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Top 100 Undergraduate Colleges – Ranked By Selectivity

Under Graduate

Washington University
UC Berkeley
Notre Dame
University of Virginia
UNC, Chapel Hill
Harvey Mudd
Carnegie Mellon
Boston College
Johns Hopkins
Washington and Lee
Connecticut College
William and Mary
Wake Forest
Holy Cross
Sarah Lawrence
George Washington
Mount Holyoke
Boston University
Bryn Mawr
UC San Diego
University of Texas, Austin
UC Santa Barbara
University of Illinois
Franklin Marshall
UC Irvine
UC Davis
Georgia Tech
Case Western Reserve
Penn State
Colorado College
University of Miami
University of Florida
University of Connecticut
University of Washington
University of Georgia

Rankings – General Tips for Selection of Universities

Please note that the rankings pertain to Program Rankings
As a precautionary measure you must verify the requirement of GPA most of the universities from 1-80 rank require a first class from Indian Students.

Rank 1- 20
Top ranked graduate schools generally give a lot of importance to academic performance as compared to GRE scores. Good under graduate GPA and impressive research credentials are a must. Best chances for the top 3 in a class.
Who should Apply?
GPA > 3.8 GRE > 1500.
A class position. Published research papers.

Rank 21 – 50
Graduate schools in this range are a safe bet for students with a decent academic record and GRE scores. Excellent GRE scores can make up for a slightly low GPA.
Research credentials do improve your chances.
Who should Apply?
GPA > 3.5 GRE > 1400
GPA > 3.3 GRE > 1500.
A good project work or a published paper.

Rank 51 – 80
Students with just raesonable academic record and good grades in courses specific to your field of interest stands a good chance. Good GRE scores are a boost and can certainly get you an admit inspite of weak academics. But aid might be trickier. Research credentials can make up for bad academics and get you aid.
Who should Apply?
GPA > 3.2 GRE > 1350
GPA > 3.0 GRE > 1300
A good project work or a published paper may get some aid.

Rank 81-99
Universities generally rated LOW. Getting an admit might be much easier but aid is generally a problem as fund availability is less. Computer Science and Electrical Engineering students have a decent chance of getting aid. Funding in other branches might be erratic. Research Credentials may prove to be inconsequential.

Who should Apply?
GPA > 3.0 GRE > 1000
GPA >2.8 GRE > 1100

Rank 100 and Beyond
All Others
Getting an admit should be easy. But expect no funding. You will have to finance yourself.
Ask yourself whether it is worth it?

The Washington Monthly College Guide

Other guides ask what colleges can do for you.
We ask what are colleges doing for the country.

This month, U.S. News & World Report releases its annual rankings of colleges. First published in 1983, the guide has become its own mini-event: College presidents, education reporters, alumni, parents, and high school juniors alike all scramble to get their hands on the rankings. Its release is followed by weeks of gloating from the top-ranked schools and grumbling from those schools that dropped a slot (or 14) from the previous year. Inspired by the popularity, other guides—from Princeton Review to Peterson’s to Kaplan—have rushed to compete. College rankings are now so influential that universities and higher-education journals hold regular chin-stroking sessions about whether the numbers-game has too much influence over the way schools behave. New York University’s Vice President John Beckman sniffed to the Harvard Crimson this spring that the rankings “are a device to sell magazines that feed on an American fixation with lists,” which is precisely what institutions say when they’re trying to duck accountability.
There’s a good reason for the American fixation with rankings—if done correctly, they can help tell us what’s working and what’s not. Of course universities ought to be judged. The key is judging the right things.

College rankings or junk science?

By Robert Kuttner

IT’S APPROACHING that season when students and their parents anxiously await college admissions decisions. But increasingly, an equally feverish process is infecting the other side of the transaction and distorting the process of who gets financial aid.

Colleges these days engage in an ever more frantic competition for ”rankings,” driven almost entirely by the annual U.S. News & World Report issue on ”America’s Best Colleges.” U.S. News is so dominant that when a dean boasts that his school is ranked in the top 10, or a president’s bonus is based on whether his college makes it into the top 50, they invariably refer to U.S. News.

Massive efforts by admission departments, deans, and college presidents are devoted to gaming the U.S. News ranking system, published every August. This includes everything from manipulating who is considered a part-time student (which raises the reported performance of full-time students) to giving students temporary research jobs in order to raise the placement score reported to U.S. News. But the easiest single way to raise rankings is by enrolling students with ever higher SAT scores.

If the average score of your entering freshman class increases, the U.S. News ranking will probably improve, too. And if your ranking goes up, the presumed prestige of the college will follow. More kids will apply, more applicants will choose your college rather than brand X, and, best of all, more families will pay sticker price….

Will admission to one of the elite colleges guarantee a prosperous future — or just a mountain of debt?

Every striver mother and father knows the rules when it comes time to shop for a college. These are so deeply embedded in the subconscious of affluent, highly educated parents that their wisdom is rarely questioned.
If your kid is bright enough, you shoot for the Ivies, Stanford or MIT. If those are out of reach, you aim your child at other prestigious private institutions — Duke, the University of Chicago, Georgetown or some other brand-name, liberal arts college that doesn’t let just anybody in the door. If all else fails, you might consider a top-ranked state university, but only as a last resort.
Money should be no object, not when it comes to something as important as your child’s education. Paying those tuition bills may sabotage your ability to save for retirement or necessitate a second mortgage on your house. But, in the end, your goal should be to send your kid to the most exclusive, impressive option available. The payoff is obvious: In a society that likes to think of itself as a meritocracy, the Ivies and other selective private schools offer a shortcut to the top. They promise an instant pedigree, future wealth and an opportunity to mix with the country’s next generation of movers and shakers.
But what if all those calculations and assumptions are wrong? What if all those Ivy graduates whose parents shelled out $150,000 or even $200,000 for their undergraduate degrees could have done just as well if they’d gone somewhere else? Somewhere much cheaper?
Research implies that is actually the case. According to these recent studies, when you do a cold, hard analysis — removing family dreams and visions of class rings — the Ivies and other elite private schools simply aren’t worth the money. The answer isn’t conclusive, and there are skeptics — at the Ivies and elsewhere. But at the least, the research should give parents pause and prompt them to conduct a cost-benefit analysis before steering their child to an elite private college.

Access to the Most Selective Private Colleges by High-Ability, Low-Income Students:Are they out there?

Gordon C. Winston Catharine B. Hill2Williams College

The growing concern about access to highly selective colleges
and universities was heightened by a soon-to-be-published study
of 28 of the most selective private schools in the US – “the COFHE schools”-
that showed that only 10% of their students come from the bottom 40%
of the US family income distribution (Hill-Winston-Boyd, 2005).
While few might have expected that the students at these demanding
schools would have been drawn equally from across national family
incomes, the 10%/40% ratio surely demands a better understanding.
Read the Report in pdf format.


I will like to point out a useful web site which shows the commitment of the institutions to Web publication and to the worldwide inititive favouring Open Access to knowledge.
In the words of Webometrics ‘The aim of this project is not to rank the institutions according to quality of the education provided nor their academic prestige, so it should not be used for comparing them or as a guide for choosing university by candidate students.’

Universities ranked by Webometrics are: