A total of nine Midwest schools have been ranked among the top 50 “Best Colleges in America,” including several in Illinois, a new report from the Wall Street Journal revealed.
The WSJ ranking, released Wednesday, uses a methodology different than one used in years past, according to editors. As a result, the schools that landed on the list may not necessarily be the ones that made it in previous years.
“Some schools with longstanding reputations don’t fare as well when we look at their student outcomes under our new methodology,” the WSJ said in an Instagram post. For example, editors said, “Brown University and Johns Hopkins University, two of our top 10 for 2022, perform less outstandingly, at Nos. 67 and 99 respectively.”
For this year’s ranking, editors said they worked with data scientists at Statista to use to put colleges and university on a “more level playing field.” Editors also noted that their focus this year was on comparing the outcomes of each school’s graduates against “what those students were likely to achieve no matter where they went to school.”
“In effect, colleges aren’t just rewarded for their raw performance in traditional metrics;” WSJ wrote. “Rather, they’re also evaluated against a benchmark that shows how the schools improve the trajectories of their students’ careers.”
The new technique, editors said, surfaced some “hidden gems.”
Only nine schools from the Midwest appeared in the report’s top 50 list. Of those, five were in Illinois. The school that landed the No. 1 spot on the list was Princeton University in New Jersey.
Below is the full list of midwestern colleges that appeared in the top 50 of WSJ’s “Best Colleges in America” list:
37. University of Chicago — Illinois
35. University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign — Illinois
32. University of Notre Dame — Indiana
28. University of Michigan Ann Arbor — Michigan
27. Lake Forest College
26. Washington University in St. Louis — Missouri
25. Northwestern University — Illinois
23. Illinois Institute of Technology — Illinois
17. Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology — Indiana
You can view the full report from the Wall Street Journal here.