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September 11, 2012 11:00 AM Another Ranking

By Daniel Luzer

When the Monthly first began to rank colleges in 2005 part of the reason we offered for an alternative ranking was that we should be ranking schools on multiple measures. “Best” can mean lots of things.

Well, we’ve got yet another one: the alumni ranking. According to a piece at Inside Higher Ed:

A new ranking of colleges — the Alumni Factor — will debut today. As the name suggests, most of the criteria are based on alumni views of their own colleges. Only 2 of the 15 criteria do not come from alumni surveys. Four of the criteria are related to wealth: average household income, percentage of graduates in high-income households (above $150,000), average net worth of households, and percentage of graduates in high net worth households (above $1 million). Other criteria — such as preparation for job success and immediate job opportunities — focus on careers generally, not pay. The new ranking effort is led by Monica McGurk, formerly of McKinsey and Company.

While some of the measures used in this survey are perhaps a little questionable (“percentage of graduates in high net worth households,” hey, it’s the 1 percent ranking!) this new ranking does take an interesting step in considering a great deal of output measures. The reason people go to college, after all, has a lot to do with the sort of lifestyle they want to enjoy after. And average SAT scores don’t much play into the decision.

I’ll probably look at this more closely in coming days. For now, let’s note that the winning schools on this ranking are Washington & Lee University (1st), Yale (2nd), Princeton (3rd), Rice University (4th), College of Holy Cross (5th), Notre Dame (6th), Middlebury College (7th), Annapolis (8th), West Point (9th), and Stanford (10th).

Check out the rankings here.

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer