New alumni-driven college ranking rates Centre graduates “Happiest in the Nation”

 

New alumni-driven college ranking rates Centre graduates “Happiest in the Nation”

Posted by Student Worker in News Archive 13 Sep 2012

Centre College is ranked #2 in the South and #11 in the nation among liberal arts colleges according to a new college rankings system called The Alumni Factor. The survey also ranks Centre College #18 in the nation among all colleges and universities.

“[L]ikely one of the best colleges in the U.S. of which you have never heard,” Centre is also described as an “academic gem” and “one of the finest liberal arts colleges in the country.” Even more, continues the overview, “Centre grads are the happiest group of graduates in the country—not just among liberal arts colleges, but among all 177 colleges and universities we’ve measured.”

In addition to its top ranking for happiest graduates, Centre is also ranked #2 among liberal arts colleges and #3 among all colleges and universities for alumni giving, which is seen as a key indicator of alumni satisfaction.

“Centre College’s primary mission is to prepare students for meaningful lives of work and service on a global level,” says John A. Roush, president of Centre College. “According to this new survey and its independently gathered data from alumni, we are doing just that, and our alumni are fully aware and appreciative of the role their college played in helping them to make their mark.”

The Alumni Factor is the creation of Monica McGurk, a former partner at the global management consulting firm McKinsey and Co. Unlike other college rankings and guidebooks, the Atlanta-based company is not affiliated with any news organization, publishing house or other organization.

According to a company news release, the rankings “are driven by the detailed feedback from 42,000 alumni from colleges and universities across the country, which were anonymously surveyed via an online survey. The findings are based on four years of data collection, statistical research, and an independent review led by a Georgia Tech University statistician.”

The rankings methodology includes 15 attributes intended to determine return on investment. While happiness and giving rates are important indicators, so are factors such as preparation for career success and sense of value for the money. Centre’s high national ranking results from scoring among the top 5 in these and other categories.

In the College Experience category, for instance, Centre ranks #3 in the nation in intellectual development, #2 in social development and #3 in preparation for career success. In the Overall Assessment category, Centre ranks #4 for “would recommend” and #3 for value for the money. According to The Alumni Factor, “Centre ranks 1st in the Overall Assessment among the Southern liberal arts leaders”—even ahead of the survey’s #1-ranked institution in the country, Washington and Lee University.

The new ranking system has caught the attention of leading news organizations. In a story titled “Time to Up-End College Rankings?” The Wall Street Journal writes that the “new ranking system is betting [readers will] be more interested in alumni outcomes. That is, the school’s success in graduating men and women who are prepared to meet the demands of today’s job market and workplace.” The Chronicle of Higher Education calls the timing of the new survey “impeccable,” since “[t]oday’s students and parents are asking more questions about outcomes, about the success and salaries of an institution’s graduates.”

Complete rankings can be found at alumnifactor.com, where 1,300 college and university profiles are offered through a 7-day free trial or monthly subscription.