Monday, August 22, 2005

A "very different way of measuring success"

The editors of the Washington Monthly have a new ranking of colleges and universities. They "asked what colleges are doing for the country" by measuring their contributions to social mobility, to scientific and engineering research, and to community and national service.

Their top ten:
1. MIT
2. UCLA
3. UC-Berkeley
4. Cornell (Go Big Red!)
5. Stanford
6. Penn State
7. Texas A&M
8. UCSD
9. U. Penn
10. Michigan
The Monthly's editors admit that their formula is imperfect. True enough, but it's great to see a popular (well, sort of popular) measure of higher education based on social outputs rather than inputs. By contrast, a school's ranking in U.S. News is determined mainly by its financial resources and the SAT/GPA numbers of the entering class.

Of course, the most important thing is that Cornell does much better than in U.S. News.

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