You know it’s fall when cooler temperatures make the outdoors more user-friendly, leaves turn autumn colors, pumpkin spice lattes appear on coffee shop menus and … assorted university rankings and lists are announced.
In addition to Rice University’s No. 18 position among the top national universities in U.S. News and World Report’s “2016 Best Colleges,” Rice has been featured in a number of other recent rankings. Below is a sampling.
* Rice is one of the 25 healthiest colleges in the U.S., according to greatest.com, which “looked for schools that go above and beyond to create an environment where students have access to an array of healthy food, top-notch fitness facilities and robust medical and mental health services.”
* Rice is ranked the No. 1 best value school in Texas by NerdWallet and is the only private university that made the top 10. NerdWallet evaluated 36 universities and colleges in Texas by analyzing data on affordability, prestige, graduation rates, graduate salaries and student debt. The ranking notes that Rice students graduate with the least amount of debt in the top 10 schools, the student loan default rate is also the lowest and Rice graduates have the highest median salary a decade after completing their education.
* Rice is profiled in the Princeton Review’s “Colleges That Create Futures: 50 Schools That Launch Careers by Going Beyond the Classroom.” The schools featured in the book are listed alphabetically; criteria for selection included information about each school’s career center services, internship, externship, cooperative learning and collaborative research opportunities and student engagement in community service and study-abroad programs. Administrators and students were surveyed, and Princeton Review also interviewed some alumni and current faculty and administrators for the profile.
* Rice is No. 15 on a list of schools “responsible for the greatest advances in science,” according to the online news outlet Quartz, which ranked universities with the highest number of researchers who have been elected to the National Academy of Science, Engineering or Medicine.
* Money magazine ranks Rice No. 14 among its top colleges for 2015-16. Criteria included affordability (need-based and merit aid and how much students and parents borrow), student outcomes, such as alumni earnings, and average length of time it takes to graduate. Schools received value-added points for students who perform better than expected based on their economic and academic backgrounds.
* The U.S. Department of Education’s list of “23 four-year schools with low costs that lead to high incomes” includes Rice. The alphabetical list features schools in the top 10 percent of predominantly four-year-degree-granting schools that have median positive earnings 10 years after beginning at the school and a low net price for students receiving federal grants or loans with a family income of $48,000 or less.
* Rice is tied for No. 18 on Business Insider Singapore’s list of the 50 best private colleges in America. The ranking combines more than 1,000 Business Insider readers’ selection of colleges that best prepare their students for success after graduation with SAT scores from College Board and median starting salaries from Payscale. Business Insider also did a separate ranking of schools with 5,000 or fewer undergraduates, and Rice is No. 5 on the list of 44 best small colleges in America.
* Rice is No. 84 among the top 500 universities in the 2015 Academic Ranking of World Universities by the Center for World-Class Universities at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. These rankings are based on the number of alumni and staff winning Nobel Prizes and Fields Medals, the number of highly cited researchers selected by Thomson Reuters, the number of articles published in Nature and Science, the number of articles indexed in Science Citation Index — Expanded and Social Sciences Citation Index and the university’s per capita performance.
* Rice is No. 27 on College Factual’s 2016 list of best colleges nationwide. These rankings are outcomes-based and do not incorporate subjective survey data. College Factual, which partners with USA Today and Wall Street Journal Asia, compares the quality of education at both research universities and liberal arts colleges in one list. (Eight Rice majors are in the top 20 in College Factual’s 2015 rankings of U.S. undergraduate degree programs, which were announced in June.)
* Rice is among the 21 medium-sized schools (3,000-9,999 undergraduate students) that contributed the greatest number of alumni to Teach for America’s 2015 teaching corps. Rice and two other schools each had 15 alumni.
* Rice is among the top 50 “cool schools 2015” on Sierra magazine’s list of 153 schools. Rice’s No. 49 ranking is based on a survey of the university’s sustainability practices and includes measurements of energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions.