A roundup of how some folks rate colleges around the country—from business and law programs to salaries of grads to looks.
Kiplinger’s Best Values in Private Colleges 2012 pegs SCU at No. 33 in the country. That’s culled from some 600 candidates, looking at factors that include graduation rates, cost and financial aid, and academic support. Similarly, employee salary data collection company PayScale asked: Does college pay off long-term? Affirmative—with SCU in the top 30 (out of more than 1,200 schools) when they calculate what you pay vs. what you earn in the years to come. For midcareer salaries, SCU scores even higher, at No. 17.
IP and entrepreneurs
U.S. News & World Report’s Best Graduate Schools 2014 puts SCU Law’s intellectual property program at No. 3 in the country. The guide puts SCU’s graduate business specialty in entrepreneurship at No. 13. The connections between SCU and Silicon Valley businesses (and that entrepreneurial spirit) are key. The part-time MBA program, geared to working professionals, rose to No. 24 in the guide. And the undergrad business program comes in at No. 38, according to the latest Best Of as tallied by Bloomberg Businessweek.
Presidential recognition for service
Santa Clara students devoted 133,000 hours to service during the 2011–2012 school year. That put the University on the 2013 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, a national award for schools that excel in “placing students on a lifelong path of civic engagement by engaging them in meaningful service that achieves measurable results in the community.” This makes seven years running that SCU has been recognized.
Beauty and brains
For two years running, SCU has landed in the top 10 nationally among “the schools that have it all—a picturesque campus, an attractive student body, and consistently bright weather.” That’s from Newsweek and College Prowler. Calculations include student ratings of other students; the lovely Mission Campus scores a 9.3 out of 10.
Run, swim, shoot
The SCU scholar athletes also get their due in College Prowler’s irreverent rankings: Santa Clara is in the top 10 for “most athletic girls” (No. 5) and “most athletic guys” (No. 8). We might note that some stellar GPAs and a Rhodes Scholarship have been known to be part of the mix here.
The Alumni Factor
New to the rankings compendia is The Alumni Factor, which last year surveyed 42,000 college grads from across the country to quantify the college experience (intellectual, social, spiritual development), overall happiness with the school (including alumni giving), job opportunities, and financial success. Those put SCU as the No. 3 Jesuit university in the country and No. 43 out of 177 schools listed. Their takeaway: SCU is “an excellent school that is emerging on the national scene and will rapidly grow in popularity and notoriety.”
Forbes and U.S. News
Santa Clara is once again the No. 2 master’s university in the West on the U.S. News & World Report list. A big jump comes for the undergrad engineering program, lauded as No. 14 in the country. Forbes Magazine puts SCU at No. 72 among top universities nationally. They rate, among other factors, postgraduate success, student satisfaction, and four-year graduation rate. Eighty percent of SCU students graduate within four years, well above the national graduation rate of 53 percent.