It’s that time of the year again. The leaves are changing, there’s apple cider in Proctor, classes are getting stressful, and your news feed is getting crammed with links to higher education articles ranking Middlebury against other higher education institutions. Now we all know that Midd’s a great school, but it doesn’t hurt to feed our own egos just once a year (and send those links to relatives at home who think you go to a community college). So here’s how Middlebury has faired so far in the rankings:
U.S. News Report:
- #4 Overall ranking amongst national liberal arts schools. (up from #5 last year.)
- #13 High school counselor rankings. (Survey results from nationwide sampling of high school counselors in Spring 2011 and 2012)
- #22 Best value school. (Takes into account a school’s academic quality, as indicated by its overall ranking, and the 2011-2012 net cost of attendance for a student who receives the average level of need-based financial aid. The higher the quality of the program and the lower the cost, the better the deal.)
- Recognized as a liberal arts school with a high percentage of international students (10%).
- #42 Overall ranking amongst American undergraduate schools (universities and liberal arts colleges).
The Daily Beast:
- #10 Most rigorous school. (Based on selectivity, workload as reported by CollegeProwler survey, and student-to-faculty ratio).
- #16 Most stressful school. (Considered the total price of attendance, the percentage of students receiving financial aid, as well as the average amount of financial aid, the selectivity based on the average SAT or ACT score and the percent of applicants admitted—each weighted 20 percent. Each campus’s on- and off-campus crime record for the last three years, according to U.S. Dept. of Education, was factored in as a bonus percentage).
The Daily Meal:
- #11 Best Colleges for Food. (Based on several sources — college dining services awards, college lists like the Princeton Review, news stories, and the site’s own interviews. Focus was not only on the actual food, but schools’ dining programs as a whole.)
This month The Chronicle of Higher Education also released an interactive graphic which visually represents “comparison groups,” lists of peer institutions that universities submit to the U.S. Department of Education for comparison. Among the universities that consider Middlebury its “peer” were the usual suspects of the NESCAC schools as well as the University of Phoenix, Jersey City - a for-profit undergraduate school with a graduation rate of 9%… (who also listed Harvard and Yale as their peers, so we’re in good company?)
Update 10/15: Middlebury was also just recently featured in the Huffington Post for earning #7 in “Professor’s Get High Marks” by the Princeton Review.
Maybe this is just me… but I have had dreams of taking classes Pass/Fail almost as much as I dream of the joy of the end of semesters. The benefits are endless: I finally could take Music Theory or heck, maybe even a computer science class! If we truly are a liberal arts institution, why not enable this measure that will even further facilitate the ability of students to embrace creativity and exploration — without the fear of ‘failure’ by destroying their GPA?
We’d finally be joining the ranks of a myriad of schools that offer this option. Schools such as MIT, Amherst, The University of Pennsylvania, Columbia, Barnard, William & Mary, Virginia Tech, and UNC Chapel Hill (who even created a video demonstrating how to take a class this way) all boast pass/fail options.
The Student Government Association has repeatedly tried to usher Pass/Fail into action here at Middlebury.
U.S News and World Report published its annual rankings and Middlebury College dropped one spot to number 5 on the list of National Liberal Arts Colleges. Middlebury was ranked #4 in the 2009 and 2010 rankings. This year the College was included as #16 in the “Best Value Schools” among national liberal arts colleges — this metric uses academic ranking and net cost of attendance for average level financial aid. Midd also tied many of our peers for the fourth spot in the High School Counselor Rankings this year which added select military academies to liberal arts school category.
The Monterey Institute of International Affairs (listed under Middlebury) garnered a ranking of #57 for Public Affairs in the grad school rankings but was unranked for “best business schools.”
Princeton Review rankings 2012
Forbes.com ranking 2012
With the usual disclaimer that these lists mean nothing, below are the Princeton Review 2012 rankings for Middlebury.
Comparing the list to 2011 / 2010 / 2009, you’ll notice that Middlebury has dropped off the list entirely in several categories: best campus food, best career services, dorms like palaces, best athletic facilities, and best quality of life. Middlebury picked up a ranking this year for best college library (congrats, LIS!). The rest of the categories have dropped or stayed the same in rank — these categories are mostly the academic categories.
Middlebury also continues to make the list for Best Northeastern Colleges.
60.1% of Middlebury alumni give money to the College. That puts us in the top ten colleges nationwide in the key category of alumni participation in giving.