The U.S. News college rankings are in. Yay! Or Boo!
The rankings are constantly derided, overly hyped, and of dubious value in choosing a college. Inside Higher Ed reports that fewer college presidents participated this year. Who cares? It’s time to see how your school stacks up in the imaginary world built upon arbitrary data! Let’s do this thing!
I’ve combed through the listings to see where Georgia colleges fall, and some have fallen. Georgia Southwestern University, which made the regional university rankings last year, is gone. Wait ’til next year, Hurricanes!
Surprise! Harvard is No. 1. And then yada, yada down the Ivy League list, with no significant changes from last year among the elite. Emory University (20) remains the highest-ranked Georgia school, maintaining its Top Twenty position for the 19th consecutive year. Georgia Tech slipped a notch, from 35 to 36. The University of Georgia fell several spots, dropping from 56 to 62. The Bulldogs are knotted in a six-way tie with Northeastern, Purdue, Southern Methodist, Syracuse, and Worcester Technical Institute, and … brace yourself, are now only one spot ahead of that conniving Clemson University, which got caught gaming the rankings system last year.
Liberal Arts Colleges
Williams College takes the top spot and Northestern schools fill out most of the Top Twenty. Unfortunately, Georgia doesn’t have a top-ranked co-ed liberal arts college. Women, who dominate the college rolls, have more options in the Peach State, with the top two LA colleges being female-only: Atlanta’s Spelman College (62–also the nation’s top-ranking historically black college) and Decatur’s Agnes Scott College (68). The state’s other three ranked LAs are Rome’s Berry College (121), Macon’s Wesleyan College (151), and Atlanta’s Oglethorpe University (157).
Florida’s Rollins College is No. 1. Mercer University (9), the state’s only Top Twenty school in this classification, slipped a notch from last year’s #8 ranking. Other schools making the grade: Brenau University (29); Georgia College and State University (36–down four spots from last year); North Georgia College and State University (56); Demorest’s Piedmont College (60); Kennesaw State University (61); Valdosta State University (71); and Southern Polytechnic State University (85).
John Brown University in Arkansas is No. 1. LaGrange College holds on to its No. 6 rank in the regional small college category. Lookout Mountain’s Covenant College (7) is Georgia’s other Top Twenty small college. Congratulations to Gainesville State College, Fort Valley State University, and Georgia Gwinnett College for making the rankings this year. Here’s the rest of the list: Toccoa Falls College (38); Reinhardt (43); Gainesville State (49); Clayton State (52); Fort Valley State (58); Paine College (63); Emanuel College (65); Georgia Gwinnett (70).
Historically Black Colleges
Spelman is No. 1. Its next-door neighbor, all-male Morehouse College, is No. 3, behind Washington D.C.’s Howard Unviersity. A third member of the Atlanta University community, Clark-Atlanta University, is ranked No. 17. Fort Valley State and Albany State are tied at No. 31. What’s up with that? Fort Valley is also ranked among regional colleges. Not so with Albany State. So by my reckoning, Wildcats rule! (Disclosure Note: I attended Fort Valley State, and both my parents worked there. But still. It’s obvious. Come on.)
Of course, you could always check out the rankings for yourself. Go ahead. Go there. Do that