Behind Jewell’s Rankings: Princeton Review and US News and World Review

Part two of a three part series aimed at understanding William Jewell College’s placement in six national rankings.

The Princeton Review recently ranked William Jewell College among the top 379 colleges in the United States for 2015 alongside names such as Yale, Harvard and Stanford. The College has been recognized over many years for its performance and academic standards by the Princeton Review, and has been referred to as “unmatched in the Midwest” with “top notch academics”. The Princeton Review compares universities across the country with two primary standards to determine which are among the “best” in the nation. Though the list does not provide a ranking, it does describe the standards universities must meet to make the list. First, academic achievement is examined through surveys of administrators, professors and counselor advisers that provide information concerning the school’s academic performance as a whole. This can include opinions on student academic aptitude, advancements in education and the general learning environment. Second, the Review conducts surveys of individual students from each school to gain perspective concerning campus life and education. The information is taken from a large variety of institutions ranging from campuses with small to large student populations, differing levels of selectivity in admissions and varying levels of diversity of students. Based on these standards, Jewell is described by the Review as a “selective” college with a admissions process full of “driven and intelligent people who are committed to their education and community.”

U.S. News and World Report has named William Jewell College number 155 among U.S. liberal arts colleges. In a list comprised of about 200 schools, the Report gathers data from each college on up to 16 indicators of academic excellence, some of which include: undergraduate academic reputation, graduation and retention rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, alumni giving and graduation rate performance. Each of these categories gives insight into the overall learning style and atmosphere of a college. The Review calculates the scores of each university based on the indicators of academic excellence determine their comparative rank. These rankings are published on a yearly basis by U.S. News with the purpose of providing reviews of universities across the country that can be used by prospective students and advisers in the decision-making process. Though these universities are categorized by region, William Jewell College was also ranked among the best liberal arts schools in the nation as a whole.

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