The Wall Street Journal in partnership with Times Higher Education recently ranked UConn 105th in its second annual ranking of the top U.S. colleges and universities. This list’s release came soon after U.S. News & World Report ranked UConn the nation’s 18th best public university.
According to the Wall Street Journal (the WSJ), its rankings assess over 1000 private and public institutions. In all, 15 measures go into calculating an institution’s overall ranking; this year, the Wall Street Journal particularly considered finances.
According to the WSJ, “the outcomes graduates can expect—including the salaries they will earn—and the academic resources of institutions are given the most weight.” The “Salary and Debt” category on their website notes that a UConn graduate salary “10 years after entering college” is approximately $54,000.
Additionally, “this year, the rankings take into account the debt burden students may take on to finance their education by evaluating graduates’ ability to repay their loans,” according to the WSJ. A university’s default rate, the percentage of students who fail to repay their federal student loans, is another aspect of an institution’s ranking.
According to OEDb, Open Education Database, “a lower default rate indicates that students are finding an adequate means of income after leaving the school because they can afford to pay back their student loans.” In addition, lower loan default rates also indicate a lower amount of student debt.
According to the WSJ, UConn has a 2.2% default rate, compared to other institutions with default rates as low as 0.9%.
Julia Lindwall, a third-semester marketing major, said she believes that “student debt is worth the education if it propels you in a path toward professional and financial success.”
“If you're passionate about a particular area or subject, finances shouldn’t stand in between you and that degree,” Lindwall said.
According to U.S. News & World Report, its ranking system is based off a “researched view of what matters in education.” The system uses seven ranking model indicators to evaluate schools, and each indicator carries a different weight.
The indicators include faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources and graduation rate performance. The indicators regarding retention rates and undergraduate academic reputation hold the most weight.
According to UConn Today, “one of UConn’s particular strengths in this year’s U.S. News rankings is its success in retaining students, both those who return after their freshman year and those who stay and earn their UConn degree in four to six years.”
UConn spokesperson Stephanie Reitz said she applauds the ranking.
“We’re continuing to focus on making UConn a place to which freshmen want to return for their sophomore year, and where people want to stay and pursue their degree,” Retiz said. “This is done by ensuring the academic experience is top notch and the campus atmosphere is welcoming, both of which are among our highest priorities.”
Abbey Rodden is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.