Our BlogThe latest news and information about digital credentials
Each year millions of students across the US make a potentially life-changing decision: where to go to college. They consider where they have been admitted, and they make a critical choice. Today, Parchment, the leader in education credentials technology, releases its 2014 Parchment Student Choice College Rankings, which directly reveals students’ college preferences and enrollment decisions.
The Parchment Student Choice College Rankings is the only college ranking that is 100% derived from admittance and enrollment choice data. Unlike rankings based on subjective judgments or on factors subject to gaming, such as selectivity or test scores, Parchment Student Choice College Rankings methodology is based on which college a student chooses to attend among all of the institutions where they are admitted.
Austin Arca of Irvine, CA applied to universities across the country, and was admitted to University of Cincinnati, Rochester Institute of Technology, San Jose State University, Syracuse University, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Drexel University. He ultimately chose to enroll at University of Cincinnati, he said, because its “…industrial design program (DAAP) is #1 in the country and it has a co-op program.”
Parchment’s list mirrors how students review and make choices within the college landscape – ultimately a mix of public and private schools, universities and colleges.
The 2014 Student Choice Rankings includes eight liberal arts colleges and 17 universities in the top 25. And while the top five rated schools look familiar, this year’s 25 highest-ranking schools revealed some notable differences versus 2013. Six new schools entered the top 25, including three liberal arts colleges: Haverford College, Bates College, and Wellesley College. Harvey Mudd College, notably, rose from 24 to number eight in 2014, and was one of two Claremont Colleges that landed in the top 10.
The Top 25 institutions in the 2014 Student Choice College Rankings are:
1. Stanford University
2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
3. Harvard University
4. Princeton University
5. Duke University
6. Yale University
8. Harvey Mudd College
8. Pomona College
9. Brown University
10. Georgetown University
11. University of Pennsylvania
12. Columbia University
13. University of Chicago
14. Haverford College
15. Swarthmore College
16. Tufts University
17. Amherst College
18. University of California Berkeley
19. Middlebury College
20. Bates College
21. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
22. Vanderbilt University
23. Wellesley College
24. Dartmouth College
For the complete 2014 Student Choice College Rankings list, visit parchment.com/rankings.
The Parchment 2014 Student Choice Rankings is calculated from over 250,000 student decisions. And students offered additional insight into the real reasons that drive preferences and choices, including proximity to home; overall reputation, reputation related to the student’s major; curriculum and honors programs; cost, scholarship and financial aid options; institution size; connection to family and friends; and nice campus and facilities.
Natalie Wainwright of Algonquin, IL was admitted to schools that ranged from a private, Catholic university, to a research institution in Boston to large, Midwest state schools. She could have attended University of Kentucky, Seton Hall, Suffolk University, University of Maine, Miami University or West Virginia University. But she chose Miami University because it is a “beautiful campus with my major.”
Parchment employs a widely accepted tournament rankings methodology, a formula similar to the one used for chess masters, to arrive at its final rankings. When a student chooses and enrolls in a school, that school earns points and the schools to which the student is accepted but does not attend lose points. This point data is combined with another layer of point awards based on which institutions are expected to come out in the top positions. At the end of each school year Parchment reviews the points each school has earned based on its methodology to arrive at its rankings for the next school year.
Acceptance and enrollment data comes from Parchment.com, where students collect and present all their education credentials to make the most of their education and career opportunities, and get valuable data to help them find the right fit for college.
Parchment is the leader in education credentials technology, allowing learners, educators and employers to collect, analyze, use and share credentials in simple and secure ways. More than 3 million people and 7,700 schools and universities have used Parchment to exchange nearly 10 million transcripts. Founded in 2003, Parchment Inc. is headquartered in Scottsdale, AZ, with offices in Roseville, CA, Denver, CO, Grand Rapids, MI and Washington, DC.