College climbs one notch in poll

by Amy Semet | 9/19/95 5:00am

Dartmouth inched up to seventh place in U.S. News & World Report magazine's annual survey of national universities and ranked first in a new "teaching" category.

The surveys appear in last week's "America's Best Colleges" issue. Dartmouth ranked eighth overall last year.

Bob Morse, the director of research for the U.S. News guide, said for the new teaching category, 229 college presidents, provosts and deans of admissions were asked to name schools where the faculty "have an unusually strong commitment to undergraduate teaching."

Dartmouth received the most votes in the national university category, followed by Brown University, the College of William and Mary, Rice University and Princeton University. Yale University placed 10th and Harvard University ranked 17th.

"It's a great tribute to the faculty," College President James Freedman said. "The faculty are so devoted to teaching that it's gratifying to see the world recognize it. Dartmouth is a place that cares about teaching."

Dartmouth tied with the California Institute of Technology for seventh in the overall survey. The comprehensive ranking is based on academic reputation, student selectivity, faculty resources, financial resources and retention rank.

In this year's survey, Harvard University ranked first for the sixth straight year. Yale and Princeton Universities tied for second place, Stanford University finished fourth, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology ranked fifth and Duke University ranked sixth.

Dartmouth was the fourth-highest rated Ivy League school, followed by Brown, which ranked ninth, the University of Pennsylvania, which tied for 11th place, Cornell University, which finished 13th, and Columbia University, which ranked 15th.

"The schools that finished ahead of Dartmouth -- Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Duke -- have far more resources and more endowment," Dean of the Faculty James Wright said. "We do quite well in comparison. Dartmouth produces an education comparable to the top institutions."

Wright said in all of these rankings, "there is the question of methodology."

"People raise questions about the methodology, but the results have been fairly consistent over the years and Dartmouth has ranked in about the same," Wright said.

For the first time, U.S. News also ranked undergraduate programs in engineering and business.

MIT, Stanford, CalTech, Carnegie Mellon University and Cornell ranked in the top five for undergraduate engineering programs.

Dartmouth's undergraduate engineering program finished in 38th place.

Amherst College, Swarthmore College, Williams College, Bowdoin College, and Haverford College were rated the best five liberal arts colleges by U.S. News & World Report.

U.S. News determines its rankings of national universities and liberal arts colleges by submitting questionnaires to top college officials, such as college presidents, provosts, and deans of admissions.

The questionnaire asks college officials to rank the colleges in each division by academic reputation. The magazine also gathers information from each school to determine its student selectivity, faculty resources, financial resources and retention rate.

This year, U.S. News modified its methodology by raising the weight of a school's retention rate from 15 to 25 percent of the college's score.

"We wanted to put more emphasis on outcomes rather than inputs," Morse said.

U.S. News Best Buy Survey

U.S. News ranked Dartmouth eighth among national universities for its discounted tuition price in this week's issue.

A school's discounted tuition was based on four factors -- a ratio of quality to price, the percentage of undergraduates receiving need-based and non need-based aid, and the percentage that a school's total costs have been discounted for the average undergraduate receiving need-based.

In the survey, CalTech ranked first, Rice University second, the University of Rochester third, MIT fourth, and Stanford fifth. Dartmouth finished first among Ivy League schools.

Last year, Dartmouth finished ninth in the survey and second among Ivy League schools.

Money Magazine's Survey

And, in its "costly but worth it" category, Money Magazine's latest issue ranked Dartmouth fourth among all colleges charging more than $17,750 in tuition and fees.

Harvard ranked first, Yale second and John Hopkins University placed third.