‘U.S. News’: Dartmouth Again No. 1 for Teaching, Top 10 Overall



For the fifth year in a row, Dartmouth earned the top spot for “Strong Commitment to Teaching” and remains in the top 10 among national universities in U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Colleges 2014″ ranking, the magazine announced today.

This year, Dartmouth holds the No. 1 teaching spot exclusively among national universities cited for exceptional faculty commitment to undergraduate teaching. For the previous two years, Dartmouth and Princeton shared the first-place ranking.

“The rankings confirm what we know to be a genuine strength for Dartmouth—our faculty’s commitment to educating future leaders across all disciplines who are able to have a real impact on the world’s most pressing challenges. We will continue to innovate in our development of distinctive programs that build on this, our greatest asset,” says President Philip J. Hanlon ’77.

Dartmouth once again ranked in the top tier of national universities in the magazine’s “Best Value Schools” category. The College ranked No. 8 on the “Great Schools at Great Prices” list, and again this year, the magazine highlighted Dartmouth for commitment to economic diversity and low student debt at graduation. The 26 schools in the “Least Debt” category include three other Ivies: Harvard, Princeton, and Yale. Last year, the College was No. 7 in the “Great Prices” group.

Nearly half of Dartmouth’s students receive need-based scholarships, and Dartmouth will award more than $80 million in scholarship funds to undergraduates this year. Members of the incoming Class of 2017—10 percent of whom are first-generation college students—are receiving an average of more than $42,000 in scholarship assistance.

“Our ability to attract and enroll an exceptionally talented and diverse student body from around the country and the world is a testament, in part, to Dartmouth’s long-standing commitment to both a need-blind admissions policy and meeting the full demonstrated need of all students admitted to the College,” says Maria Laskaris, dean of Admissions and Financial Aid. “Our investment in our financial aid program, particularly greatest for students whose family incomes are below $100,000, is critically important as we work to ensure the affordability of a Dartmouth education.”

The measure of Dartmouth’s commitment to economic diversity came in the magazine’s “Valuing Economic Differences” listing, which measures the percentage of students receiving Pell grants, most of which are awarded to students whose family income is under $20,000. At Dartmouth, 15 percent of students receive Pell grants. The 27 colleges listed include all of the Ivy League schools.

Dartmouth was again recognized for outstanding study abroad programs and “undergraduate research/creative projects.” Dartmouth has offered off-campus programs led by faculty members since 1958, and more than 60 percent of undergraduate students participate in at least one of Dartmouth’s Foreign Study Programs or Language Study Abroad programs.

The magazine also ranked Dartmouth No. 7 in the “High School Counselors’ Picks” category, tied for the spot with Brown, Columbia, Johns Hopkins, and the University of Pennsylvania. Ahead of Dartmouth at No. 1 are Cornell, Harvard, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Princeton, Stanford, and Yale. Last year, Dartmouth shared the top spot with Cornell, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, MIT, Princeton, Stanford, and Yale.

U.S. News & World Report categorizes national universities as institutions that offer a full range of undergraduate majors as well as master’s and PhD programs and emphasize faculty research. They are ranked separately from liberal arts colleges on the basis of data gathered on up to 16 indicators of academic quality.

Princeton again made the top slot in the overall ranking, with Harvard sliding to No. 2 from last year’s first-place tie. Yale was No. 3 and Columbia ranked No. 4, with Stanford and the University of Chicago sharing the No. 5 spot. Dartmouth and the California Institute of Technology tied for the No. 10 spot. The top 10 also included Duke, MIT, and the University of Pennsylvania, which tied for No. 7.

Ivies Brown and Cornell ranked 14 and 16, respectively, on the overall list.

See slideshow on Dartmouth’s flickr site.

Bill Platt