The Wire @ WPI Online
VOLUME 11, NO. 2     SEPTEMBER 1997

U.S. News Ranks WPI Among Nation's Top 50 Universities

In its annual report titled America's Best Colleges, U.S. News & World Report ranked WPI among the top 50 national universities, a category headed by Harvard and Princeton, which tied for first place. WPI was ranked No. 48, tied with Rensselaer and Yeshiva University. A total of 228 colleges and universities were ranked in the category this year.

The ranking represents a step up for WPI, which has placed in "Tier 2" among national universities for the past two years. The schools in Tier 2, which are listed alphabetically, are those ranked 50 to 115.

WPI migrated from the regional university category in the U.S. News ratings to the national universities in 1994 after its status was changed by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Between 1989 and 1993,

WPI was ranked No. 1 among regional universities four times (it placed second in 1990).

"We can all feel proud of our ranking and of WPI, " says WPI Provost John F. Carney III. "It's very gratifying that WPI is finally receiving some of the national recognition it deserves."

The U.S. News rankings are based on a methodology that places weights on academic reputation, retention, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, value added, and alumni giving rate.

U.S. News also ranked WPI 35th among the top national institutions in a separate report titled Best College Values. That ranking compares the cost of attending an institution to its quality.

According to the magazine, "best values are calculated in relation to a school's discounted price (tuition plus room, board, fees, books and estimated personal expenses, minus the average of need-based grants). Because U.S. News believes that the best values are found among colleges that are above average academically, only the top half of national institutions in the quality rankings are considered."

Finally, WPI was ranked seventh among the national universities with the highest proportion of engineering majors in the U.S. News report.

The America's Best Colleges edition of U.S. News is dated Sept. 1. The Best College Values edition is dated Sept. 8. Additional information on the rankings can be found at the U.S. News & World Report Web site,

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Last modified: Tue Oct 14 17:09:16 EDT 1997