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I would say...
I don't know how to compare Tufts to the other schools so I just didn't include them.
Ranking quoted above is clearly the WORST ranking posted so far... Wesleyan and Tufts over Middlebury and Bowdoin? Bowdoin tied with Bates? Please.
A real ranking
Just to justify some choices that might not be particularly popular- Bowdoin and Middlebury are very close, but Midd's recent popularity is a bit fad-y and Bowdoin's sciences are much stronger. Bates is criminally underrated, I agree they have a $hit campus and a $hit town, probably also a more boring school socially than any of the others on this list, but as an academic institution they are excellant. Tufts over Wesleyan is a bit arbitrary but... Wesleyan is a weird place.
|Williams has a teddy bear|
Tier 1 (not much debate here - super elite on par with Stanford, Penn, etc.):
Tier 2 (top schools, not as elite as Willams/Amherst):
Tufts (an outlier due to size)
Tier 3 (excellent schools too, easier to get into - Wesleyan might belong in Tier 2):
Tier 4 (Solid, but not academically elite/difficult to get in to):
I think these are decent rankings. I'm basing most of this off of reputation and where my HS counselor told me I would get in easily vs a longer shot. I think Williams/Amherst are in a league of their own and then Tufts/Bowdoin/Midd/maybe Wes. Tufts has a lot of idiots, but they're also the one on the list with a competitive engineering school (which, full disclosure, I'm part of) so I think that keeps them solidly to tier 2.
|former nescac runner|
Mostly agree with OnPoint's assesment with the addition that Tufts probably doesn't deserve to be with Midd/Bowdoin/Wesleyan. Tufts is in an awkward situation because it is also better than Bates and Colby. Also why does everyone rank Williams ahead of Amherst? Amherst is harder to get into and has a lower proportion of athletes.
clearly bowdoin over midd. bowdoin has higher endowment despite smaller student body, more clearly strong programs with gov, bio, chem, neuro vs only english, foreign languages, less grade inflation, higher grad placement according to wsj, and is slightly more competitive to get into. trinity and conn are the worst of them just preppy party schools. hamilton is ok if you don't care about science.
The Williams that I went to was second only to Dartmouth in alcoholics graduated, so I will not accept the notion that Williams is second tier in drinking. In athletics, Williams is dominant as well. As for academics, there's not a dime's worth of difference between all these schools. Essentially the same professors from the same graduate schools with the same publications in the same journals, the same quality students, and the same facilities. You can magnify whatever slight differences in test scores and grades and endowments that there are but none of these things measure academic quality precisely enough to overcome these tiny differences. If you do want to fetishize them, then it's Williams #1 every year.
Here's the best ranking based on SAT, top 10% of class, selectivity, endowment, and freshmen retention. Happens to correspond with US News and World Report rankings. The pairs are basically indistinguishable:
Amherst & Williams
Bowdoin & Middlebury
Wesleyan & Hamilton
Bates & Colby
Trinity & Connecticut College
I don't include Tufts because it's a different animal than the rest. My order of campus preference:
Trinity (campus great, neighborhood terrible)
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