Earlier this month, the Wall Street Journal published its 2024 list of Best Colleges in the U.S. The Journal, which has been ranking schools since 2016, compiled a list of 400 accredited, nonprofit universities, and placed the University of Connecticut at number 46.
UConn’s 2024 ranking comes as a surprise to many, as the Journal’s previous list placed it at number 103, meaning the university jumped almost 60 spots in a single year. This most recent ranking has placed the University of Connecticut above many other reputable schools, including NYU, UC Berkeley, and even the Ivy League Brown University, which scored a whole 21 points lower on the Journal’s list.
Since the ranking’s publication, UConn’s place in the top 50 has stirred serious conversation, both outside of and within the school’s community. Dr. Alvaro Lozano-Robledo, a UConn professor of mathematics, even posted a video to his personal TikTok account voicing his own confusion at the list’s results.
Though the professor praised UConn as a great institution, and one where students certainly receive a quality education, he admits to being perplexed by UConn’s place above other reputable schools such as Brown University and UCLA. Dr. Lozano-Robledo’s opening line of “What is the Wall Street Journal smoking?” echoes a reaction from many across the country, who are perhaps used to overlooking UConn when it comes to college rankings.
The reason for UConn’s bounding leap upward on the list of America’s best schools, may be due to the Wall Street Journal’s recent amendment of its ranking criteria. For this year’s Best Colleges list, the Journal focused mostly on a school’s “student outcomes.” How likely would a student be to graduate on time attending that university; and how will attending that university improve the salaries they are set to earn upon graduating. A school’s ability to meet these criteria made up 70 percent of their overall score. Learning opportunities offered, overall quality of teaching and student satisfaction made up another 20 percent, and a school’s overall diversity, in both the makeup of their student body and the opportunities available for multicultural interaction, made up the remaining 10.
Though UConn’s rise in university rankings may have come as a surprise, the university has pulled off its fair share of upsets in the past, and hopefully this newfound national attention will encourage UConn and its students into the future.