13 July 2017

The magazine Money, published by Time Inc, specialises in personal finance. It produces annual rankings of American colleges based on their ability to provide a return on investment. Colleges are ranked according to 27 indicators including scores for the SAT and ACT tests, costs, graduation rates, student faculty ratio, financial sustainability, debt, loan repayment and graduate employment. There are also several value-added metrics that take account of standardised test scores and the number of students from poor families.

A total of 711 institutions were ranked. Criteria for inclusion were having an enrollment at least 500 students, availability of reliable data, meeting requirements with regard to graduation rates, and not being in financial difficulties.

The rankings show that while the traditional elite of US higher education such as Princeton and Harvard do well some less well-known institutions including Washington and Lee university, the University of Florida and the College of New Jersey also get high scores. Together they make up a new “paycheck league”.

Five of the top ten colleges are in California and four in the Northeast. Many of the institutions that offer the least value for money are historically Black colleges, small religious schools or art colleges.

The top five institutionsare:

  1. Princeton University
  2. City University of New York Bernard MBaruch College
  3. University of Michigan Ann Arbor
  4. University of California Berkeley
  5. University of California Los Angeles.

The rankings have an interactive feature that allows users to rank colleges according to the various indicators. The top five for SAT or ACT scores are:

  1. California Institute of Technology (Caltech)
  2. University of Chicago
  3. Vanderbilt University
  4. Harvard University
  5. Yale University.

The top five for early career earnings are:

  1. Caltech
  2. Harvey Mudd College
  3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  4. Stanford University
  5. Carnegie Mellon University.


IREG Initiatives

With the fast development of science and technology, as well as the internationalization of scientific activities, international academic awards have been more and more popular and influential. Numerous international academic awards have been established to provide individuals with incentives and motivation for new academic work and to reward past excellent academic accomplishments.


The purpose of the IREG Ranking Audit, conducted by independent experts, is to verify and attest that ranking under review is done professionally, with a transparent methodology, observes good practices and responds to a need for relevant information of various stakeholders, in particular students, higher education institutions, employers and policy makers.


National and international academic rankings play ever increasing role as a barometer of quality of higher education institutions. The purpose of "IREG Inventory of National Rankings" is to collect and make available on the IREG Observatory website information on the current state and scope of this important group of rankings.


The purpose of the IREG Guidelines for Stakeholders of Academic Rankings is to provide recommendations for appropriate interpretations, uses and applications of rankings by potential interested parties, including students and parents, institutions of higher education, policymakers, quality assurance and funding organizations, employers and the media. Specific recommendations have been formulated for each group of stakeholders.


News from IREG Members

The worldwide ranking UI GreenMetric Workshop in Bologna

This Bologna workshop is aimed to highlight the commitment of Italian universities towards a sustainable 360° approach. UI GM Chairperson, Riri Fitri Sari, will showcase the ranking’s structure and indicators in details. Italian participants are warmly invited to ask questions and raise issues concerning the specificity of the Italian universities to fit into the UI GreenMetric ranking. The Alma Mater Studiorum assumes the role of National Network Hub for UI GM in the framework of this event that will also host experts from RUS (Rete delle Università per lo Sviluppo Sostenibile).

Ranking conference in Warsaw

Polish universities feel, they deserve a better place in international rankings. To discuss what can and should be done to improve the quality of research, rectors of best universities in the country gathered 1-2 December in Warsaw at the conference “Polish Universities in International Perspective – Rankings and Strategic Management of University” organized by Perspektywy Education Foundation jointly with the Conference of Rectors (CRASP) and Polish Accreditation Commission (PAC).

Conference on Universities’ Reputation

Spanish Universidad de Navarra organizes the International Conference BUILDING UNIVERSITIES' REPUTATION Understanding the Student Perspective – Key to a Reputation Strategy, Pamplona, Spain 30-31 March 2017. www.unav.edu/bur

Report on Activities of IREG Observatory 2015-1016

Dr. Jan Sadlak, President of IREG Observatory on Academic Ranking and Excellence at the General Assembly held in Lisbon on 6 May 2016 presented a detailed report on activities of the organization, the President and members of the Executive Committee in the period: May 2015 – May 2016.

You may ready the report HERE.

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