U.S. News & World Report Rankings List WPI 51st Among National Universities

Contact: WPI Media Relations, 508-831-5616

Worcester, Mass. -- The U.S. News & World Report's annual ranking of "America's Best Colleges" today lists WPI as 51st among the 228 national colleges and universities. Harvard, Princeton and Yale placed first in this national category. All rankings are available on the magazine's Web site at www.usnews.com. The magazine will be available at newsstands on Monday, Aug. 24. Last year WPI tied for 48th ranking in this category with Rensselaer and Yeshiva University.

U.S. News also announced "America's Best College Values" and WPI moved from 35th to 18th position in this category. Stanford University heads this list. The magazine believes that the best values are found among colleges that are above average academically and therefore, only the top half of national institutions in the rankings are considered. The Best Values rankings were devised to provide a realistic measure of where students can get the best education for their money. The ranking relates the cost of attending an institution to its quality.

The methodology used for the national college rankings are: Academic Reputation (25 percent) is determined by surveying the presidents, provosts and deans of admissions at other institutions in the same category. WPI improved its ranking in this measurement from last year.

Retention (20 percent) is determined by graduation rate and the freshmen retention rate.

Faculty Resources (20 percent) comes from five items that include class size, faculty salary, highest degree in field, student-faculty ratio, and proportion of faculty that is full time.

Student Selectivity (15 percent) is determined by SAT or ACT scores, percentage of those who graduated in top 10 percent of their class, the acceptance rate, and the yield.

Financial Resources (10 percent) are measured by the average spending per student on instruction, research, student services and related education expenditures.

Graduation Rate Performance (5 percent) is designed to capture the effects of the college's programs and policies on the graduation rate of students.

Alumni Giving Rate (5 percent) measures the average percentage of alumni who gave to their school during the 1996 and 1997 academic years.

Additionally, WPI again ranked among the top national universities with the highest proportion of classes under 20 students.