Submitted by Elizabeth Bobrick
Forbes, a magazine for and about people in the business of making lots of money, has jumped into the college rankings game. Its August 11 “America’s Best Colleges” (see www.forbes) contains some shockers.
No surprise that Yale took the number 10 spot, closely followed by Middletown’s own Wesleyan at 15. But Centre College of Kentucky, not a big name in academia, came in at 24 out of 610. Other highly selective schools (i.e., those which are very, very difficult to get into) often rated much lower. Brown, for example, came in at 45, and Duke at 41. (Much gnashing of teeth and rending of garments over there right now, I imagine.) University of Connecticut was granted a respectable 275, roughly in the middle of Forbes’ list. This is especially remarkable, because student-teacher ratio was an important criteria.
Unlike the famed and feared U.S. News and World Report annual rankings, the article was based on student reviews. Author David M. Ewalt wrote, “To our way of thinking, a good college is one that meets student needs.” Now there’s critical analysis.
Despite its limited criterion for what constitutes “the best,” the article has some merit. Maybe parents who read it will stop making their kids’ lives miserable about getting into big-name schools.