Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Brown
August 23, 2008 9:00 PM   Subscribe

Forbes Magazine has compiled a ranking of the top 569 undergraduate institutions in America. Designed to compete with the venerable U.S. News and World Report rankings, Forbes offers a different methodology and some controversial results.

Several smaller, less-heralded liberal arts colleges, like Centre College of Kentucky and Wabash College of Indiana, finished in the top twenty-five. Some larger and better-known schools, including Cornell (121st), Dartmouth (127th), and the University of Michigan (161st), finished far below. Forbes's methodology, which leans heavily on Who's Who in America and, has received criticism.
posted by sy (60 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
What a joke. There's just no way that schools like UW-Madison and UM-Twin Cities are in the low hundreds of best schools in the United States. OTOH, Wabash College has a really good alumni magazine (or, at least, one that pays really well) and the Forbes article did get it spot on in pointing out what should be an obvious fact to anyone applying to colleges:
"And it is possible to get a 'Harvard' education at the University of Minnesota, just as it possible to get a "University of Minnesota" education at Harvard. When choosing a school, it is important to match the student to the school."
FWIW, I think any institution w/o graduate students should automatically drop some significant N places in any rankings: I had more cool friends, from whom I learned so much, who were graduate students when I was an undergraduate that I can't imagine going to school at a place without them.
posted by minnesotaj at 9:10 PM on August 23, 2008

Holy crap Wabash is on that list. I can't figure out if I'm terrified or amused or what.
posted by Cyclopsis Raptor at 9:17 PM on August 23, 2008

The methodology is stupid beyond belief, but some of the results match my experience — not all places with great reputations are providing superb educations, and at the really big schools (like UW and UT-Austin) a really large number of students can just drift. The resources are there for the people who are motivated and proactive, but that's not the typical student experience at those places, much less at the second-tier big schools.

FWIW, I think any institution w/o graduate students should automatically drop some significant N places in any rankings: I had more cool friends, from whom I learned so much, who were graduate students when I was an undergraduate that I can't imagine going to school at a place without them.

My prejudices are exactly the opposite: when I was a TA, I always felt sorry for the kids who were paying $45,000 a year in order for incompetents like myself to practice teaching on their dime. It's a great system for the grad students, but not so great for the undergrads (except, as you note, socially; also, having grad classes available opens doors for the rare highly-motivated undergrads to really push their boundaries).

But that's why it's great that there are a wide range of schools, and why these rankings are often such jokes — the "fit" between school and student matters a lot, much more than whether your school is at #22 or #15 on the latest ranking.
posted by Forktine at 9:21 PM on August 23, 2008

All Forbes lists are crap. There, I said it. CRAP.
posted by brain cloud at 9:26 PM on August 23, 2008

Forbes's methodology, which leans heavily on Who's Who in America and

I thought that was a joke at first. Wow.

Now to improve my university's ranking by giving myself about 100 glowing reviews.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:27 PM on August 23, 2008 [1 favorite]

Swarthmore ahead of Williams? HA!

I keed, I keed. Lists like this suck.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 9:27 PM on August 23, 2008

3rd best public school has a class size of 202. The others in the top 4 are the service academies. What a silly list.

Also, what a silly web page. "Let's use a slideshow design!" is never a good idea.
posted by smackfu at 9:32 PM on August 23, 2008

Kalamazoo at 57... ok, that explains why I'm so damn broke sending the last kid there....
posted by HuronBob at 9:33 PM on August 23, 2008

And I agree with Forktine. Who cares if Berkeley has a grip of Nobel laureate profs if they spend their time researching and publishing while harried grad students teach their classes?

I'm glad I had the luxury of spending close, personal time with my profs.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 9:38 PM on August 23, 2008

when I was a TA, I always felt sorry for the kids who were paying $45,000 a year in order for incompetents like myself to practice teaching on their dime

I'm a grad student teacher, and I'm a fucking good one.
posted by Saxon Kane at 9:41 PM on August 23, 2008

the staff at CCAP (mostly college students themselves) gathered data from a variety of sources. They based 25% of the rankings on 7 million student evaluations of courses and instructors, as recorded on the Web site

Wah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:41 PM on August 23, 2008 For real? Don't get me wrong, I find the site useful, but it's like basing the Academy Awards on IMDB user comments.

Forbes justifying their methodology: University administrations have no control over the process of evaluation [at], meaning schools would find it difficult to try to "game" the process by manipulating student participation (accurate reporting of data is an issue with any ranking that uses self-reported data, such as the popular US News & World Report rankings).

And so we turn to that bastion of bias-free quality assessment: anonymous internet ratings.
posted by granted at 9:42 PM on August 23, 2008 [7 favorites]

Oh, and this list is pretty crap.
posted by Saxon Kane at 9:45 PM on August 23, 2008

Saxon Kane:

That's good, but I'm sure you know not all grad student teachers are as good--and none actually have to be.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 9:50 PM on August 23, 2008

Student debt was incorporated into the ranking as a measure of the relative affordability of attending a particular school.

Or a measure of how wealthy the average student's parents are.

This is dumb.
posted by granted at 9:51 PM on August 23, 2008 [1 favorite]

Forbes's methodology, which leans heavily on Who's Who in America and

Should be treated as the opposite of what a good institution is.

I keep getting "Who's Who" emails, despite the fact that I have had no impact on my field (no peer-reviewed publications in two-and-half years, no real collaborations, my last publication had exactly zero citations), and frankly, am incompetent. Also, my sentences break several laws of English grammar and composition.
posted by dirigibleman at 10:01 PM on August 23, 2008

W/e my school was #104 on the US News and World Report list, while Forbes bumped it up to #56. woot woot!!
posted by garethspor at 10:04 PM on August 23, 2008

I came here prepared to attack and vanquish the appellation 'venerable' to the US News and World Report list, but what I found at Forbes saddened me even more.
posted by the cydonian at 10:04 PM on August 23, 2008

There isn't a single Univ. of Calif. school in the top 50. Their method is clearly flawed.

Here's part of the problem:
2. Student Evaluations of Professors from (25%)

Seriously? You think is a reliable source of the quality of teaching? That website is just filled with angry rants from people who didn't do well in the courses and are looking for an outlet to vent, which only goes to gauge the bitterness of a given school's student population.

Which actually goes against:
5. Average four year accumulated student debt of those borrowing money (16 2/3%)

The UC system is relatively cheap, and there's no doubt in my mind that they consist of mostly California residents paying the subsidized tuition. Which doesn't explain why they're not on the list, since this metric should boost their standings.

Of course, I've made it clear in the past that these rankings are basically a load of horseshit. There's so much more depth to a university, and each one varies hugely depending on which department you're focusing on. To take an aggregate valuation of the school is complete nonsense and tells you very little about whether or not to apply.
posted by spiderskull at 10:08 PM on August 23, 2008

Actually, now that I re-read it, I see that point #5 actually goes against the UC system. Students naturally have less debt because the tuition is cheaper.
posted by spiderskull at 10:09 PM on August 23, 2008

What a load of horseshit.

My colleagues and I routinely compete to see who can fill in the most amusing fake ratemyprofessor ratings for each other. So there's that.

And as noted, "who's who" constantly sends out spam emails inviting folks to send in bios, as a pretext to then selling you a copy of their directory. Might as well use Also, surely biases towards graduates who have an inflated sense of self-importance and/or a chip in their shoulder because they went to some pokey liberal arts college and don't get no respect.
posted by Rumple at 10:14 PM on August 23, 2008

In other news, the UN has proposed to begin calculating GDP by integrating data from
posted by felix betachat at 10:16 PM on August 23, 2008 [6 favorites]

Do they bother to give out the component numbers derived from that methodology anywhere? That would be a lot more interesting to see. Like the military academies presumably score perfectly on that "debt" part of the score.
posted by smackfu at 10:38 PM on August 23, 2008

We're #102! We're #102!
posted by Kwine at 10:42 PM on August 23, 2008

Well, Fork, I should have added... "some of whom I met while taking the same classes."

I agree that at places like UVA, UT-Austin, UW-Madison and the other Big X schools, you can certainly get lost. OTOH, if you're smart and motivated, you're going to have educational opportunities that just don't exist at ANY program that lacks a graduate school (possibly a top graduate school in the case of most of the Big 10, Pac 10, etc.) in your field of study.

That said, what's been most interesting to me as I've aged is seeing how it's much more a matter of the person than the school that matters in terms of life-success. Certain schools can give you a few more life chances, but none can give you what you're after if what you're after doesn't match what you've got to go after it.
posted by minnesotaj at 10:46 PM on August 23, 2008

... I should also note: despite my best efforts to remain objective, I'm just incredibly sour at the ranking assigned to the University of Minnesota.
posted by minnesotaj at 10:48 PM on August 23, 2008

LOL. Rumple has it. Ratemyprofessor is garbage data. The mere fact that Forbes even *looks* at their data seriously tells you all you need to know.

You could make most of this list without knowing the data. The ranking seems mostly reputational, as they all do. But you can't go mixing up liberal arts colleges like Williams with great universities like Texas or Columbia. Two totally different settings, two totally different approaches to education.

This is total bullshit, and I pity any college-bound student or her parents who take even a moment to be influenced by such trivial nonsense. I am going to start my own ranking of magazines that rank things. Forbes is in at # 132. USNWR at about #91. US Weekly's "Who's Hot?" ranking (I made it up, but they must have something like that) is near the top. I can make up rankings too, whoopee.

Also, what minnesotaj said -- a bright, motivated person can succeed whether they go to Appalachian State (a decent school, mind you) or Princeton. A lazy idiot -- and there are plenty at the elite school where I teach -- can be an idiot anywhere.

Also, the place makes the institution. The University of Chicago and NYU give you great cities to live in and learn in. Williams College gives you a bucolic little hamlet with a few thousand people. You learn something different there.

As for me, give me big research universities, public or private, in big cities, any day. I cannot imagine the dreary boredom of liberal arts college life. I've never, ever wanted to teach in one of those places, can't bear the thought, and built my career in such a way that I would never have to. I've spent plenty of time at them -- giving talks, guest lecturing, etc. -- and enough to know I'd die in a bucolic little stuffy college town no matter how smart my colleagues or my students. Heck, I think Princeton, New Jersey is about 3 steps away from hell on earth, cutesy pie eateries and fancy houses and fancy cars and nothing to do. But there are other people who find they study and learn well in such an environment, and more power to them.

However, they should know that many of their professors are quietly dying on the vine, from sheer boredom, in places like Middletown and Amherst.
posted by fourcheesemac at 11:06 PM on August 23, 2008

(Also, funny post title!)
posted by fourcheesemac at 11:08 PM on August 23, 2008

Disclaimer: My alma mater ranked extremely low. One reason is probably they never taught us to keep it short and sweet :)

From a news perspective, I think this list makes a lot of sense. University choice is a very personal matter for most people, since it typically means exclusively affiliating yourself with an organization of great prominence in the middle class, capitalist system for four or five of your most important formative years. I think no matter how many reservations people in the United States may have about the university system, where they went to school often means a lot in their (early) professional lives. Additionally, the university system is big business in the United States, and schools spend large amounts of money advertising to prospective students. So it makes a lot of sense to me why this article exists: all the writers have to do is compile some very low level analysis on publicly available statistics, and they can have something that is absolutely sure to bring in readers. I mean, just think about how little effort a journalist has to expend to create a list like this - the majority of the content on Forbes is little more than a couple lines of conclusions, a bunch of numbers you could get from an hour of Googling, and a few pretty graphics - yet this thread is already at 22 comments from people arguing about how good or bad their school was and how accurate or inaccurate this list is. This is a brilliant money-maker!

This list also makes sense in the context of the magazine. My sense from having casually read some articles in Forbes, is that this kind of publication (which includes Business Week and some others) targets a very business-orientated, middle-manager readership, and this is very evident in the way they have constructed the list. For a professional academic, the list is not going to make sense because none of the criteria here have anything to do with students' edification. Instead, they're all organized around these business aspects - how much money does it cost, how much debt will you have, what is the ROI on the investment in terms of graduating salaries. To the middle-level business types who read these kinds of magazines and who see everything through a short-term lens of accounting and investments, this probably makes a lot of sense.

However, what people above are complaining about is that the list does not make sense as a more general measure of the quality of a school, because
1. how much can be gotten from education is primarily a function of the student
2. this is especially true for many of the schools on the list which have giant student bodies and especially true for state schools where student quality lies on a much larger range
3. they factor in cost of education, and this harms a lot of the more prestigious universities on the list, but their level of analysis is so superficial that they don't even bother to figure out how much students are actually paying to attend many of these schools (big endowment schools can be very generous with scholarships)
4. they are looking at some very large institutions holistically, when closer inspection often reveals that these schools show incredible variance in the quality of their individual departments (e.g., one school they singled-out, University of Texas, has the number one petroleum engineering department in the US and a number of other engineering departments in the top ten, but has some very mediocre-in-ranking liberal arts departments)
5. there hasn't been a lot of work put into the analysis, so they can only intimate at the function of professors at many of these schools. Some schools have loads of Nobel Prize winning researchers who hole up in their private research labs all day, but other schools have professors of world-renown who love teaching freshmen! It would, of course, take a lot of work to actually sit down and figure out which of these is the norm for any of the schools on the list.
6. the value of education in the world of academia is not very clear-cut. A student can go to a low-ranked school and be in a low-ranked department yet still study directly under a very impressive professor who was responsible for pioneering work in their (niche) field. This was the case at my school (and a friend of mine recently turned down full sponsorship at Stanford to attend UIUC!)
7. the value of education from this business perspective is equally poorly researched. The University of California and University of Texas system feed into two of the largest tech communities in the United States, which is one reason why these two states have the largest state GDPs in the nation. An engineering student at UT Austin or UC Berkeley are almost guaranteed high-paying jobs in growing fields, but what percentage do these students make up at either of these schools?
... and so forth.

In summary, I think it makes sense why this list exists, but it is incomprehensible that anyone would actually use it to make a college choice.
posted by Sangermaine at 11:08 PM on August 23, 2008

Does it strike anyone as odd that the cost for attending 95% of the private schools is $50000 a year, give or take $3000? Or is it just that they just get together and fix prices? Or maybe Forbes just used $(50000 + 3000*random(-1,1))?
posted by alexei at 11:09 PM on August 23, 2008

I went to Whitman (#27 - Forbes / #37 - US News) while my cousins went to Carleton (#54 - Forbes / #8 - US News).

Therefore, I am forced to side with Forbes.

posted by mrnutty at 11:14 PM on August 23, 2008

I've created a ratemyprofessor profile at Princeton for Dr Ivy Forbes, Math Department, Course: Stats 101.

When/if they activate the profile I'll post it here.....
posted by Rumple at 11:19 PM on August 23, 2008

I heard about this list when my grandmother spread it around my family that Williams (where I'm headed on Monday) was ranked No. 5. I was suspicious of the ranking when I heard they were lumping Williams et al. with Harvard and so forth, and when I learned how they actually ranked the schools I was... well, at least the US News list *tries*. On the other hand, my grandmother now has old-lady-circuit bragging rights, so, you know, win-win.
posted by MadamM at 11:29 PM on August 23, 2008 [1 favorite]

I really wish this had worked well, as the premise that competition is good is sound. I have found RMP to be more accurate than others suggest, but using that as the sole metric for professor quality at a whopping 25% is ridiculous, and as others have pointed out, Who's Who in America is not a terribly effective measure of how influential a person is. I understand the temptation to use these sources, because gathering quality data is hard, but if they expect their metric to represent a real threat to U.S. News and World Report's, they're going to need to put forth a little bit of effort.

Also, are they fucking kidding me with these slide shows? God I hate forbes.
posted by !Jim at 11:34 PM on August 23, 2008

They should just randomly call a hundred people on each campus and ask a short list of questions that secretly measure their gullibility, but overtly measure their satisfaction. If the school wants to game the results down the road, they would have to prime them for an education first.
posted by Brian B. at 1:14 AM on August 24, 2008

Does it strike anyone as odd that the cost for attending 95% of the private schools is $50000 a year, give or take $3000? Or is it just that they just get together and fix prices? Or maybe Forbes just used $(50000 + 3000*random(-1,1))?

My undergraduate actually pegged it to Harvard. So whatever tuition Harvard was offering that year was the amount to which they raised tuition (which they always accompanied by an apologetic letter home to the parents).

**Note: my undergraduate is on this list. Didn't do too badly, though I have no idea where it ranks on the USNWR's list.
posted by librarylis at 1:46 AM on August 24, 2008

Is there a ranking system to help employers choose job candidates based on which universities (and departments) turn out the best (or worst) candidates for employment in certain types of jobs? It seems as if HR departments could put together such a database themselves based on employee evaluations: employee came out of university U, department D, in year Y, was hired for job J, and performed at level L1 the first year, L2 the second, etc.

It wouldn't necessarily mean that certain schools create great performers in certain roles (research biologist, English professor, middle manager, etc.), but perhaps that future great performers in certain roles are attracted to, accepted by, and not destroyed by certain schools.
posted by pracowity at 2:29 AM on August 24, 2008

After reading this list, my impression is "Holy cow, I hope my kids are good at sports because a college education costs more than a house." Also, Who's who? Are we really serious with this, Forbes?
posted by Mister_A at 6:15 AM on August 24, 2008

Sounds like Forbes wrote a list that keeps their readership happy. I mean, I'd be cool with using later alumni salaries, especially if they offered both short & long term views, and broke the numbers down by field, but Forbes uses "Who's who in America" instead. wtf?!? Likewise desn't seem particularly wise for teaching evaluation.
posted by jeffburdges at 7:17 AM on August 24, 2008

I've received the Who's Who letters too, and I'm a college dropout. I can't believe anyone would take that shit seriously.

Where did Cant Afford U. rank?
posted by JaredSeth at 7:25 AM on August 24, 2008

After reading this list, my impression is "Holy cow, I hope my kids are good at sports because a college education costs more than a house."

Yeah, I have to admit, I'm reeling. I have three kids. Is it really worth that much money? What the fuck?
posted by popechunk at 7:29 AM on August 24, 2008

I'm a grad student teacher, and I'm a fucking good one.

So was I, honestly. But should TAs be the primary educational contact that a lot of undergrads have, particularly in their first year or two? My point is that the TA system is good for grad students (who get paid to practice teaching on live classes) and for professors (who get flunkies to do the grading and photocopying, and in some cases to even give the lectures for them), but the benefit for undergrads seems pretty thin to me.

(And magnify my ambivalence a hundred times for the increased reliance on adjuncts for teaching, many of whom may be ABD grad students.)

But that's why I added the comment about the fit between student and school mattering. If you genuinely enjoy the model of teaching that has big lecture classes and TA-led sections, then you should never, ever go to a place like Carlton College, and the same thing applies if you want to take graduate coursework while still an undergrad or pursue a very specialized course of study (eg petroleum engineering).
posted by Forktine at 7:36 AM on August 24, 2008

I don't trust these small teaching collages that are doing well on this list. In general, they are attended by students wishing some continuation of high school and fear the more dynamic social life of a big school. A list I'd like to see is the graph over age between 25 to 50 of alumni salary divided by alumni's parent's salary (both at the same age). Or even just alumni salary divided by parent salary. What this number says is "Does this school deliver the American dream?"

I'd predict that : True top tier schools like Princeton & Berkeley would deliver solidly. Iffy top tier schools like Yale & Stanford would fall considerably. Good value or "brutal" schools like Georgia Tech would dramatically rise. Indeed all engineering schools would likely rise.
posted by jeffburdges at 7:37 AM on August 24, 2008 [1 favorite]

Only annoying places like Perdue let TAs lecture. Most have 2 or 3 hours of lecture by a professor for every 1 hour of recitation by a TA. Yes, TAs are less experienced but they connect more with the students. Some places like Rutgers & Berkeley have undergraduate "peermentors" who assist the TAs.

Faculty also run recitations in both Britain & France. French kids handle this fine since their whole system is "sink or swim". But I'm not sure this goes too well for coddled British kids.
posted by jeffburdges at 7:49 AM on August 24, 2008

So all the military colleges are the top public colleges in the nation? Pander to your readership much Forbes?
posted by any major dude at 7:52 AM on August 24, 2008

popechunk, You should consider moving to some state with free university education, like Georgia (they're sure the Russians will retreat soon).
posted by jeffburdges at 7:56 AM on August 24, 2008

Who's Who and Rate My Professor are half the criteria. They're giving credence to self-important nobodies and bitter academic failures.

This is the "No Child Left Behind" school ranking. It doesn't evaluate how well the school prepares young adults for a competitive world, it ranks them on the reliability that it won't stress the abilities or damage the self-esteem of our precious (Forbes-reading, Republican) snowflakes. These are the schools most likely to give your child a gold star for "college education".

And yeah, an engineering ranking is conspicuously absent. No surprise there.
posted by 0xdeadc0de at 8:15 AM on August 24, 2008

Using Who's Who and to rank colleges is like using MySpace to rank the smartest people in the world.

Forbes loves making slideshow lists because they generate clicks and advertising revenue tied to each click.
posted by Frank Grimes at 8:43 AM on August 24, 2008 [1 favorite]

You should consider moving to some state with free university education,

Although most public state universities are in the bottom 1/4 of Forbes ranking, so they must suck.
posted by smackfu at 9:23 AM on August 24, 2008

You know, service academy alum here (USNA represent), and I'll have to agree with the idea of it really is what you're going for. Though the administration at my school wasn't always pleasant for me, I thought the English Department here was top caliber, especially for a predominantly engineering school.

As far as big vs. small, graduate vs. undergraduate, the advantages for a good small undergraduate college can't be overlooked. I had no class bigger than 30 students and many of my sections were smaller. I got to know a great many of my professors, and their primary job was to teach. In ordered to be hired there, they had to agree to be on call for students much more than other institutions. I worked on my papers with them over and over— the type of focus you tend to get more from being a graduate student. Although the social aspects of the Naval Academy are all screwy and it certainly isn't for everyone, I academically thrived there after floundering in high school.

Okay, so that's a personal anecdote and should be taken with a grain of salt, but the point is, a lot of undergraduate only schools offer the graduate experience in interacting with faculty several years earlier.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 9:48 AM on August 24, 2008

I really don't think the service academies should even be included in these lists. Trying to group them in with other public schools is laughable, and I don't know any way to factor the five-year service commitment into the rankings.
posted by smackfu at 10:36 AM on August 24, 2008

College and university rankings are mind-numbingly stupid. Any poor student who falls for what they sell isn't likely to get information so much as marketing. Anyone who's gone to a small school that can't afford to buy them off as they always insist knows what trash they are.

High school students: ignore these fools. Do real research. It will pay off.
posted by koeselitz at 12:01 PM on August 24, 2008

Only annoying places like Perdue let TAs lecture.

I went to Perdue, and the fucking TA didn't know breasts from thighs.
posted by Kwine at 12:18 PM on August 24, 2008 [2 favorites]

Please rate Metafilter's Own Dr. Ivy Forbes, Department of Mathematics, Princeton University.
posted by Rumple at 12:26 PM on August 24, 2008

Wow... NYU is ranked #324. Transylvania University, for comparison, is ranked #148.

So fuck this list. The lack of component data makes me pretty certain they just made it all up.

(For all I know Transylvania University is a wonderful school, but the only testimonial they have for why someone chose to go there is, paraphrased, "It's close to my home and is a liberal arts college.")
posted by Navelgazer at 3:43 PM on August 24, 2008

The Forbes list makes just about as much sense when read backwards. (Note the cluster of engineering schools at the bottom. I think it's safe to say that engineering students often have unkind things to say about their teachers.)

I mean, really: they rank Cornell College well above Cornell University.

I'd be willing to make the case that "" ratings should be used upside down: I know that I had a pretty adversarial relationship with MY Dear Old Alma Mater, but, dammit, the beatings really did force us to buckle down and learn something.

I was in courses where the class average on the mid-term was in the 30s; I think it's safe to say that some of my professors would have been just savaged in anonymous internet evaluations.

So I'm a little suspicious of a gut school where everybody thinks the profs are kindly, and nobody is ever forced to come face-to-face with the knowledge that "You are not as fucking smart as you think you are, are you, punk?"

(Now, all of you kids, get off my lawn....)
posted by AsYouKnow Bob at 6:16 PM on August 24, 2008 [1 favorite]

I'm a bit shocked that my school [kalamazoo] was listed at 57.

Yeah, it's expensive too, as huronbob said.

*shrugs at the amount of time, energy that people spend on ranking colleges*
This ends my attention devoted to this topic.
posted by fizzix at 6:53 PM on August 24, 2008

Please rate Metafilter's Own Dr. Ivy Forbes, Department of Mathematics, Princeton University.

Done. Terrific idea!
posted by fourcheesemac at 7:09 PM on August 24, 2008

First of all, I'm surprised at the number of K College people there are on this board. (I went to WMU.)

any major dude said So all the military colleges are the top public colleges in the nation? Pander to your readership much Forbes?

First of all, your premise is wrong: USCGA is ranked 169.

Second, the USNA, USAFA, and West Point are damn fine schools, with very high admissions standards in many very different areas. I don't know what your problem with their placement is. Frankly, I'd much rather my son go to West Point than Yale (though maybe I'm biased against Yale). Honestly, though, the education he's likely to get would be better in some respects.
posted by jock@law at 12:03 AM on August 25, 2008

Yeah. I said "First of all" twice in the same post.
Golly, I'm a terrible writer when I'm tired. :-(
posted by jock@law at 8:36 AM on August 25, 2008

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