US News and World Report Rankings Released

The new US News and World Report desperate bid to stay relevant by capitalizing on the disposable incomes of helicopter parents — excuse me, their college rankings — came out today with very few surprises. Dartmouth stayed in its #11 spot, behind less selective schools like University of Chicago and Duke University.

We also topped the list in a new category ranking quality of undergraduate teaching, which is fantastic. Working this summer with graduates and professors of top-tier research universities who’ve expressed surprise that all my classes have been taught by full professors has affirmed my belief that I really lucked out in choosing a college with an incredible committment to undergraduate education. It’s nice to receive recognition for that.

Obviously, the USNWR rankings rarely reveal any new information and are, at best, only one of many indicators by which prospective students and employers measure prestige. For example, Dartmouth’s fall from the ‘top 10’ two years ago hasn’t been quite the calamity some hysterical PR-minded folk imagined it to be, as evidenced by our steadily decreasing admissions rate (13.5% in the last cycle!) and increasing applicant pool. But the yearly release of rankings is newsworthy, if only because, as one astute IvyGate commenter put it, “The wailing and gnashing of teeth after they come out is what makes it fun.”