U.S. News: Bowdoin slips to number
seven in ranks
After two years of rising in rank amongst the top liberal
arts colleges in the country, Bowdoin slid back two spots in this year's
U.S. News and World Report ranking to number seven, tied with Middlebury.
However, the drop in ranking is tempered by the fact that no new schools
surpassed Bowdoin in ranking from last year to present.
This year's rankings demonstrate that the number five position
of last year, composed of a tie between Bowdoin, Carleton, Haverford and
Pomona, was further broken down. Carleton and Pomona ranked fifth this
year while Bowdoin ranked seventh and Haverford dropped down to number
After these factors are considered, the schools are categorized by their total score, relative to other schools in their tier. Carleton and Pomona scored one point higher than Middlebury and Bowdoin this year, breaking the tie for the number five position.
Amherst ranked number one this year while Swathmore dropped to number two with Williams. Colby College ranked eighteen this year with Colgate and Hamilton, and Bates ranked number twenty-two for the second consecutive year.
Dean of Admissions Jim Miller put this year's ranking in perspective, noting "colleges bump up and down several notches due to miniscule differences in numbers and ratios." He added, "Number seven is great, especially considering the schools we are competing against." Each year, the rankings spark controversy and complaints from admissions offices that claim the list is misleading. High school students throughout the country and around the world often view these rankings as the definitive word on how "good" a school is. Many admissions officers offer the disclaimer that the rankings do not reflect which school would best fit an individual student's interests and personality, and the bottom line rank does not portray a complete picture of each institution.
Dean Miller agreed with the assessment that the rankings can often be an overrated instrument to evaluate colleges. "I recently read that fewer than 20% of parents and students pay any attention to [U.S. News and World Report's] rankings," Miller said.
A complete copy of rankings is available online at www.usnews.com and on newsstands.