Top Colleges Spring 2012
Summer/Spring 2012 Rankings
No. 1 MIT first Tech School to top rankings
Game changing OpenCourseWare propels MIT to the highest score ever measured
Volatility evident as educational consumers are presented with more choices
Penn State stumbles but holds onto a top ranking
Richmond Tops all Colleges
Austin, Texas, April 4, 2012 – MIT topped Harvard for the top ranking of American universities by Internet Media Buzz according to the Global Language Monitor. This was the first time a technical institute topped the rankings; MIT did so by the largest distance ever measured in the history of the TrendTopper Rankings. Also, in the first major rankings since the Penn State scandal, the school stumbled but held onto a top ranking. This is the eighth TrendTopper MediaBuzz ranking over the preceding five years. The rankings are conducted every nine months.
In the University Division, MIT was followed by Harvard, with the highest PQI differential between No. 1 and No, 2 ever recorded. The University of Chicago took its’ usual position in the Top Ten, this year at No. 3, followed by Columbia University and past No. 1, the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Always strong Cornell moved up to No. 6, while UCLA took the top spot in California besting Stanford. Yale and the University of Texas-Austin Rounded out the Top Ten.
MIT gained the top spot apparently from the global buzz surrounding their announcement of their OpenCourseWare program. OpenCourseWare povides the same information available to MIT students to the world-at-large. Not only can anyone, anywhere take M.I.T. courses online free of charge, they can also earn certificates certifying mastery of the subject matter.“The higher education world is in the midst of a major upheaval that has only begun to sort itself out. You can’t have an institution of MIT’s stature give away its product for free, or millions of students opting for on-line schools or educations provided by for-profit organization, and of course the globalization of higher ed and not record significant change. In fact you need a seismograph to better understand the shifting of the educational plates, once long thought stable,” said Paul JJ Payack, president and Chief Word Analyst of GLM. This is the fifth year and eighth edition of the TrendTopper MediaBuzz Rankings.Penn State’s stumble came in the wake of the child sex-abuse scandal in November that tarnished the legend of one of the most revered, and successful, major college football programs in the nation. Of concern to GLM was whether the scandal would dramatically increase the number of web citations, however the opposite was the case, as happened when Harvard took a massive hit to its endowment a few years ago. Significantly, only 3.42 percent of the global citations were considered of negative sentiment, so Penn State held onto a high ranking.
The TrendTopper MediaBuzz Rankings measure near real-time movements of an institution’s reputation or ‘brand equity’, using the same techniques used to measure the appeal of any other branded product, such as luxury automobiles, or consumer electronics. For the first time GLM expanded the Rankings to over 400 schools, 215 in the University Division with another 200 in the College Division to widen the bases of comparison for the education marketplace.The Top Universities with current ranking and change from last ranking follow:
1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (5)
2. Harvard University (-1)
3. University of Chicago (+4)
4. Columbia University (0)
5. University of Wisconsin—Madison(+9)
6. Cornell University (+4)
7. University of California—Los Angeles (+10)
8. Stanford University(-1)
9. Yale University (+4)
10. University of Texas—Austin(-2)
11. University of Washington (0)
12. University of Pennsylvania (+4)
13. University of Michigan—Ann Arbor(-3)
14. University of California–Berkeley (-12)
15. Princeton University (+1)
16. Ohio State University—Columbus (+13)
17. University of California — Davis (+2)
18. Indiana University—Bloomington (+6)
19. Virginia Tech (+18)
20. New York University (+3)
21. Duke University (+6)
22. University of California—San Diego(+3)
23. Georgia Institute of Technology (-2)
24. Johns Hopkins University (+7)
25. University of Virginia (+11)
University of Richmond tops all colleges
In the college rankings the University of Richmond completed its long climb to the top.
Reflecting the healthy distribution of ‘Little Ivies’ across the nation landscape, Richmond is the sixth different college to take the top spot since these rankings began, which now have been represented by the South (Richmond and Davidson), the West (Colorado College), the East (Williams and Wellesley College) and the Midwest (Carleton College). Wellesley was also the only Women’s College to top a general college ranking. Richmond Williams switched places with Smith, Bucknell and Union coming on strong. Amherst, Colorado College, Oberlin College, The Cooper Union and the Pratt Institute rounded out the Top Ten.
The Top Universities by TrendTopper MediaBuzz with current ranking and change from last ranking follow:
1. University of Richmond (+2)
2.Williams College (+1)
3.Smith College (+18)
4.Bucknell University (+19)
5.Union College (+3)
7.Colorado College (+21)
8.Oberlin College (+20)
9.The Cooper Union (+28)
10.Pratt Institute (+12)
11. Colgate University (+37)
12. Wellesley College (+14)
13. Occidental College (+27)
14. Middlebury College (+16)
15. The Juilliard School (+8)
16. Davidson College (+26)
17. School of the Art Institute of Chicago (+22)
18. Pomona College (+6)
19. United States Military Academy (+24)
20. Vassar College (+29)
21. Emerson College (+45)
22. Bowdoin College (+17)
23. Carleton College (+9)
24. United States Naval Academy (+32)
25. Hamilton College (+38)
The TrendTopper MediaBuzz Rankings measure near real-time movements of an institution’s reputation or ‘brand equity’, using the same techniques used to measure the appeal of any other branded product, such as luxury automobiles, or consumer electronics. For the first time GLM expanded the Rankings to over 400 schools, 210 in the University Division with another 200 in the College Division to widen the bases of comparison for the education marketplace.
Unlike other college rankings, specialty schools such as Julliard, SAIC, and the Cooper Union, the service academies, business, tech schools are included in the rankings. Also incorporated into the rankings are ‘for profit” (University of Phoenix) and online institutions, such as Capella and Walden. This is to provide true comparisons between and among the various types of post-secondary institutions now available to the discerning educational consumers. The full rankings include positive or negative movement, and MediaBuzz Velocity and Momentum that reveal how a school’s (short-term and long-term) brand equity is increasing or decreasing against its peer group, and the other competitors.
The TrendTopper MediaBuzz Analysis uses the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching’s classifications as the basis to distinguish between Universities and Colleges. The schools were ranked in the last week of March 2012, with a December snapshot as well as the last day of the previous surveys as the base.
TrendTopper MediaBuzz utilizes a mathematical model that ‘normalizes’ the data collected from the Internet, social media, and blogosphere as well as the top 175,000 print and electronic media, as well as new social media as they emerge. The end result is a non-biased analytical tool that provides a gauge of relative values among various institutions, as well as measures of how that value changes over time.
What Others are Saying:
By Eric Hoover
A savvy enrollment manager once told me that a crucial part of his job was getting his college’s name in newspapers and magazines. After all, he said, the more people see an institution’s name, the more familiar it becomes, and the more attractive it seems to prospective students.
He was describing “buzz,” something most colleges crave. In case you didn’t know, the Global Language Monitor will measure it for you.
Fall 2010/Winter 2012 Edition
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 – 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.
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 the 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).
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.
Rank / Colleges Fall 2011
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 (125thanniversary).
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
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.
2011 TrendTopper MediaBuzz Internet “Brand Equity” Rankings
Wisconsin Tops Chicago and Harvard in Universities; Davidson over Occidental and Williams in Colleges
Historic Re-alignment of what is considered an ‘elite’ school
Historic Re-alignment of what is considered an ‘elite’ school
AUSTIN, Texas December 30, 2010 – The University of Wisconsin at Madison, one of the nation’s most storied land-grant institutions, leapt over Chicago, Harvard, MIT, Columbia and two-time defending No. 1 (and fellow Big Ten academic powerhouse) Michigan, as the Top University according to the TrendTopper MediaBuzz Internet analysis released by the Global Language Monitor.
There have now had three different schools taking the top spot for Universities in the last three years: Harvard, Michigan and now Wisconsin. As for Harvard, it slipped to No. 3, while the University of Chicago moved into the No. 2 spot. Cornell University and the University of California at Berkeley broke into the Top Ten, knocking out Stanford and Princeton. UCLA also fell out of the Top Ten. Other big movers included Georgetown, California-Davis and CalTech, each moving up ten or more spots.
“The ‘flight to quality’ continues unabated. The savvy consumer of the education marketplace appears centered on the price-sensitive ‘public ivies’ and technology-centered schools, as well as on-line alternatives. The solidly performing ‘little Ivies’ are now now fairly well distributed across the country– and are holding their own,” said Paul JJ Payack, President of the Global Language Monitor.” One aftermath of the recent recession is that consumers understand that it is smart not to accept ‘retail pricing’ and that colleges are no different in this regard from any other institution.”
For Previous TrendTopper MediaBuzz College Rankings go here
The TrendTopper MediaBuzz Rankings are a way of seeing the schools through the eyes of the world at large. It is a democratic, self-generating ratings system, since it captures the brand equity associated with each of these fine institutions. GLM’s TrendTopper MediaBuzz Rankings actually 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.
The TrendTopper MediaBuzz Analysis uses the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching’s classifications as the basis to distinguish between Universities and Liberal Arts Colleges. The schools were ranked in the last week of December with a mid-year snapshot, and the last day of 2009 as the base.
TrendTopper MediaBuzz utilizes Narrative Tracking technology that ‘normalizes’ the data collected from the Internet, social media, and blogosphere as well as the top 75,000 print and electronic media. The end result is a non-biased analytical tool that provides a gauge of relative values among various institutions, as well as measures of how that value changes over time.
The Top Twenty Universities by the TrendTopper MediaBuzz Internet rankings follow.
1. Univ. of Wisconsin—Madison
2. University of Chicago
3. Harvard University
4. Mass. Institute of Technology
5. Columbia University
6. Univ. of Michigan—Ann Arbor
7. Cornell University
8. University of California–Berkeley
9. Yale University
10. University of Texas—Austin
11. Stanford University
12. Princeton University
13. University of California — Davis
14. Georgetown University
15. Duke University
16. University of California—Los Angeles
17. University of Washington
18. New York University
19. California Institute of Technology
20. Johns Hopkins University
The Top Ten Universities now include four Ivy League schools, four Public Ivy’s (two from the Big Ten), one technological institute and the always formidable University of Chicago.
We have now three different schools taking the top spot for Universities in the last three Years: Harvard, Michigan and now Wisconsin.
As for Harvard, it slipped to No. 3, while the University of Chicago moved into the No. 2 spot. Cornell University and the University of California at Berkeley broke into the Top Ten, knocking out Stanford and Princeton. UCLA also fell out of the Top Ten.
Other big movers included Georgetown, California-Davis and CalTech, all moving up ten or more spots.
The College category also produced a new No. 1, Davidson College of North Carolina. This is the fourth different college to take the top spot since these rankings began which now have been represented by 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.
Davidson, as well as L.A.’s Occidental College (where President Obama spent his first year in college) both leapt over the Little Three (Amherst, Williams and Wesleyan University) as well as all three previous No. 1’s: Carleton College, Wellesley College, and Colorado College.
The Top Twenty Colleges by the TrendTopper MediaBuzz Internet rankings follow.
1. Davidson College
2. Occidental College
3. Williams College
4. Wesleyan University
5. Carleton College
6. Amherst College
7. Bucknell University
8. Oberlin College
9. United States Air Force Academy
10. Pomona College
11. Wellesley College
12. Juilliard School of Music
13. Vassar College
14. Pratt Institute
15. United States Military Academy
16. Smith College
17. Bowdoin College
18. College of the Holy Cross
19. Claremont McKenna College
20. Bryn Mawr College
The Top Ten among colleges included Bucknell, Oberlin, Pomona and the US Air Force Academy. The Top Twenty included the Little Three, four of the former Seven Sisters (though Vassar is now co-ed), two Patriot League schools, two US Service Academies, the top Catholic College in the US (College of the Holy Cross), two of the Claremont Colleges, and two schools that are not included in the traditional college rankings: the Juilliard School and Pratt Institute, both in New York City.
The TrendTopper MediaBuzz Rankings are the only to include specialty schools, such as Art, Business, Design, Music, as well as Internet-based (and for-profit) All these were included in the College category with the exception of the online university, which was assigned to the University category.
In addition, the BOC notation signifies Best of Class; it is noted for those schools that are either first in the overall ranking, or first in a specific classification.
Top in the US/Best of Class (BOC) designation was awarded for:
• Top University: University of Wisconsin, Madison
• Top College: Davidson College
• Top Engineering Hybrid School: The Cooper Union
• Top Business: Babson College
• Top Art and Design School: Pratt Institute
• Top Art School: School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC)
• Top Music School: The Juilliard School
• Top Online University: University of Phoenix
• Top Christian School: Wheaton College, Illinois
• Top Catholic College: College of the Holy Cross
• Top Catholic University: Georgetown University
• Top Service Academy: United States Air Force Academy
• Top Outré College (New Category): Oberlin
The rankings also include the Biggest Movers for both colleges and universities and the Top States for Top Colleges.
The Universities that gained the most ‘media momentum’ since our last analysis were:
1. Worcester Polytechnic Institute
2. Miami University—Oxford
3. Lehigh University
4. Cal Poly—San Luis Obispo
5. University of California—Irvine
7. Georgetown University
8. Mills College
9. University of Denver
10. Rice University
The Colleges that have gained the most ‘media momentum’ since our last analysis were:
1. Smith College
2. Trinity College CT
3. St. John’s College MD
4. School of Visual Arts (NY)
5. Fashion Institute of Technology
6. St Lawrence University
7. Swarthmore College
8. Hampshire College
9. Gettysburg College
10. Oberlin College
In addition, each of the forty-two states with top colleges is listed with the combined rankings of colleges and universities within the state.
The top five states for top colleges, along with the number of top colleges within the states include:
1. New York (45)
2. California (30)
3. Massachusetts (25)
4. Pennsylvania (22)
5. Illinois (12)
The 2011 TrendTopper MediaBuzz Internet Rankings contains all of the above information on the Top 300 US Colleges and Universities, with added detail.
About The TrendTopper MediaBuzz Rankings
GLM created the TrendTopper MediaBuzz Rankings to remove all bias that we saw as inherent in each of the other published rankings, be they peer assessments, the opinion of high school guidance counselors, the ratio of endowment to number of students, number of left-leaning professors, and all the rest.
The 53 page guide includes the following:
- Why another college guide; why TrendTopper MediaBuzz?
- Introduction – A New Reality
- Highlights for Winter/Spring 2011
- About TrendTopper MediaBuzz™
- Top Universities for Winter/Spring 2011
- Top Colleges for Winter/Spring 2011
- Universities with Greatest Change
- Biggest Movers – Universities
- Biggest Movers – Colleges
- Top States for Top Schools
- TrendTopper MediaBuzz Backgrounder
We found it highly interest that many institutions used our rankings as a validation of their recent reputation management decisions:
Harvard University: “Rankings highlight correlation between university prestige and media coverage … Indeed, the study seems to validate the Harvard Kennedy School’s recent decision to rebrand itself. Known as the Kennedy School of Government until last spring, the public policy and administration changed its shorthand so that it includes the word “Harvard”.
GLM’s College Reputation Management Services are part of our TrendTopper Branding Services.
Boston College: “University Spokesman Jack Dunn said, “Boston College’s ranking in this study serves as an affirmation of what we have long believed. Academic research and accomplishments along with media citations and this recent ranking are all affirmations of the growing steam of this university.” The major factors that contributed to BC’s high ranking were a well-published academic community, a strong public relations office, and a successful sports program in recent years.
Vanderbilt University: “… when prospective students, faculty, friends and neighbors hear ‘Vanderbilt’ they associate it with excellent academic programs, innovative research, world class health care, the best students, a gorgeous campus, a dynamic hometown, rockin’ athletics and more. And, by one measure at least, we’re succeeding.”
Chronicle of Higher Education: “[GLM’s TrendTopper analysis] is at least one measure of wealth, success and prestige,” Hoover said. “Even on campuses where presidents do not put too much stock into rankings themselves, it is something they must think about” because alums and top students pay attention to them. – Eric Hoover, marketing strategies, Chronicle of Higher Education, quoted in Harvard Crimson.