Same Old College Rankings—What Did You Expect?

Shocking news: the new Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education college rankings say that Harvard is the best school in the United States. So does Forbes in its rankings, while US News ranks it second. Some eight schools (Harvard, Yale, Princeton, MIT, Stanford, Penn, Duke and Cal Tech) are in the top 10 in all three … Continue reading Same Old College Rankings—What Did You Expect?

What I’d Add to College Rankings

Americans are competitive people and therefore obsessed with rankings, even geeky ones. Higher ranked colleges attract better students and more grants. Rankings might even push administrators to focus more resources on mere undergraduate teaching, a mission long ghettoized in research universities. So how can we make college rankings better? Rankings do a decent job of … Continue reading What I’d Add to College Rankings

The Problem with College Rankings

There are a number of college rankings. Of course, the best known by far is the U.S. News& World Report ranking, which for many people is the college ranking. (This year, Princeton edged out Harvard for bragging rights.) Forbes publishes another ranking, using an approach designed by the Center for College Affordability and Productivity. (Stanford … Continue reading The Problem with College Rankings

The New Yorker Takes on the US News College Rankings

Malcolm Gladwell has written his share of interesting and penetrating essays in The New Yorker in recent years. He has also authored such best-selling books as Blink, which is about rapid cognition and intuition, and The Tipping Point, which addresses the factors that contribute to unexpected change. The relevance of Tipping Point has received another … Continue reading The New Yorker Takes on the US News College Rankings

Gaming The College Rankings

Test prep pioneer Stanley H. Kaplan, who died this week at the ripe old age of 90, was a living embodiment of the roller coaster changes that have roared through the college admissions scene over the last three decades. He also set the stage for students, and later colleges and universities, to game the system. … Continue reading Gaming The College Rankings

When College Rankings Are A Marketing Ploy

As author of a major college guide, I try to approach college admissions issues from the point of view of what’s best for college-bound high school students and their parents. I speak with lots of such students and their parents every year, and the one topic that is guaranteed to come up is: What should … Continue reading When College Rankings Are A Marketing Ploy

Tired Of Overly Broad College Rankings?

I certainly am. Those with narrower interests will be well-served by Popular Science’s recent “A Geek’s Guide to College.” What do you want to do in college? Shoot Particles? Try Stanford. Enter The Deep Freeze? Montana State has a -80 degrees Fahrenheit lab. Study Killer Bugs? Boston University. See, much simpler than defining “best.”

Brooklyn College Stifles Pro-Israel Voices

A few weeks ago, the David Horowitz Freedom Center caused a stir at Brooklyn College by placing posters on campus labeling two of the college’s professors “terrorist supporters.” The college’s president, Michelle Anderson, issued a statement condemning the posters as “targeted intimidation” designed to “defame and silence specific individuals,” claiming those targeted were “at risk … Continue reading Brooklyn College Stifles Pro-Israel Voices

Our Colleges Are Getting Worse—Three Proposals to Help Save Them

American colleges have been celebrated as the best in the world. But in fact, they have been getting worse – and something must be done about it. The greatest value of a college education is in enhancing a student’s command of critical thinking and analytical reasoning. The educated person can think. Among other things, she … Continue reading Our Colleges Are Getting Worse—Three Proposals to Help Save Them

Here’s Why Public Colleges Could Face Defunding

Is America about to embark on the “mass defunding of public higher education”? Fredrik deBoer thinks it’s a real, horrifying possibility. In a Los Angeles Times op-ed and on his blog, he argues that the political basis for this defunding now exists. The problem, according to the Pew Research Center, is that the list of … Continue reading Here’s Why Public Colleges Could Face Defunding

A Bi-Polar Report on ‘Laggard’ Public Colleges

Right now, the biggest news in higher education is a controversial paper from Dimitrios Halikias and Richard Reeves of the Brookings Institution, arguing that “the upper middle class is substantially over-represented” in America’s universities, that “public investment…too often fails to produce either social mobility or socially beneficial research,” and that “the significant public subsidies spent … Continue reading A Bi-Polar Report on ‘Laggard’ Public Colleges

More Bad News about College

What was the most noteworthy finding of the recent Gallup survey of people who have attended college? Half of the 90,000 respondents regretted one significant decision made as an undergrad, such as picking the wrong major. In journalistic terms, this is known as burying the lede — downplaying the major point of a story while … Continue reading More Bad News about College

Colleges Still Lack Integrity on Canceled Speeches

At Middlebury, where Charles Murray was prevented from speaking about the disintegrating white working class, college president Laurie Patton made some appropriate comments on the need for free speech. But her remarks seemed slightly out of focus, as if the crisis revolved around discord between two groups of students, not basic freedom of expression, and … Continue reading Colleges Still Lack Integrity on Canceled Speeches

A Catholic Professor’s Problems at a Catholic College

Anthony Esolen is an embattled professor at Providence (R.I.) College, an aggressively Catholic believer at an institution run by Dominican priests but less forthrightly Catholic than he is. Esolen teaches Renaissance literature and the development of Western culture. Among his books is a translation of Dante’s Divine Comedy regarded as one of the best. He … Continue reading A Catholic Professor’s Problems at a Catholic College

Enough of the College-for-Everyone Agenda

Every so often, someone in the higher ed establishment does a bit of cheerleading for the team –proclaim that college degrees are so beneficial that the country should try to put far more young people through college. The most venerable such effort is a report that the College Board puts out every three years entitled … Continue reading Enough of the College-for-Everyone Agenda

Diversicrats Take on Catholic Scholar at Catholic College

By Rod Dreher Many readers will have heard of Anthony Esolen, the robustly orthodox Catholic literature professor at Providence College, the Dominican-run college in Rhode Island. Prof. Esolen is the author of a number of books, including an exquisite translation of Dante’s Divine Comedy, which is one of the three translations I recommend to anyone who asks me … Continue reading Diversicrats Take on Catholic Scholar at Catholic College

Catholic Colleges Define Down Their Catholic Identity

In an essay on Catholic higher education published in First Things before his death in 2009, Fr. Richard Neuhaus wrote: “When a school is haggling over its mission statement, it is a sure sign that it has already lost its way.”  While Fr. Neuhaus never taught on a Catholic campus, he understood that debating over … Continue reading Catholic Colleges Define Down Their Catholic Identity

2017 US News Top Ranked Colleges

National Universities (in order of rank or tie) Princeton University (NJ) Harvard University (MA) University of Chicago (IL) (tie) Yale University (CT) (tie) Columbia University (NY) (tie) Stanford University (CA) (tie) Massachusetts Institute of Technology Duke University (NC) (tie) University of Pennsylvania (tie) Johns Hopkins University (MD) National Liberal Arts Colleges Williams College (MA) Amherst CollegeContinue reading 2017 US News Top Ranked Colleges

Obama Backs the Worst Colleges While Destroying For-Profit Schools

The federal government happily subsidizes inferior state colleges that graduate few if any of their students. That includes Chicago State University, which has a 12.8 percent six-year graduation rate. The Obama administration has rewritten federal student loan rules in a way that encourages colleges to raise tuition and effectively subsidizes the worst colleges the most. The Federal Reserve Bank of … Continue reading Obama Backs the Worst Colleges While Destroying For-Profit Schools

Top College Endowments Are Political Targets Now

One of the pillars of our education establishment, The Education Trust, recently published a report meant to pressure colleges and universities with large endowments into spending more of their earnings on one of its pet causes – very low or even free tuition for students from poorer families. The study, “A Glimpse Inside the Coffers: … Continue reading Top College Endowments Are Political Targets Now

Gunning for Religious Colleges in California

By Chance Layton In April, when the U.S. Department of Education released its list of religious colleges with exemptions from certain Title IX regulations, it unleashed a torrent of outrage and criticism directed against “bigoted and “intolerant” institutions of religious instruction. Two hundred thirty-two colleges had requested waivers from the Department’s gender identity non-discrimination policy, which would … Continue reading Gunning for Religious Colleges in California

I Helped Shove My College Downhill

Not long ago, I wrote a piece for City Journal about my alma mater entitled, unsubtly: How My Friends and I Wrecked Pomona College. I saw it as a very belated mea culpa, for it detailed the malicious glee with which, back in the Sixties, we student radicals forced well-meaning, weak-willed administrators to abandon the … Continue reading I Helped Shove My College Downhill

Should Colleges Coddle the Whiners?

Our recent campus upheavals, focusing at times on offensive speech, have provoked a worry: are colleges infantilizing their students? Last March, the journalist and cultural critic Judith Shulevitz raised this concern in a tour de force of an op-ed, in which she argued that protecting students from offensive speech, except in the most extreme cases, … Continue reading Should Colleges Coddle the Whiners?

Worst College President of 2015—Who Wins the Sheldon?

We are reviving the Sheldon award for worst college president of the year. It is named for the late Sheldon Hackney, who presided over many college disasters, including Penn’s water buffalo controversy and the theft of a complete edition of the University of Pennsylvania student newspaper that included a column criticizing affirmative action. The thieves … Continue reading Worst College President of 2015—Who Wins the Sheldon?

A College Guide to Viewpoint Diversity

With so many campuses under renewed pressure to create “safe spaces” from political speech and dissent, growing numbers are asking us at Heterodox Academy: Where can I (or my children) go to encounter at least some modicum of viewpoint diversity among the faculty? While there are many college guides with an eye to politics, they point … Continue reading A College Guide to Viewpoint Diversity