Wallstreet Journal THE Ranking

WSJ/THE College Rankings 2019

The results of the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Rankings differ considerably from those of the THE World University Ranking. This is mainly due to the different focus of both rankings.

The THEWorld University Ranking compares international universities with a focus on excellent research performance. In contrast, the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Ranking has the task of providing answers to the questions of future students and their parents.

Are students challenged and supported at their future universities? How good is the reputation and quality of the academic staff? Are there sufficient resources available to ensure that students receive individual attention? What are my chances that students will achieve their degrees? How long will it take you to achieve your degree and how good are your job prospects afterwards? How quickly can the student loan be paid off?

To create the ranking, 15 different key figures are collected and analyzed. The system follows the idea of the Balanced Scorecard. The resulting calculation of the ranking results was subjected to an independent audit by the auditing firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

More Information

US RankUniversityOverallResourcesEngagementOutcomesEnvironmentTuition and FeesRoom and BoardSalary after 10 years
1Harvard University93.229.916.739.67.1$47,074$15,951$91,200
2Massachusetts Institute of Technology92.029.416.139.27.3$48,452$14,210$91,667
3Yale University90.926.817.139.67.4$49,480$15,170$74,467
4Columbia University90.827.116.639.28.0$49,973$13,244$75,433
5California Institute of Technology90.530.$47,577$14,100$75,333
6Stanford University90.426.$47,940$14,601$84,200
=7Brown University90.027.417.738.07.0$51,366$13,200$60,833
=7Duke University90.026.717.139.66.7$51,265$14,438$77,100
9Princeton University89.928.115.539.56.8$45,300$14,770$77,833
10University of Pennsylvania89.827.016.938.96.9$51,464$14,536$80,100
US RankUniversityOverallResourcesEngagementOutcomesEnvironmentTuition and FeesRoom and BoardSalary after 10 years
11Cornell University89.526.817.238.86.6$50,953$13,900$72,200
12Dartmouth College89.426.917.439.16.0$51,438$14,736$68,300
13Northwestern University88.527.217.337.86.2$50,855$15,489$64,800
=14University of Chicago88.027.015.638.47.0$52,491$15,093$64,100
=14Rice University88.027.217.336.47.1$43,918$13,750$62,900
16Carnegie Mellon University87.425.317.538.16.6$52,310$13,270$76,667
17University of Southern California87.225.317.736.47.8$52,283$14,348$68,067
18Washington University in St Louis87.126.117.337.46.3$49,770$15,596$63,800
19Vanderbilt University86.927.517.137.05.3$45,610$14,962$62,033
20Emory University86.325.616.636.47.7$47,954$13,486$59,967
US RankUniversityOverallResourcesEngagementOutcomesEnvironmentTuition and FeesRoom and BoardSalary after 10 years
21Johns Hopkins University86.$50,410$14,976$68,300
22Amherst College85.024.215.338.17.4$52,476$13,710$57,600
23Williams College84.724.515.537.96.8$51,790$13,690$55,467
24Pomona College83.524.916.434.18.1$49,352$15,605$53,533
25University of California, Los Angeles83.119.617.537.18.9$39,602$15,069$59,167
26University of Notre Dame82.524.317.136.44.7$49,685$14,358$70,367
27New York University82.223.317.134.17.7$49,062$17,578$59,067
28University of Michigan-Ann Arbor82.121.117.637.45.9$47,004$10,872$58,467
29Wellesley College81.724.516.433.87.0$48,802$15,114$57,767
30Georgetown University81.223.016.735.36.3$50,547$14,962$85,800
US RankUniversityOverallResourcesEngagementOutcomesEnvironmentTuition and FeesRoom and BoardSalary after 10 years
31Swarthmore College81.$49,104$14,446$50,133
32Tufts University80.625.816.332.75.8$52,430$13,556$66,433
=33University of California, Berkeley79.317.816.836.28.5$40,191$16,389$61,767
=33Claremont McKenna College79.324.316.332.36.4$50,945$15,740$68,333
35Carleton College79.223.216.433.76.0$50,874$13,197$49,400
36Boston University78.622.817.132.26.5$50,240$14,870$60,700
=37Middlebury College78.423.915.634.05.0$50,063$14,269$54,700
=37University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill78.420.616.336.35.2$33,916$11,218$51,833
=39Case Western Reserve University78.324.115.732.16.4$46,006$14,298$68,500
=39Haverford College78.324.515.732.35.8$51,024$15,466$56,167
US RankUniversityOverallResourcesEngagementOutcomesEnvironmentTuition and FeesRoom and BoardSalary after 10 years
=41University of California, Davis78.218.016.534.88.9$40,728$14,838$56,600
=41Smith College78.223.716.131.56.9$47,904$16,010$44,000
43Purdue University West Lafayette78.120.917.134.35.7$28,804$10,030$53,967
44Bowdoin College78.023.816.733.14.5$49,900$13,600$56,267
45University of California, San Diego77.917.715.935.58.8$40,327$12,545$59,067
46Wesleyan University77.324.$50,612$13,950$49,500
47University of Miami76.521.617.330.07.7$47,004$13,310$54,900
=48University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign76.415.417.336.17.5$34,011$11,306$56,933
=48Lehigh University76.423.816.830.35.6$48,320$12,690$76,900
50Bryn Mawr College75.224.015.428.77.2$48,790$15,370$52,367
US RankUniversityOverallResourcesEngagementOutcomesEnvironmentTuition and FeesRoom and BoardSalary after 10 years
=51University of Rochester74.924.116.628.16.1$50,142$14,890$56,467
=51University of Virginia74.917.616.136.44.8$45,997$10,726$59,800
=53Colgate University74.823.316.429.85.3$51,955$13,075$61,033
=53University of Richmond74.823.517.029.44.9$49,420$11,460$60,467
55George Washington University74.720.516.631.16.5$49,783$12,500$65,667
56Tulane University74.425.116.728.14.5$51,010$13,844$52,650
57Davidson College74.322.015.631.94.8$48,376$13,547$54,967
58United States Military Academy74.224.116.929.73.5n/an/an/a
59Barnard College74.121.216.429.96.7$50,394$15,598$56,867
=60Georgia Institute of Technology74.014.115.837.76.5$32,404$11,148$74,767
US RankUniversityOverallResourcesEngagementOutcomesEnvironmentTuition and FeesRoom and BoardSalary after 10 years
=60University of Washington-Seattle74.017.916.532.07.5n/an/an/a
=62University of Texas at Austin73.916.317.533.56.6$35,682$10,070$53,567
=62Wake Forest University73.923.515.929.94.7$49,308$13,404$60,333
64Bucknell University73.623.016.730.03.9$51,960$12,656$68,033
65Mount Holyoke College73.$45,866$13,440$44,767
66University of Wisconsin-Madison73.116.317.335.34.2$32,738$10,446$52,267
=67Boston College72.618.515.434.14.7$51,296$13,818$67,900
=67Hamilton College72.623.$51,240$13,010$57,167
69Northeastern University72.418.817.430.16.2$47,653$15,050$61,933
70Lafayette College72.322.615.430.24.1$48,885$14,470$68,700
US RankUniversityOverallResourcesEngagementOutcomesEnvironmentTuition and FeesRoom and BoardSalary after 10 years
71Colby College72.222.415.929.34.7$50,960$13,100$53,433
72Vassar College72.123.315.626.66.5$53,090$12,400$49,267
73University of Florida72.014.417.134.26.4$28,659$9,910$51,833
74Drexel University71.820.917.326.67.0$51,030$14,367$63,433
75Washington and Lee University71.723.616.129.82.2$48,267$11,380$74,267
76Grinnell College71.623.$48,758$11,980$44,333
77Bates College71.022.115.728.74.5$50,310$14,190$53,600
78Brandeis University70.522.615.526.56.0$51,245$14,380$56,967
79Oberlin College70.323.015.826.64.9$52,002$14,010$39,633
80University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh campus70.218.116.431.14.6$29,758$10,950$49,233
US RankUniversityOverallResourcesEngagementOutcomesEnvironmentTuition and FeesRoom and BoardSalary after 10 years
81University of Maryland, College Park70.012.416.734.46.5$32,045$12,078$60,433
82Franklin & Marshall College69.922.415.627.34.6$52,290$13,120$53,700
=83University of California, Santa Barbara69.713.716.331.88.0$40,755$14,015$51,967
=83Denison University69.722.$48,960$11,970$48,833
=83Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute69.718.314.929.86.7$50,797$14,630$79,733
=83Scripps College69.721.615.725.96.6$50,982$15,682$48,233
=87Rhode Island School of Design69.620.814.728.25.9$47,110$12,850$46,133
=87William & Mary69.618.115.331.64.6$42,274$11,382$55,600
=89Macalester College69.422.015.626.25.7$50,639$11,266$45,833
=89Michigan State University69.415.517.131.05.7$38,486$9,784$50,400
US RankUniversityOverallResourcesEngagementOutcomesEnvironmentTuition and FeesRoom and BoardSalary after 10 years
91College of the Holy Cross69.321.515.628.93.3$48,940$13,225$64,000
92Connecticut College69.122.215.626.84.5$50,940$14,060$52,033
93Union College68.821.514.928.83.6$51,696$12,678$63,000
=94Occidental College68.720.315.026.47.1$51,070$14,460$49,433
=94Ohio State University68.716.$28,229$11,706$43,067
=94Texas A&M University-College Station68.714.417.730.85.8n/an/an/a
97University of Connecticut68.618.016.727.96.0$35,858$12,436$54,567
98Worcester Polytechnic Institute68.518.816.128.65.0$46,994$13,736$80,167
99University of California, Irvine68.416.216.726.29.3$40,042$13,429$55,133
=100Gettysburg College68.321.715.827.43.3$50,860$12,140$52,733

1. Data sources

The data required for the ranking are taken from the following recognizedsources:

  • US government (Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS),
  • US Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid (FSA),
  • College scorecard, -Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA),
  • THE US Student Survey,
  • THE Academic Survey and
  • Elsevier bibliometric dataset

In order to do justice to the different sizes of the institutions analyzed, the individual indicators must be standardized. In addition, they are weighted with different factors in order to considerthe different influence on student success.


2. Methodology

The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Rankings examines four core areas using the following indicators.

I. Resources (30 percent)

  • Finance per student (11%)
  • Faculty perstudent (11%)
  • Research papers per faculty (8%)


II. Engagement (20 percent)

  • Student engagement (7%)
  • Student recommendation (6%)
  • Interaction with teachers and students (4%)
  • Number of accredited programs (3%)


III. Outcomes (40 percent)

  • Graduation rate (11%)
  • Value added to graduate salary (12%)
  • Value added to loan default (7%)
  • Academic reputation (10%)


IV. Environment (10 percent)

  • Proportion of international students (2%)
  • Student diversity (3%) -Student inclusion (2%)
  • Staff diversity (3%)


3. Indicators

The key indicators used are briefly explained below.

I. Resources (30 percent)

Within the framework of resource analysis, the resources available to universities for offering high-quality teaching are examined.

The figure ” Finance per student ” (11 percent) makes it very easy to determine how much financial resources the institution has available per student. Both the bachelor’s and the graduate program editions are considered. From the ratio “Faculty per student” (11 percent) the class size and thus the individual quality of supervision can be derived.

The quality of teaching is directly related to the quality of the lecturers. If the experts in their subject area are able to integrate scientific findings comprehensibly into their teaching by means of practical examples, students will benefit considerably from this. The research productivity of an institution is measured with the indicator “Research papers per faculty” (8 percent).


II. Engagement (20 percent)

Numerousscientific studies have shown that the engagementof students is decisive for individual learning success. For this reason, the category “Engagement” (20 percent) will measure the extent to which universities promote the commitment of their students.

Inorder to record the commitment of students in the USA, Times Higher Education conducted its own survey with the help of two market research providers. Almost 200,000 students were surveyed in 2017 and 2018.

In order to determine the key figure “Studentengagement” (7 percent), the focus was on answering the following questions:

  • Do universities promote critical thinking?
  • Are students encouraged to reflect and link what they have learned?
  • How is the transfer of theoretical knowledge into practical application supported?
  • Are the students sufficiently challenged during their time at the university?

How the possibilities for students to interact with their fellow students and lecturers are designed is measured with the help of the key figure “Interaction with teachers and students” (4 percent).

When students recommend a study/a university to members of their family or friends based on their own experiences, this is certainly the best indicator of their satisfaction. For this reason, the ratio “student recommendation” (6 percent) is used to determine the probability that a studentwill make this recommendation.

The “number of accredited programs” (3 percent) is an indication of the possibility of receiving a very broad and comprehensive education at a university.


III Outcomes (40 percent)

Since students sometimes borrow large sums to obtain an academic degree in the USA, the potential “return on investment” is of considerable importance to them.

In the first instance, it is important that students are accompanied and supported by the institutions on their way to graduation. If the “graduation rates” (11 percent) are relatively high, it can be assumed that the university will support its students.

In the “Results” category, the key figures “Value added to graduate salary” (12 percent) and “Value added to loan default” (7 percent) are used to investigate to what extent students benefit from studying at this university to the extent that they can quickly repay their student loans with the help of a good salary after graduation.

For students seeking a career in research, the salary level of the private sector is less important than the academic reputation of the university where they graduate. In order to measure and evaluate this reputation, THE conducted its own “Academic Reputation Survey” to determine the ratio “Academic reputation” (10 percent).


IV Environment (10 percent)

The learning environment and atmosphere contribute to a not negligible extent to the learning success of the students. For this reason, the following indicators are measured in the category “Environment”:

  • Proportion of international students (2%)
  • Student diversity (3%)
  • Student inclusion (2%)
  • Staff diversity (3%)


4. Why I can’ t find my university in the ranking?

Not all universities can be included in the final Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Ranking. If universities do not appear in the list, they do not meet either of the following two requirements. First, all of the following admission criteria must be met. The university must therefore:

  • be eligible
  • four-year bachelor’s degrees awarded
  • have their registered office in one of the 50 states or in DC
  • more than 1,000 students
  • less than 20 percent have pure online students
  • be not insolvent

If basic data is missing to determine the necessary key figures and these cannot be derived using mathematical procedures, this can also be an exclusion criterion.

Furthermore, in addition to private, profit-oriented universities, institutions that counted fewer than 50 participants in their student surveys in 2018 are also excluded.


For more in-depth information about The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Rankings, visit the THE website:!/page/0/length/25/sort_by/rank/sort_order/asc/cols/scores