A brand new college ranking hit the web hoisting students' voices and experiences above admission rates and SAT scores, and perhaps unsurprisingly the usual suspects placed on top.
Stanford University secured the first spot as a result of its well-funded academic programs, strong student outcomes, and high engagement levels with its student body, according to the report. It is closely followed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Columbia University.
"There are ratings out there that reward the wrong things - spending more money, charging more, turning away more students," Purdue University President Mitch Daniels told the Wall Street Journal. "It's important that people have a reference point that tells them where to go for what matters most," he added.
The ranking, conducted by the Wall Street Journal and Times Higher Education, is based on 15 indicators across four categories including: students' outcomes (40%), school's resources (30%), student engagement (20%) and environment diversity (10%).
The student engagement score was largely based on a survey of more than 100,000 student responses that included questions such as "to what extent does the teaching support applying the student's learning to the real world" and "to what extent did the classes... challenge the student?"
While the ranking includes public universities, none made it to the top 20 and only 20 are included in the top 100. The rankings' creators note that 30% of the overall grade is based on a school's resources, and public colleges may be at a disadvantage from its private counterparts.
Furthermore, save for a few exceptions, the top ranking universities did not have strong performances in student engagement. As WSJ explains, students at the most prestigious universities "may not have the most enriching educational experiences, but they are still likely to thrive financially."
The ranking shows that students graduating from the overall best scored institutions have annual salaries above $70,000.
These are the top 10 universities:
10. California Institute of Technology
9. Cornell University
8. Princeton University
7. Duke University
6. Harvard University
5. Yale University
4. University of Pennsylvania
3. Columbia University
2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
1. Stanford University