5 local colleges named to Wall Street Journal’s best colleges list

BROWN UNIVERSITY was ranked No. 67 in Wall Street Journal's
BROWN UNIVERSITY was ranked No. 67 in Wall Street Journal's "Best Colleges in the U.S." rankings for 2024. / COURTESY BROWN UNIVERSITY

PROVIDENCE – Five local colleges and universities, four of them based in Rhode Island, were among the 400 best higher education institutions across the U.S. according to the Wall Street Journal’s annual “Best Colleges in the U.S.” rankings.

The list, which published Wednesday, was compiled by the national newspaper along with its research partners College Pulse and Statista. The Journal says this year’s list focused more on graduation rates and graduate salaries, and no longer rewarding colleges’ instructional spending and surveying academics on schools’ reputations.

“Critically, we now put greater emphasis on measuring the value added by colleges – not simply measuring their students’ success, but focusing on the contribution the college makes to that success,” the Journal said.

Brown University in Providence was ranked No. 67 in this year’s list, the highest ranking for a local institution, with an overall score of 77.2. The Ivy League college received scores of 80 and 71 for learning facilities and preparation for career, respectively, and a $57,811 value added to graduate salary.

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Bryant University in Smithfield was ranked No. 111 by the Journal with a 74.1 score. Bryant, like Brown, got an 80 score for learning facilities and a 75 score for preparation for career. The university’s value added to graduate salary was $59,490.

Providence College’s overall score of 72.2 placed it No. 135 of all ranked colleges and universities. PC’s value added to graduate salary was $49,628. Additionally, it netted a high learning facilities score of 83 and a 70 score for preparation for career.

Easton-based Stonehill College, the only Bristol County, Mass.-based college on this year’s list, was ranked No. 157 with a 69.7 overall score. Stonehill’s scores for learning facilities and preparation for career were 72 and 67, respectively, and had a $45,976 value added to graduate salary.

The University of Rhode Island – the lone local public university listed in the Journal’s rankings – got an overall score of 69.5, placing it No. 159. It had a $37,398 value added to graduate salary, a 78 score for learning facilities and a 71 score for preparation for career.

Princeton University was named the Journal’s top college for this year, followed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Yale University, Stanford University and Columbia University in the top five.

James Bessette is the PBN special projects editor, and also covers the nonprofit and education sectors. You may reach him at Bessette@PBN.com. You may also follow him on Twitter at @James_Bessette.

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