Claremont McKenna and the Real Princeton Review Rankings

What is your self-worth?  Princeton Review has just released their 2010 edition college rankings and CMC has done well, yet again.  In parentheses are the changes from last year: #16 Best Campus Food (+1) #7 Best Career Services (-5) #11 Dorms Like Palaces (no change) #3 Happiest Students (+1) #15 Lots of Race/Class Interaction (+3) #11 Most Popular Study Abroad Program (not ranked last year) #10 Most Politically Active Students (+1) #13 Professors Get High Marks (not ranked last year) #10 Most Accessible Professors (+1) #3 School Runs Like Butter (+2) #13 Great Financial Aid (-3) #1 Easiest Campus to Get Around (not ranked last year) #3 Best Quality of Life (+2)

And lastly, the ranking that CMC Public Affairs left off in their annual self-congratulatory mass e-mail... Lots of Beer #5 (+8)

You can bet your Icehouse keg that President Gann is getting angry phone calls from alumni and parents about that one.  It's not surprising that Public Affairs left it out in the e-mail, but it is strange that the e-mail is from "Public Affairs Office," as if someone (Richard Rodner?) doesn't want to stand behind it.Picture 4

Anyway, expect to see some backlash against ASCMC in the form of increased security at parties, RA narc-ing, and difficulty when registering kegs.  In addition, Dean of Students will get some heat, and Trustee committee meetings will dwell on the issue for far too long.  Last year I wrote a post on the topic of beer at CMC, but it goes without saying that this ranking is based on widely-held misconceptions about CMC parties.  (On a side note, Preston Waserman '11 thinks we can do better: "I really think with the right attitude we can get to top three," Waserman said in his most recent Twitter.)

As for the rankings as a whole, they seem to indicate that not only did we drink more, but we admitted three or four more minorities and international students, got rejected from lots of jobs, fired a housing coordinator, and had slightly better weather.  Not a bad year.

Overall, I would say that Princeton Review does a good job of ranking the Claremont Colleges within the Claremont Colleges.  Yes, CMCers might drink more than Pitzer and the other 5Cs, but we're pretty comparable to Pomona and pale in comparison to most state schools.  And yes, Pitzer has lot more "Birkenstock-Wearing, Tree-Hugging, Clove-Smoking Vegetarians" who happen to smoke pot than the other 5Cs.  But I wouldn't say Harvey Mudd is truly among the least beautiful campuses in the country or that CMC's beer consumption per capita is anywhere close to that of some Ivy League schools.

Here's how the other 5Cs fared:

Scripps: #4 Dorms Like Palaces #4 Most Beautiful Campus #19 Easiest Campus to Get Around

Pomona: #14 Dorms Like Palaces #7 School Runs Like Butter #5 Great Financial Aid #13 Least Religious Students #1 Best Classroom Experience #19 Best Quality of Life

Pitzer: #10 Most Popular Study Abroad Program #12 Birkenstock-Wearing, Tree-Hugging, Clove-Smoking Vegetarians #19 Gay Community Accepted #7 Lots of Race/Class Interaction #14 Reefer Madness #11 Least Religious Students #11 Most Liberal Students

Harvey Mudd: #7 Least Beautiful Campus #17 Intercollegiate Sports Unpopular or Nonexistent #15 Professors Get High Marks #12 Most Accessible Professors #18 Students Study the Most