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MIT ranked sixth in US News listing

By Dave Watt

MIT ranked behind the California Institute of Technology for the second year in a row in the annual rankings of universities published last week by US News and World Report. Harvard University, which led the rankings for the second year in a row, was followed by Yale University, Stanford University, Princeton University, the California Institute of Technology and MIT.

US News used many criteria to rank the universities, according to an article accompanying the rankings. These included SAT scores, admissions selectivity, spending per student, academic reputation, financial resources and student satisfaction. MIT tied with Harvard for first place in academic reputation, but lagged in faculty resources, where it was ranked 17th, and student satisfaction, ranked 15th. MIT also had the second-highest median SAT score of any university, at 1375. Caltech led the pack with a median SAT score of 1400.

Among the universities listed, MIT had the fourth-highest spending per student per year. Caltech led the spending list, at $106,611 per student per year; next was Johns Hopkins University ($74,750), followed by Stanford ($72,551) and MIT ($63,605). Harvard, with the highest overall ranking, spends $50,677 per student per year, which still ranks in the top 10 among national universities.

Jeanne Noda, the Caltech assistant vice president for student affairs, was not sure how US News arrived at their spending figure, but guessed that "we have a very small student body, [and] our endowment dollar goes much further with just 1800 students." The explanation in US News appeared to agree with this assessment, saying that the student spending figure reflected a school's educational and general expenditure per full-time student.

MIT, Harvard are lone

Boston-area schools listed

No other Boston-area universities ranked in the top 25 national universities. The University of California led among public universities, but was 16th overall among all national universities.

MIT was one of 204 schools categorized by US News as "national universities." According to the magazine, they were grouped together because "they offer a full range of baccalaureate programs, give a high priority to research and award the most PhDs each year."

The other universities and colleges in the survey were classified as national liberal arts colleges, regional colleges and universities, regional liberal arts colleges or specialized institutions. Comparisons were made only within categories.