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Harvard Returns to the top, beating Northwestern and Berkeley

But Big Ten Beats Ivies:  8-6 in the Top 50


Williams Tops Richmond as No.1 in the College Category


Austin, Texas, September 3, 2011 – After four tries, Harvard returned to the top ranking of American universities by Internet Media Buzz, edging out a strong challenge by Northwestern.  The University of California, Berkeley, Columbia, Caltech, and MIT – all finishing within 1% of each other – took the No. 3 through No. 6 positions.  Stanford returned to the Top Ten at No. 7, followed by the ever-strong Chicago, the University of Texas, and Cornell.

Memorial Church, Harvard

Following were Michigan, the University of Washington, Penn State, Yale, and Wisconsin.    Rounding out the Top Twenty were Princeton, Penn, UCLA, Cal Davis, and Georgia Tech.

“The TrendTopper MediaBuzz Rankings measure an institution’s perceived value using the same methodologies used to compare any other products of value, such as BMW vs. Mercedes,” said Paul JJ Payack, the president of Global Language Monitor.  “GLM’s TrendTopper MediaBuzz Rankings removes all bias inherent in each of the other published rankings, since they actually reflect what is being said and stated on the billions of web pages that we measure.”

In a remarkable demonstration of the growing influence of the Public Ivies, some fourteen of the Top Thirty schools are public institutions, and now include eight Big Ten schools, six from the Ivy League (Brown and Dartmouth were the exceptions), three Technological Institutes – and four from California’s fabled University system.

Overall, the University of California system, as a whole continues to dwarf all other academic associations, leagues and conferences.  This is a fine tribute to a system that has had to endure a continued series of budget cuts and cutbacks.

The words, phrases and concepts are tracked in relation to their frequency, contextual usage and appearance in global media outlets.  This exclusive ranking is based upon GLM’s Narrative Tracking technology.  NarrativeTracker analyzes the Internet, blogosphere, the 75,000 print and electronic media, as well as new social media sources (such as Twitter).


Big Ten Conference

The Top 25 Universities by Internet Media Buzz


1.  Harvard University (3) – Dr. Faust sets things aright and Harvard again assumes the No. 1 spot in the survey.

2.  Northwestern University (31) – Catapults to No.2 while leading the Big Ten charge up the rankings.

3.  University of California, Berkeley (8) – Cal considers itself THE University of California and the rankings back this up.

4.  Columbia University (5) – Columbia has never finished out of the Top 10 in the TrendTopper rankings.

5.  California Institute of Technology (19) – CalTech nips its East Coast competitor for top tech honors.

6.  Massachusetts Institute of Technology (4) – The former ‘Boston Tech’ rejected Harvard’s repeated entreaties to merge in the late 19th century.

7.  Stanford University (11) – The former ‘Harvard of the West’ has long emerged from Cantabrigia’s fabled shadow.

8.  University of Chicago (2) – Dropped out of the Big Ten in the late 1930s; loss of big-time football doesn’t seem to have hurt their rankings.

9.  University of Texas, Austin (10) – It new branding, “What starts here, changes the world’ is more than a slogan.

10.  Cornell University (7) – Few know that the Ivy titan is also a Land Grant institution.

11.  University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (6) – Took top honors twice in previous surveys.

12.  University of Washington (17) – U Dub, as it is affectionately known, is the emerging powerhouse of the Northwest.

13.  Pennsylvania State University (24) — Penn State’s new identity campaign has evidently been quite successful.

14.  Yale University (9) – Vassar declined an invitation to merge with Yale in 1966.

15.  University of Wisconsin, Madison (1) – Had a very strong global media run during the previous cycle.

16.  Princeton University (12) – The First Lady’s Alma Mater was originally known as the College of New Jersey.

17.  University of Pennsylvania (22) – The Wharton School greatly strengthens Penn’s brand equity.

18.  University of California, Los Angeles (16) – Tops in LaLa Land, though USC is making great strides forward.

19.  University of California, Davis (13) – Originally established as the agricultural extension of UC Berkeley known as the University Farm.

20.  Georgia Institute of Technology (27) – The Yellow Jackets ramble into the Top 20.

21.  Georgetown University (14) – Once again, the Top Catholic University in the land.

22.  New York University (18) – Growing global ambitions reflected in the global media.

23.  Indiana University, Bloomington (46) – Steadily gaining in prestige and the rankings reflect it.

24.  Boston College (39) – A generation ago, the Flutie Effect launched the school on its present stellar trajectory.

25.  University of California, San Diego (23) – UCSD receives about a billion dollars a year in research grants.

The Top 25 Colleges by TrendTopper MediaBuzz

The College category also produced a new No. 1,   Williams College of Massachusetts as a strong No. 1 in the College Division.  (Little Three companion schools Amherst and Wesleyan claimed the No. 7 and thirteen spots, respectively.)

Williams is the fifth different college to take the top spot since these rankings began, which now have been represented by the South (Davidson), the West (Colorado College), the East (Wellesley College) and the Midwest (Carleton College).  Wellesley was also the only Women’s College to top a general college ranking.

In another first, three of the Claremont Colleges finished in the Top Ten:  No. 4 Claremont McKenna, No. 5 Harvey Mudd, and No. 6 Pomona.  In addition, another Claremont College, Scripps — the Women’s College, finished at No. 18.

The Top 25 Colleges by TrendTopper MediaBuzz

Rank / Colleges Fall 2011

Williams College Museum

1.  Williams College – The Ephs (or is it Blue Cows?) set the standard, once again, however a first in Internet MediaBuzz..

2.  University of Richmond — Richmond looking stronger and stronger in the classroom,  the athletic field and the media.

3.  Union College – A sometimes overlooked gem of a school making strides in the Internet age.

4.  Claremont McKenna College – CMC marks the beginning of the Claremont Colleges surge.

5.  Harvey Mudd College – One of the top technical schools in the nation finally getting it due.

6.  Pomona College – Perhaps the most akin to Williams on the list (minus the SoCal climate and beaches).

7.  Wesleyan University – Firmly wedged between Williams and Amherst, as is its usual fate.

8.  The Juilliard School – A school that truly deserves to be in the nation’s Top Ten, though it is often relegated to ‘Unranked’ or ‘Other’ categories.

9.  Carleton College – A past No.1 that continues to gain in global reputation.

10.  Bates College – With Colby and Bowdoin, one of the three little Ivies from the state of Maine.

11.  Pratt Institute – Pratt’s mission is to educate artists and creative professionals and, indeed, that is what it does.

12.  Amherst College – Always lurking near the top of the Liberal Arts College rankings.

13.  Wellesley College – The only Woman’s College to achieve No. 1 in any comprehensive national rankings.

14.  Bryn Mawr College – Katy Hepburn would be proud of how the little school has come of age (125th anniversary).

15.  Middlebury College – Such a large global footprint for such a small school.

16.  Bowdoin College – Used to boast of being the first US college to witness the sunrise.

17.  Smith College – The women’s school of the Five Colleges Consortium around Amherst, Massachusetts.

18.  Scripps College – Yet another of the Claremont Colleges to emerge into the top ranks.

19.  Bucknell University – Bucknell is the largest private Liberal Arts college in the nation and its outsized reputation is beginning to reflect this fact.

20.  Oberlin College – From the Arb to the Arch the college holds many firsts in American academic history, such as the first co-ed college to graduate a woman.

21.  Colorado College – CC, of Block Plan fame, was the first No. 1 west of the Mississippi.

22.  School of the Art Institute of Chicago – SAIC deserves to be in the top reaches of any serious collegiate ranking.

23.  Babson College – Specialized in entrepreneurship before entrepreneurship was cool.

24.  United States Military Academy – Army and Navy were considered part of the traditional Ivy League a century before the Ivy Group sports conference was formed.

25.  United States Air Force Academy —  Service Academies are amazingly unranked by US News and others

The Top Specialty Schools.

Top Engineering Schools:   CalTech, MIT, Georgia Tech (College: Harvey Mudd)

Top Online/For Profit Schools: the University of Phoenix.

Top Business School:  Babson College

Top Christian School:  Wheaton College, IL

Top Military Academy: United States Military Academy

Top Multi-disciplinary Art & Design School:  Pratt Institute

Top School of Art:  School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC)

Top Music School: the Julliard School

Top Catholic University:  Georgetown University

Top Catholic College: College of the Holy Cross

The Global Language Monitor publishes the TrendTopper Media Buzz College and University Rankings, twice a year, with spring and fall editions.  Many institutions of higher education, including Wisconsin, Harvard, Boston College, and Vanderbilt have used the rankings as a validation of their recent reputation management decisions.

About The Global Language Monitor

Austin-Texas-based Global Language Monitor analyzes and catalogues the latest trends in word usage and word choices, and their impact on the various aspects of culture, with a particular emphasis upon Global English.  Since 2003, GLM has launched a number of innovative products and services monitoring the Internet, the Blogosphere, Social Media as well as the Top 75,000 print and electronic media sites.