010: 2.4% / 2011: 1.4% / 2012: 1.4% / 2013: .9% [4-yr avg.: 1.525%; 3-yr avg: 1.233%]

 

Graduation Rates, Student Enrollment, Student/Faculty Ratio, Endowment

1st-year retention rate (2013-14): 99% / (2014-15): 100% (1st)   

4- & 6-year grad rate (began Fall 2009): 86% (33rd) / 92% (33rd, tie)

Entering class size: C2020: 1,591 (C2019: 1457; C2018: 1447)

Student pop.: (Fall 2014) 15,097 (5,738 undergrad) / (Fall 2015) 15,391 (5,883 undergraduate)

Student to faculty ratio: 6 to 1 (5-way tie for 6th)        

Endowment (2016): $7.001 billion (13th in the US*, 15th in the world; in the US 29th per student, 9th per undergrad-only) 

 

African American Representation as a Measure of Diversity

Average number (and %) per class over 4 undergrad classes, *no TOMR (Fall 2014): 80*/1494.5 (5.34%) (62nd in GCR)

Number (includes those of TOMR who identify as Black): C2020: 137; C2019: 130; C2018: 100; C2017: 120; C2016: 113

The figures for C2020, C2019, C2018, and C2017 are extrapolated from the percentages given for "Black or African-American" (8.61%, 8.46%, 6.91%, and 8.42% respectively, presumably including  those who consider themselves two or more races) at UChicago's profiles found on their website. These are percentages of the entire entering class; the percentage does not include Internationals (whose percentage in the C2020 is 13.7%). The C2016 figure comes from “Black First-Year Students at the Nation’s Leading Research Universities,” Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, Dec. 17, 2012.

 

Earning Potential

PayScale Salary 2016-17: Early career (0-5 years of employment): $53,000; Mid-career (10+ years): $115,000 (21st)  

World Rankings

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings (UK) 2016-17: 10t

The Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings (UK) 2016: 11

QS World University Rankings (UK) 2016/17: 10

US News Best Global Universities Rankings 2017: 13

Academic Ranking of World Universities (Shanghai) 2016: 10

Center for World University Rankings (Saudi Arabia) 2016: 8

Composite Score: 62 (9th) 

 

FIRE Speech Code Rating (Green: protects; Yellow: may restrict; Red: clearly restricts)

University of Chicago has been given the speech code rating Yellow. Yellow light colleges and universities are those institutions with at least one ambiguous policy that too easily encourages administrative abuse and arbitrary application. Read more here.

 

 

 

21.    Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO

 

"Brookings Hall - the most photogenic and recognizable building at Washington University in St. Louis" by Bachrach44 - Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=505622

 

Rankings:       US News (NU) 19  +  College Choice (NU) 20 × 2 = 70;   plus…      Forbes 60

WSJ/THE 11     Money 87t   College Factual 19   College Raptor 21   Kiplinger 58   Niche PayScale ROI 55    

Total, with unranked or worst (outlier) score dropped, then full score: 310 (397)

 

     Washington University in St. Louis is one of the top Midwestern universities (behind Vanderbilt [south?], Notre Dame, Northwestern, and UChicago). Its best ratings are ninth (Niche, up slightly from 2016's twelfth and down slightly from 2015's eighth), eleventh (Wall St. Journal/Times Higher Education), twice nineteenth (US News, exclusive of liberal arts colleges, down from last year's tie for fifteenth; USA Today's College Factual, up from last year's twenty-third), twentieth (College Choice, exclusive of liberal arts colleges), and twenty-first (College Raptor, down slightly from last year's nineteenth). There is a big divide between its top six rankings and its bottom four: fifty-fifth (PayScale's Return on Investment, up substantially from last year's seventieth rank), fifty-eighth (Kiplinger, down from 2016's fifty-seventh and forty-eighth), sixtieth (Forbes, up slightly from last year's sixty-third), and eighty-seventh (tied; Money, down significantly from last year's sixty-sixth). US News also ranks WUSTL #14 (4-way tie) in Best Undergraduate Teaching among National Universities. In the GCR composite list of the top six world rankings it averages fifty-fifth in the world (twenty-fourth among US schools).

     Relative to its overall rank WUSTL has its greatest strengths in the academic quality of its undergraduate student body as measured by entering test scores (ninth to eleventh in the GCR), overall endowment (fifteenth nationally, though endowment per student is only thirty-first), and student-to-faculty ratio (roughly 8 to 1, a 6-way tie for nineteenth in the GCR). Its lowest rankings, save two, are in percentage of African-American students (5.75%, forty-sixth in the GCR) and average mid-career salary as estimated by PayScale (forty-seventh nationally). WUSTL's major problem is inadequate financial aid relative to its overall high rank. For 2013-14, 2014-15, and 2015-16, it averaged only fiftieth when different income levels were taken into account and seventy-first when considering only average aid. This explains why average student debt at graduation is fifty-eighth lowest (though the percentage of graduates with debt is tied for the thirteenth lowest) and the yield rate is only fifty-fourth.

     The fact that WUSTL is located in the midwest does not make it conservative by a long run. "Campus Pride" gives it 4.5 out of 5 stars for its promotion of all things "gay" and "transgender." Based on political donations of the people who work there, Washington University in St. Louis is the one hundred eighty-fourth most liberal university out of 446 (7.9 Liberal; CrowdPac). This makes it the thirty-fourth most liberal school among the 84 schools of the GCR Top 133 that Crowdpac examines, which puts it in the top 40 percent of leftwing schools. FIRE identifies "at least one ambiguous [speech] policy that too easily encourages administrative abuse and arbitrary application."

Test scores of enrolled students

Fall 2016 (C2020): [CDS not yet available]

Mid-50% (25th -75th percentile): SAT CR , M , W ; ACT  

SAT Average: CR+M:  (avg. ), ranked th +

                         CR+M+W:  (avg. ), ranked th +

ACT composite average: , ranked th +  (-way tie)

Percent submitted SAT/ACT scores:

Fall 2015 (C2019):

Mid-50% (25th -75th percentile): SAT CR 690-760, M 710-790, W 690-770; ACT 32-34       

SAT Average: CR+M:  1480 (avg. 737.5), ranked 11th (4-way tie)

                         CR+M+W:  2205 (avg. 735), ranked 11th (tied)

ACT composite average: 33, ranked 9th (6-way tie)

Percent submitted SAT/ACT scores: 45%/68% (2014: 48%/66%)

 

Selectivity

Acceptance rate: Fall 2012: 17.88% / 2013: 15.6% / 2014: 17.13% / 2015: 16.74% (27th among the GCR top 133)

Yield rate (of accepted students who enroll) Fall 2015 (C2019): 35.34% (54th among the GCR top 133)

Selectivity (or desirability) index (acceptance ÷ yield: the lower the score, the more desirable): .4737 (32nd among the GCR top 133) 

 

Net Price (total expenses – grant/scholarship aid)

Net price average 2015-16 (from CDS) for beginning undergrads…: $27,121 (47th) (total costs $67,873 - average need-based scholarship $40,752); and for all undergrads: $30,256 (60th) ($67,873 - $37,617)

Net price average 2014-15 (from NCES) for beginning undergrads receiving any financial aid: $32,229 (75th)

Net price average 2014-15 (from CDS) for beginning undergrads…: $30,636 (79th) (total costs $65,344 - average need-based scholarship $34,708); and for all undergrads: $29,789 (66th) ($65,344 - $35,555)

Net price average 2013-14 (from NCES) for beginning undergrads receiving any financial aid: $32,462 (84th)

By income (2014-15): $0 - $30,000: $10,425 (31st) / $30,001 – $48,000: $9345 (22nd) / $48,001 – $75,000: $16,019 (32nd) / $75,001 – $110,000: $26,681 (51st)

By income (2013-14): $0 - $30,000: $10,188 (26th) / $30,001 – $48,000: $11,315 (29th) / $48,001 – $75,000: $15,135 (25th) / $75,001 – $110,000: $27,546 (56th)

     WUSTL offers a limited number of full-tuition merit scholarships, including John Ervin Scholarships (free tuition plus stipend) to create a more diverse community on campus. https://admissions.wustl.edu/financial-aid/first-year-student-academic-scholarships

 

Debt at Graduation (incl. rank among the GCR top 133) and Default Rates

Average student debt at graduation C2014: $23,858 (62nd lowest) / C2015: $24,243 (58th lowest)

Percentage of graduates with debt: C2014: 30% (10th lowest) / C2015: 29% (13th lowest, tie)  

Student loan default rate 2011: 3% / 2012: 1.4% / 2013: .8% [3-yr avg.: 1.73%]

 

Graduation Rates, Student Enrollment, Student/Faculty Ratio, Endowment

1st-year retention rate (2014-15): 96% (33th, 12-way tie)   

4- & 6-year grad rate (began Fall 2009):  86.43% (25th) / 92.64% (27th)

Entering class size: C2019: 1731

Student pop.: (Fall 2015) 14,688 (7504 undergraduate)

Student to faculty ratio:  8 to 1  (19th, 6-way tie)      

Endowment (2016): $6.46 billion (15th in the US, 18th in the world; in the US 31st per student, 23rd per undergrad-only) 

 

African American Representation as a Measure of Diversity

Average number (and %) per class over 4 undergrad classes, *no TOMR (Fall 2015 avg./class): 101*/1758 (5.75%) (46th in GCR)

Number (* = excl. those of TOMR): C2019: 123*; C2018: 67*; C2017: 77*; C2016: 87* (104)

 

Earning Potential

PayScale Salary 2016-17: Early career (0-5 years of employment): $56,700; Mid-career (10+ years): $103,000 (47th, tied)  

 

World Rankings

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings (UK) 2016-17: 57t

The Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings (UK) 2016: 61-70

QS World University Rankings (UK) 2016/17: 106

US News Best Global Universities Rankings 2017: 26

Academic Ranking of World Universities (Shanghai) 2016: 23

Center for World University Rankings (Saudi Arabia) 2016: 51

Composite Score: 328 (averages 55th in the world)

 

FIRE Speech Code Rating (Green: protects; Yellow: may restrict; Red: clearly restricts)

Washington University in St. Louis has been given the speech code rating Yellow. Yellow light colleges and universities are those institutions with at least one ambiguous policy that too easily encourages administrative abuse and arbitrary application. Read more here.

 

Campus Pride” Index Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

This is an overall indicator of an institution’s zealous promotion of an “LGBTQ” agenda to the detriment of any who have moral qualms about such an agenda, through coercive indoctrination, active “diversity” recruitment, special resourcing, sanctions, and slander of those who support a male-female foundation for sexual unions as “hateful, ignorant, homophobic bigots” on a par with racists. For moderate-to-conservative students it represents the greatest threat to their freedom of speech and association, faith and religious liberty, and due process at this institution. Applicants may still thrive in this oppressive environment, off-set by association with like-minded persons, but should be aware of the risks before applying.

 

 

 

 

22.    Swarthmore College, Swarthmore (near Philly), PA

 Parrish Hall.jpg

"Parrish Hall" by Ugen64 at English Wikipedia - Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons.. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Parrish_Hall.jpg#/media/File:Parrish_Hall.jpg

 

Rankings:       US News (LA) 4t  +  College Choice (LA) 6 × 2 = 18+30LA = 48;    Forbes 10

WSJ/THE 34     Money 100t   College Factual 44   College Raptor 14   Kiplinger 1   Niche 38   PayScale ROI -    

Total, with unranked or worst (outlier) score dropped, then full score: 291 (-)

     Swarthmore College is the fourth liberal arts college to make the list of the GCR top 133 universities and colleges (after Amherst, Pomona, and Williams). This year Kiplinger ranked Swarthmore first in the nation (up from 2016's fifth and 2015's third), an odd rating in view of the fact that no. 3 Princeton surpasses it in all categories but non-need-based aid (Princeton offers only need-based aid). Otherwise its best rankings are in the two rankings lists that exclude national research universities: fourth (US News, but excluding national research universities; tied with Middlebury; down slightly from last year's third and no tie) and sixth (College Choice, but excluding national research universities). In other lists its rank varies widely: from tenth (Forbes, down slightly from last year's seventh) and fourteenth (College Raptor, down slightly from last year's twelfth), to thirty-fourth (Wall St. Journal/Times Higher Education) and thirty-eighth (Niche, up dramatically from 2016's eighty-ninth and even 2015's forty-ninth), then to forty-fourth (USA Today's College Factual, down slightly from last year's forty-second) and one-hundredth (tie; Money, down from last year's tie for eighty-ninth). Due to low response from Swarthmore alum onto PayScale's website, there is insufficient information to rank in its Return on Investment, though in previous years it averaged sixtieth. US News also ranks Swarthmore #3 (tie) in Best Undergraduate Teaching among National Liberal Arts Colleges.

     As regards affordability, Swarthmore provides financial aid roughly commensurate with, or better than, its overall rank. For 2013-14, 2014-15, and 2015-16, it averaged twenty-third when different income levels were taken into account and sixteenth when considering only average aid. It ranks a strong GCR seventeenth for both average student loan at graduation and percentage of students graduating with any debt. Swarthmore has a policy of no-loan financial aid packages.

     Relative to its overall rank, Swarthmore excels particularly in endowment, both per student (fifth highest in the nation) and total endowment among small liberal arts colleges (sixth nationally); then first-year retention rate (97.5%, thirteenth highest among GCR top 133 schools), 6-year graduation rate (94%, fifteenth highest in GCR), and student-to-faculty ratio (7.8 to 1, eighteenth lowest in GCR).  Swarthmore doesn't have any exceptionally weak rankings relative to its overall rank. It's "worst" rankings are are a respectable yield rate (42%, GCR thirty-eighth) and a relatively strong mid-career salary average for a small liberal arts college (3-way tie for thirty-second nationally, as measured by PayScale).

     Swarthmore may be a hostile environment for conservatives. It has a reputation for being a very leftwing school even considering the national collegiate trend of leftwing politics. A 2014 article in the Daily Caller lists Swarthmore among “The 13 Most Rabidly Leftist, Politically Correct Colleges.” Based on political donations of the people who work there, Swarthmore is the 107th most liberal university out of 446 (8.3 Liberal; CrowdPac). This is the seventeenth most liberal school among the 84 schools of the GCR Top 133 that Crowdpac examines. Surprisingly, however, it didn’t make Princeton Review’s list of the top 20 schools with “Most Liberal Students” or College Magazine’s list of “The 10 Most Progressive Campuses.” (The competition for this ‘honor’ is apparently fierce.) Niche, which in 2016 ranked Swarthmore no. 3 among the “Most Liberal Colleges in America,” in 2017 dropped it entirely from its top 25. Swarthmore has one or more speech codes that "clearly and substantially restricts freedom of speech" (FIRE). "Campus Pride" gives it the dubious honor of 4 out of 5 stars for promoting the LGBT agenda. 

 

Test scores of enrolled students

Fall 2016 (C2020):

Mid-50%: SAT CR 645-760, M 660-770 [Writing not reported]; ACT 30-34 

Average: CR+M: 1417.5 (avg. 708.75; actual mean/median: 1417/1440), ranked 18th +

ACT composite average: 32 (actual mean/median: 31.8 / 32), ranked 13th + (6-way tie)

Percent submitted SAT/ACT scores: 67.5% / 48.7%

Fall 2015 (C2019):

Mid-50%: SAT CR 670-760, M 670-770, W 680-760; ACT 30-34      

Average: CR+M: 1435 (avg. 717.5; actual mean/median: 1430/1450), ranked 25th (tie)

                CR+M+W: 2155 (avg. 718.3; actual mean/median: 2146/2170), ranked 25th

ACT composite average: 32 (actual mean/median: 31.7 / 32), ranked 23rd (5-way tie)

Percent submitted SAT/ACT scores: 73%/46% (2014: 77%/44%; 2013: 81%/37%)

 

Selectivity

Acceptance rate: Fall 2012: 14.19% / 2013: 14.32% / 2014: 17.02% / 2015: 12.48% (17th) / 2016: 12.80% (19th among nationally ranked schools)

Yield rate (of accepted students who enroll) Fall 2014 (C2018): 43.16% / Fall 2015 (C2019): 41.70% (38th) / Fall 2016 (C2020): 42.00% (38th)

Selectivity index (acceptance ÷ yield: the lower the score, the more desirable): Fall 2015 (C2019): .2993 (19th) / Fall 2016 (C2020): .3048 (21st)

 

Net Price (total expenses – grant/scholarship aid)

Net price average 2016-17 (from CDS) for beginning undergrads…: $21,153 (5th +) (total costs $68,050 - average need-based scholarship $46,897); and for all undergrads: $22,514 (5th +) ($68,050 - $45,536)

Net price average 2015-16 (from CDS) for beginning undergrads…: $19,847 (9th) (total costs $65,900 - average need-based scholarship $46,053); and for all undergrads: $21,644 (9th) ($65,900 - $44,256)

Net price average 2014-15 (from NCES) for beginning undergrads receiving any financial aid: $23,240 (18th)

Net price average 2014-15 (from CDS) for beginning undergrads…: $21,915 (14th) (total costs $64,110 - average need-based scholarship $42,195); and for all undergrads: $23,796 (19th) ($64,110 - $40,314)

Net price average 2013-14 (from NCES) for beginning undergrads receiving any financial aid: $24,257 (26th)

By income (2014-15): $0 - $30,000: $9524 (27th) / $30,001 – $48,000: $11,039 (32nd) / $48,001 – $75,000: $13,693 (18th) / $75,001 – $110,000: $25,019 (35th)

By income (2013-14): $0 - $30,000: $10,237 (27th) / $30,001 – $48,000: $8885 (20th) / $48,001 – $75,000: $17,357 (35th) / $75,001 – $110,000: $25,068 (36th)

Swarthmore offers a no-loan financial aid package for all students receiving financial aid.

 

Debt at Graduation (incl. rank among the GCR top 133) and Default Rates

Average student debt at graduation C2014: $21,866 (48th lowest) / C2015: $18,262 (17th lowest)

Percentage of graduates with debt: C2014: 33% (18th lowest, tied) / C2015: 33% (17th lowest)  

Student loan default rate 2010: .6% / 2011: 0% / 2012: 1.6% / 2013: 0% [4-yr avg.: .55%; 3-yr avg: .533%]

 

Graduation Rates, Student Enrollment, Student/Faculty Ratio, Endowment

1st-year retention rate (2014-15) 98%  / (2015-16)  97.50% (tied for 13th)

4- & 6-year grad rate (began Fall 2009)  87%/94%; (began Fall 2010) 87.60% (20th) / 94.06% (15th)

Entering class size (Fall 2016): 416

Student pop.: (Fall 2016) 1620 (all undergraduate)

Student to faculty ratio (Fall 2016) 7.79 to 1  (18th)      

Endowment (2016): $1.747 billion* (46th in the US and 53rd or 54th in the world; in the US 5th per student and 13th per undergrad-only) 

 

African American Representation as a Measure of Diversity

Average number (and %) per class over 4 undergrad classes, *no TOMR (Fall 2016): 26.5*/404 (6.56%; 28th in GCR) 

Number (* = excl. those of TOMR): C2020: 32*; C2019: 27*; C2018: 26*; C2017: 20*; C2016: 21* (31)

 

Earning Potential

PayScale Salary 2016-17: Early career (0-5 years of employment): $48,000; Mid-career (10+ years): $109,000 (3-way tie for 32nd)

 

World Rankings

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings (UK) 2016-17: [unranked in top 800]

The Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings (UK) 2016: [unranked in top 100]

QS World University Rankings (UK) 2015/16: [unranked in top 701+]

US News Best Global Universities Rankings 2016: [unranked in top 750]

Academic Ranking of World Universities (Shanghai) 2015: [unranked in top 500]

Center for World University Rankings (Saudi Arabia) 2015: [unranked in top 1000]

Composite Score: [unranked] 

 

FIRE Speech Code Rating (Green: protects; Yellow: may restrict; Red: clearly restricts)

Swarthmore College has been given the speech code rating Red. A red light university has at least one policy that both clearly and substantially restricts freedom of speech. Read more here.

 

Campus Pride” Index Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

This is an overall indicator of an institution’s zealous promotion of an “LGBTQ” agenda to the detriment of any who have moral qualms about such an agenda, through coercive indoctrination, active “diversity” recruitment, special resourcing, sanctions, and slander of those who support a male-female foundation for sexual unions as “hateful, ignorant, homophobic bigots” on a par with racists. For moderate-to-conservative students it represents the greatest threat to their freedom of speech and association, faith and religious liberty, and due process at this institution. Applicants may still thrive in this oppressive environment, off-set by association with like-minded persons, but should be aware of the risks before applying.

 

 

 

23.    Washington and Lee University, Lexington, VA

2008-0831-WashingtonandLeeUniversity.jpg 

"2008-0831-WashingtonandLeeUniversity" by Bobak Ha'Eri - Own work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:2008-0831-WashingtonandLeeUniversity.jpg#/media/File:2008-0831-WashingtonandLeeUniversity.jpg

 

Rankings:       US News (LA) 11  +  College Choice (LA) 10 × 2 = 48+30LA = 78; Forbes 29

WSJ/THE 109     Money 29   College Factual 33   College Raptor 39   Kiplinger 5   Niche 20  PayScale ROI 27    

Total, with unranked or worst (outlier) score dropped, then full score: 324 (363)

     Washington and Lee University is the fifth liberal arts college and the fourth-ranked Southern college (behind no. 9 Duke, no. 12 Rice, and no. 14 Vanderbilt). W&L is rated fifth by Kiplinger, largely because of its significant financial aid (down from 2016's first and 2015's fourth).

     In rankings that list only liberal arts colleges without graduate school programs it is ranked tenth by College Choice and eleventh by US News (up slightly from last year's tie for fourteenth). In lists that combine research universities and liberal arts colleges, apart from Kiplinger's, it nearly always ranks in the twenties or the thirties: twice twentieth (Niche, up from 2016's twenty-seventh and 2015's thirty-eighth; and PayScale's Return on Investment, up slightly from the previous year's thirty-first ranking and a very high score for liberal arts colleges), twice twenty-ninth (Forbes, same as previous year's ranking; and Money, down slightly from last year's tie for twenty-fourth), thirty-third (USA Today's College Factual, up slightly from last year's thirty-fifth), and thirty-ninth (College Raptor, down significantly from last year's twenty-fifth). The big shocker is that the new Wall St. Journal/Times Higher Education rankings list, which incidentally does not take into account financial aid (W&L's strongest feature), places W&L one-hundredth nine (note: in the GCR, a rank from this list is never dropped). Like all liberal arts colleges it is unranked in the major world rankings lists.

      W&L's biggest selling point is its affordability. Across the various categories of rankings over the past few years, its net price has averaged sixth in the GCR, with rank never exceeding fifteenth. W&L has a policy of no-loan need-based financial aid packages for all students receiving aid. Students from families that earn less than $75,000/yr get at least free tuition. There is also a merit-based full-ride scholarship (at least tuition, room, and board) for one-tenth of the incoming class. It is surprising thenthat its ranking for average student loan at graduation for the Class of 2015 was only forty-fourth among all 139 GCR top schools, though the percentage of students graduating with