While sitting at my desk, putting the final touches on this issue, I was momentarily distracted by the following Associated Press tweet:
@AP: College students name Syracuse University as the No. 1 party school in Princeton Review rankings.
The tweet included a link to the rankings so, with a click of my mouse, off I went to The Princeton Review website. Their ranking approach is different than most. Rather than having an overall “Best Colleges” category, they rank the top 20 schools in 62 different topics, based on surveys of 130,000 students attending 379 colleges. Categories include everything from “Party Schools” to “Least Happy Students” to “Best Science Lab Facilities” to “This is a Library?”
For me, a parent of a current Carnegie Mellon undergraduate, I was relieved that CMU didn’t make the top 20 rankings for “Party Schools” (not that I was really worried).Actually, I first turned to where “Students Study the Most.” It’s not that I’m a party pooper, but in my opinion undergraduate years should be, first and foremost, about acquiring knowledge. I was pleased to find CMU was #14 in the studying category, ranking ahead of every Ivy League school except #10 Princeton. (The only other members of the Ivy League to make this top 20 were #15 Harvard and #17 Cornell.)
CMU’s studious reputation certainly isn’t hurting its popularity. In this year’s incoming class, there were nearly 20,000 applicants for approximately 1,500 freshmen spots. Although those numbers are indeed impressive, they don’t provide a glimpse of the human side to the story. To illustrate what I mean, I did a search of tweets that mentioned “Carnegie Mellon” since the last issue. Here is a sampling of what I uncovered:
@itsdevikaaa: OMG OMG CARNEGIE MELLON EMAILED ME OMG OMG YES
@PaigeProctor: Carnegie Mellon=dream school
@kristenhofmann: Meeting and talking to people from Carnegie Mellon is getting me so excited for next year
@AllTheShkils_33: Still, after a year, people at Carnegie Mellon never cease to amaze me.
@eliz_axtell: Seriously falling in love with Carnegie Mellon.
@hannahshea06: Getting my Carnegie Mellon acceptance aka the best day of my life I cannot wait for school…
@NiagSARAH_falls: Note to self: do not wear a Carnegie Mellon T-shirt unless you go to that school. People will expect you to be smart.
@Kelly_Germain: Carnegie Mellon
@LilDizz: Damn man, Carnegie Mellon is awesome.
@_ratchet_rach ikr: When I visited Carnegie Mellon, I actually teared up because I was so overwhelmed.
The pages ahead help show why CMU is so revered. Take the work of alumnus David Simmons. He is paving the way for breakthroughs in life-saving drugs (“Clinical Performance”). That’s just an example of the issue’s many enlightening stories involving a wide array of disciplines. Each one should make for good conversation at your next party.
Follow on Twitter @RobertMendelson