The Wall Street Journal Wednesday released its new ranking of colleges across the nation, which the paper says is based on how much a school improves its students’ chances of graduating on time and how much it boosts the salaries they earn after graduation.

In that ranking Princeton, MIT and Yale took the top spots, while Northwestern University ranked 25th.

NU ranked 10th last year in the competing rankings published by U.S. News.

U.S. News announced last spring that it is revising its rankings to emphasize the success of diverse students and remove the influence of alumni giving and class size.

The new U.S. News rankings are scheduled to be released later this fall.

Other Illinois schools in the top 100 in the Wall Street Journal list are:

  • 23 – Illinois Institute of Technology
  • 27 – Lake Forest College
  • 35 – University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • 37 – University of Chicago
  • 55 – University of Illinois – Chicago

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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1 Comment

  1. I am glad to see this article touches on what goes into a ranking. Focus on just the rank run number is not helpful. I would expect most individual’s selecting a college car about how good a college will be for setting them up to achieve their goals. Almost certainly some of the components which go into any ranking are not related to that.

    Meanwhile, college administrators know that boosting their US News ranking will bring in more money so they make decisions to boost that ranking.

    It used to be college rankings told us how good a college was, now it tells administrators what changes to make. The result is an example of Goodhart’s law (

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