Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) is one of the best colleges in the Northeast, according to the "2011 Best Colleges" rankings by The Princeton Review, which also placed WPI 20th among national colleges and universities for career services.
"The Princeton Review rankings are based upon institutional data, staff visits to the school, the opinions of guidance counselors, and perhaps most important, on what our students have to say," said Edward J. Connor '92, WPI’s dean of admissions. "As a result, their reviews and rankings are well informed. We are pleased WPI's distinctive approach to education is so highly regarded by this and other surveys."
The Princeton Review rates schools in six categories: academics, admissions selectivity, financial aid, quality of life, fire safety, and green. Students were asked to rate their own schools on several issues – from the accessibility of their professors to the quality of the campus food – and to answer questions about themselves, their fellow students, and campus life. WPI students said the university's project-based curriculum "emphasizes the understanding of technical concepts, the practical implementation of those concepts, and also an appreciation for how technological advances can benefit mankind." Students also described WPI's social life as "unbeatable."
WPI is also ranked 20th out of 373 schools for offering one of the best career service programs in the nation. According to Jeanette Doyle, director of WPI's Career Development Center, "This survey confirms, once again, the value WPI provides to our students and to our hiring partners. A high proportion of WPI students – well above the national average – turn to the WPI Career Development Center because they get value and results."
The value of a WPI education and its career services is also evident in other recent rankings. According to a report by PayScale Inc. that recognizes the top schools that produce the best-paid graduates, WPI was ranked 7th in the nation for highest starting median salary and 9th in the nation for highest mid-career median pay among engineering schools. Among all colleges and universities in the nation, WPI ranked in the top 10 for highest starting median salary, and in the top 20 for highest mid-career median pay. The salary ranking comes on top of news last month that WPI is ranked 15th in the nation among colleges and universities that offer the highest return on investment, according to PayScale. The top 20 list included MIT, Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Dartmouth, and Stanford, among others.
The 2010 salary report and ROI rankings are the most recent of many accolades given to WPI. U.S. News & World Report's annual Best Colleges Issue recognized WPI for being a best value, for offering an innovative educational curriculum, and for its Global Projects Program, through which thousands of students have traveled to all corners of the globe to develop solutions to important real-world problems. In addition, BusinessWeek ranked WPI's part-time MBA program number 1 in the nation. Earlier this year, The Princeton Review named WPI one of nation's "Greenest Schools," and last year ranked the university 20th out of 371 schools for being home to some of the "happiest students" in the nation.