August 31st, 2011 | University

College Rankings: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Or not.
Or not. Photo by Tapley Stephenson.

The Good: We’re the Happiest College in America

Newsweek and The Daily Beast recently released a group of college rankings, ranging from “Best Food” to “Best Party School.” Yale placed highly in several categories, including top rankings in “Best for Brainiacs” and “Happiest Colleges.”

The Happiest College ranking was based off of several different factors that included Yale’s 6:1 student to faculty ratio and it’s high rankings for housing, nightlife, and dining on CollegeProwler.

Yale’s Best for Brainiacs ranking was based on SAT scores, admissions selectivity, and Rhodes Scholar recipients, among other factors.

Other Yale rankings included Horniest (2),
Future Politicans (2),
For Foreign Students (2),
Greenest (3),
Future CEOS (5),
For Computer Geeks (13), and Most Rigorous (23).

The Bad: We’re 39th in “Contribution to the Public Good”

The Washington Monthly published its own college rankings, which were created as an alternative to mainstream rankings such as those of Newsweek or the US News & World Report. The Monthly’s rankings only consider a school’s “contribution to the public good,” based on three equally weighted categories: social mobility, research, and service.

The University of California at San Diego placed first on the list, and UC schools accounted for five of the top ten. Yale was ranked a distant 39th.

According to the Monthly’s introduction to the rankings, many other publications focus too much on wealth, fame, and selectivity, allowing schools like Harvard, Yale, or Princeton to consistently receive high rankings.

“Yes, Yale might educate a disproportionate number of future hedge fund managers,” the introduction reads, “but is it laying the foundation for the kind of nation we want to become?”

Or, as James Marshall Crotty of Forbes.com put it: “Every smart Ivy League history major who went to work for a Wall Street hedge fund is an immoral destroyer of jobs, lives, and the greater economy.”

The Ugly: We’re Ugly? Really?

Yale was not ranked on Newsweek’s Most Beautiful, Most Athletic, or Best Party Schools lists. As the second-ranked Horniest School in America, this is sure to be crushing news for most Yalies.

Other lists that Yale missed out on were Healthiest, Best Return on Investment, and Service-Oriented.

As IvyGate noted, this should be expected, since “the Ivy League is made-up entirely of feeble-bodied, slovenly, self-centered, terminally indebted, seasonally affected, future CEOs.”

Somehow we think the Washington Monthly would agree.

The Ugliest: We can’t stop reading college rankings. Help.