By Gregory B. Hladky
11:30 AM EDT, September 10, 2013
Well, the USA Today annual ranking of American colleges and universities is out and University of Connecticut advocates are all whipped up that their school has risen to No. 19! It is the highest point UConn has reached in this annual Fall rite of higher education.
Given some of the problems UConn's been confronted with recently (such as having a music professor under investigation for alleged sex with students and child molestation, and its new football uniforms being labeled one of the ugliest combos in the nation), it's no wonder officials at Connecticut's premier public university are happy about the USA Today thing.
There are those (a lot of 'em) who think the USA Today rankings are hogwash, that the publication's system for choosing which schools to put where are pretty arbitrary in a lot of ways, that the standards apparently change from year to year, and that schools can game the rankings.
Some critics claim a far better system is the one used by Washington Monthly, one in which apple schools are compared with apple schools and the standards used to judge colleges and universities are fairly clear and useful.
In its National University Ranking, for example, the magazine grades schools on their contributions to social mobility (recruitment of low income students); research; and how much they encourage students to give back to the nation in terms of service.
On that scale, UConn comes in at 82nd place. Which isn't actually that bad: Yale University is ranked 54th by the magazine.
In the Liberal Arts college rankings by Washington Monthly, Wesleyan University is the highest ranked in Connecticut at No. 18, with Connecticut College coming in at 97th.
Here's a link to the magazine's higher education rankings.
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