If you like to party and attend a school where students report relatively light academic workloads, UW-Madison just might be the place for you.
Newsweek and The Daily Beast on Monday released their third annual “College Rankings 2012” lists, and UW-Madison ranked seventh in the “Top Party Colleges” category and was No. 17 in the “Least Rigorous Colleges” list.
UW-Madison, which generally shows well in rankings of the top universities across the world, received no mention in the other areas singled out by Newsweek and The Daily Beast. The other categories under which the top 25 colleges were ranked include: least affordable colleges; most affordable colleges; most rigorous colleges; most beautiful colleges (“a picturesque campus, an attractive student body, and consistently bright weather); most liberal colleges; most conservative colleges; happiest colleges; most stressful colleges.
When it comes to assessing the “Least Rigorous Colleges,” the website notes that the following methodology was used: “To assess the rigor of the curriculum at some of the nation’s top colleges, we first whittled an initial list of nearly 2,000 accredited four-year colleges and found the top 200 most selective according to the percentage of applicants admitted and the median SAT/ACT score for accepted students. The most selective schools were then ranked using data from College Prowler on student assessment of workload manageability (out of 10 points) and the student-to-faculty ratio according to the National Center for Education Statistics. (Smaller class size and greater professor oversight are proxies for tougher classes). For the final ranking, the degree of selectivity, workload score, and faculty ratio were each weighted a third.”
Big Ten Conference schools garnered several of the spots in the “Least Rigorous Colleges” list, with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln ranked No. 2, Ohio State 12th, UW-Madison 17th and Penn State 22nd. The University of Central Florida earned the top spot and was followed by Florida State.
As for the “Top Party Colleges” ranking, here is how that category's methodology is explained: “To compile the list of the best schools in the nation at which to party down, we limited the pool of colleges to those that were considered “best-fit” for students interested in attending a “big-time party school” according to College View. From there, we considered the number of on-campus arrests and per-student disciplinary actions for drugs and alcohol that occurred in 2010, according to the U.S. Department of Education. Bonus points were given to campuses that landed on Princeton Review’s most recent rating of the top party schools and top beer-drinking campuses.”
West Virginia snagged the top ranking in this category, followed by Penn State.