Notre Dame, Purdue break top 50 list of best colleges

Inside INdiana Business

(photo courtesy: Purdue University)

(Inside INdiana Business) — The Wall Street Journal and the Times Higher Education magazine have released their annual list of the top 801 colleges and universities in the country. Two Hoosier universities are included in the top 50.

The University of Notre Dame in South Bend comes in at No. 32, while Purdue University in West Lafayette ranks No. 46 in the overall category. Ten schools in the state made the top 400 list.

WSJ/THE say the rankings emphasize how well a college will prepare students for life after graduation. The overall ranking is based on 15 factors across four, weighted, main categories: student outcomes, graduation salaries/debt burden, the school’s academic resources, how well it engages students, and diversity.

Here’s how Indiana schools fared in the top 400:

  • #32 University of Notre Dame
  • #46 Purdue University
  • #116 DePauw University
  • #123 Indiana University Bloomington
  • #172 Butler University
  • #261 Valparaiso University
  • #269 Earlham College
  • #305 University of Evansville
  • #308 Hanover College
  • #343 Indiana Wesleyan University, Marion

The rankings have a variety of subcategories, which helped showcase Purdue. The Land Grant school ranks No. 8 in the country of all public universities and No. 7 overall for the best value.

In February, Purdue University president Mitch Daniel announced a tuition freeze at the West Lafayette campus for the eighth straight year. The low cost/high-value metrics caught the attention of WSJ editors who said, “Of all students surveyed, those at Purdue were more likely than those at most other schools to believe their educational experience warranted the price tag.”

Harvard is ranked No. 1, as it has for four straight years, followed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Yale University. The publication says schools that fare the best in the rankings generally are wealthy institutions able to support robust research operations, low student-faculty ratios and generous financial aid. Their graduates tend to land high-paying jobs that allow them to pay down student loans.

WSJ says the list of 801 colleges and universities is intended to serve as a starting point for families considering their options for higher education, but it comes with one caveat: It isn’t so much where you go to college that counts, but how prepared you are when you go and how hard you study.

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