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An Analysis of the US News Top 25 (Part 2 #1-13)

An Analysis of the US News Top 25 (Part 2 #1-13)

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U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT LOGOFive years ago Sherman Ave started on a project titled "A Tribute to the Fine Work of US News & World Report." We were fans and we wanted to write an article honoring their respected Top 25 rankings.  So, some of our writers began researching the history of US News--nothing too serious, just trying to get some background on this organization we admired so much.  It wasn't until we were 3 months into our project that we started to realize something wasn't right; that their "algorithm" didn't quite add up.  So we kept digging, and we didn't like what we found out about our former idols. Now, 5 years in, after taking on countless US News ninja strike teams, after having had to cut ties with every person we ever cared for to keep them safe, after plunging to the deepest depths of American news media,  we have found the truth.  Here is part 2 of our trip down the rabbit hole; where we tell you who really does and does not deserve their US News & World Report ranking. (Part 1 here)

  1. [expand title="Northwestern University" excerpt='northwestern logo']  Ah, Northwestern. The good ol’ NU. We won’t crack the top 10 in our lifetime, but hey, we don’t stop trying. How cute! But really, Northwestern, we would be more prestigious if we were just named after an actual person and not a general direction. Yea, yea, yea, there’s North West, but c’mon. Our biggest claim to fame is that Stephen Colbert spent two years of his life in this godforsaken birthplace of the temperance movement.   Don’t give me any of that “Heavanston” shit. Some of us still have memories of the Keg, okay?   So while you’re working your ass off to finish that problem set in Tech, staging an original play or investigating serious issues, just remember: our tuition rose 3.8 percent last year, but at least the students five years from now will have a nice athletics facility.   For all twelve of them who sport.   - Lady Keystone[/expand]

 

  1. [expand title="Johns Hopkins University" excerpt='johns hopkins']  Average ACT score: “1 per each player on the lacrosse field. So, 10? Whatever, the only 30s I’m into are NATTY BOHS!!!!”   Acceptance rate: 15% (100% for those from NYC, Jersey and Maryland)   Johns Hopkins University is known for its not-undergraduate medical school and its fully immersive East Asian experience, but mostly LAX. The affluent-white-people sport, not the Los Angeles airport, breh. At Hopkins, the “Baltimore Crab” is not just a provincial, sexually-transmitted disease, but also a method of picking up the lacrosse ball!* Neat! Hopkins has snuck into the coveted #12 spot because of the dedication of 2% of its student body, while the other 98% is responsible for maintaining it’s “gnar bro-iness” and Vineyard Vines Chiller attitude. Take away that 2% and Hop essentially becomes a poorly-located country club. A country club that, to get in, requires a mullet, or your dad’s Audi, or ONE THOUSAND pairs of khaki pants (all jeans for dudes will be burned at the door).   *According to a website dedicated to “Laxicon.” We should find their headquarters, and burn it to the ground.   - SHAZOOM![/expand]

 

  1. [expand title="Dartmouth College" excerpt='dartmouth']  The next in our long list of bullshit rankings is Dartmouth College coming in at number 11. A sprawling wasteland of J. Crew pastels and empty kegs nestled in Hanover, NH, Dartmouth is a Greek Life convention masquerading as an Ivy League school that doesn’t deserve to even touch the U.S. News top 25. Aside from its supposedly stellar academics, Dartmouth is best known for its odd academic calendar, its “wow you’re actually in division one, huh?” sports, and for having a fraternity chapter that made its pledges swim in a kiddie pool of pee, vomit, shit, and ejaculate (though Rolling Stone reported that last part, so honestly who the hell knows?). What pisses me off about Dartmouth the most though isn’t its preppiness or its abusive Greek houses. What really pisses me off the most about Dartmouth is that all of their majors are open to anyone without any sort of extra audition or transfer process, including, as their website emphasizes, the performing arts. Really Dartmouth? You’re ranked as the eleventh best school in the country but I can walk into your music building, moan into a reedless mouthpiece, and call myself a saxophone performance major? That type of shit may fly at Cornell, but come on. If you want to be in the top 25, then start acting like a real Ivy.   - L’Shawnatova Brown[/expand]

 

  1. [expand title="California Institute of Technology" excerpt='caltech']  Unlike its famous California peers, Cal Tech isn’t designed to handle the recognition of a top ten ranking. On the contrary, Cal Tech provides shelter for a student body which spent ages 13-17 stuffed into lockers. In this admissions video, two undergrads boast about something called “Ditch Day.” On this day, seniors skip class and leave behind a well-planned series of “awesome” pranks for underclassmen. You know, just to see what it would have been like to be with the cool seniors who did that in high school.   Listen, the research which happens at Cal Tech is undoubtedly useful, but it’s not like the masses are flocking to U.S. News because they know about Tech’s melatonin studies. Cal Tech just can’t match the name-recognition, the flair, or the je n’ ai pais of its top ten companions. Research in science and engineering is important, but not in a sexy kind of way. The best move for Cal Tech is to make like the Illuminati and continue controlling our technology from behind closed doors, and from a much lower ranking.   - Scurvy Jacobson[/expand]

 

  1. (tie) [expand title="University of Pennsylvania" excerpt='upenn']  University of Pennsylvania is ranked number 8 on US News because Benjamin Franklin built it using nothing but 8 pairs of bifocals, his bare hands, and a rocking chair. Only open to volunteer firefighters, UPenn is perhaps best known for its Wharton School of Business. Most notable alumni from Wharton include billionaire porn distributing brothers Mike and Ike Jacobs, and of course Joseph Friedman, inventor of Mike and Ikes. Second to UPenn’s world class business program is its highly renowned film studies major, taught by founding father Thomas Jefferson himself. This rigorous Ivy League program offers an in depth analysis of famous Philadelphia films including Rocky; end of list. The school is one of the oldest and most prestigious in the country, so old in fact that Jesus Christ attended the university before dropping out to pursue carpentry. UPenn does not accept the Common Application. Applications are only accepted on parchment and must be delivered to the University of Pennsylvania Office of Admissions via the Mayflower.   - Egg[/expand]

 

  1. (tie) [expand title="Duke University" excerpt='duke']  Duke University is located in Durham (pronounced “Derm” but not because all the students’ tongues have most definitely been warped from satanic chanting rituals), North Carolina. Duke is best known for its lovely cherry blossoms and basketball team the Blue Dev(HELP ME)ils . In fact, students are so invested in the success of the basketball team they sleep in tents for weeks on end in the winter months of “Derm” to get seats to the biggest game of the season. They do this because they, of course, did not sell their souls to the Angel of Darkness. This huge game is played against the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Tar Heels and absolutely is not actually an epic battle to win the souls of all of humanity. Also, just to clarify, the center of the basketball court does not open up to be the mouth of a giant fire breathing kraken.   Duke does deserve their ranking as the 8th best university in the country, but not because it has successfully brainwashed the world into thinking they most certainly are not using their students as human batteries to power the slashing power of Death’s mighty scythe.   GO BL(Please. I’m begging you.)UE DE(Please. I’ll do anything. PLEASE. HE’S COMING.)ILS!!!   - Jenny Talia[/expand]

 

  1. [expand title="MIT (Acronym Unknown)" excerpt='mit']  Coming in at #7 is MIT, a university shrouded in the mystery of both origin and acronym.  Little is known about the beginnings of this elite technical school, as there have been accounts ranging from stories of the school materializing one foggy night in 1972 to ancient pilgrim legends tracing MIT’s roots back to 900 BC.  The mystery behind what the letters MIT stand for is even more shadowy, though the leading hypothesis currently holds that it is not an acronym at all but an undecipherable code that points to the final resting place of the long lost Boston diamond, stolen by John Adams himself more than twenty years ago.   The university itself is known for top-flite science and engineering education, but it also “offers” “elite” humanities programs.  One could say it deserves a higher ranking than #7, but what does it really mean to deserve anything in this age of entitled millennials? Be happy with what you’ve got, MIT.  Some people have to make do with being #13 when they’re easily top 10.   - Walter Klondike™[/expand]

 

  1. (tie) [expand title="University of Chicago" excerpt='uchicago']  The University of Chicago does not deserve the ranking it has been #blessed with. UChicago is not like other schools. While on tour last week, high school junior Brandon Fieldstone reported, “The library looked like Hogwarts.” A little TOO much like Hogwarts if you ask me. MAGIC. And when you think about it, the students have powers too! The ability to confuse people with large words, the gift of having enough money to do service trips to Peru that clutter their resumes so people don’t realize that they were not elected Presidents of the Chess club nor do they have any athletic capabilities whatsoever. MAGIC. The skill to put anybody into a deep sleep with just one single sentence!!!! Madness I tell you. Still don’t believe me? The Phoenix knows how to duel. That’s right. Just last year they sent an army to vandalize enemy territory… Northwestermort. MAGIC. They drew gang signs all over that campus, warning them of their strength. Are those the kind of students who deserve a top 25 ranking?   - Bootylicious S. Grant[/expand]

 

  1. (tie) [expand title="Stanford University" excerpt='stanford']  Listen now, I don’t go to Stanford. And I’m pretty sure that’s the reason I got dumped by my high school boyfriend. He applied to UPenn and got in early, I applied to Stanford and got rejected...and then he rejected me a month later too (okay maybe he was gay but like we didn’t know that for two more years it was definitely the Stanford thing).   But honestly, I will believe for as long as I live that Stanford University is a magical haven of dreams come true––a place where you don’t even pay tuition if your family earns less than $125,000 a year––but most of your friends are the children of billionaires anyways!   Everyone wants to go to Stanford. It’s beautiful, it’s top-notch and it’s got a hell of a football team for a school that sits in the nerdiest place in the nation. If you’re reading this sentence, you wish you could go to Stanford. Or maybe you speak six languages and finished calculus before high school and actually received admission to the most competitive school in the nation (No hyperbolez––this describes my only friend who attends Stanford).   Bottom line, Stanford doesn’t deserve this spot. It deserves to be #1 through infinity and forever and ever.   But the U.S. News & World Report people are butt-hurt that they didn’t get in, so Stanford’s stuck at #4.  Not like they care.   - Lady Keystone[/expand]

 

  1. (tie) [expand title="Columbia University" excerpt='columbia']  According to colleges.niche.com, the worst thing about going to Columbia is “Coming home to high school friends who haven’t had nearly as interesting a year as you have.” I think there is a compelling argument to be made that the worst thing about going to Columbia is being surrounded by pretentious fucks who spend 4 years perpetuating the gentrification of Upper Manhattan and then fall under the impression that they understand something you don’t.   Does Columbia deserve its ranking? Absolutely yes: a phrase not uttered by Columbia admissions officers since 1974. Any school with a reputation for such vicious rejection has definitely secured itself a place in academia.   - Ladysmith Black-Tar-Heroin M’baso[/expand]

 

  1. [expand title="Yale University" excerpt='yale']  Much like the vegetable starting with K that rhymes with it, Yale is a pretentious fuckboy that uses big words to compensate for its general blandness and lack of substance. And, let’s face it, they probably both became cool when some wealthy stay-at-home mom stumbled upon it and decided to bring it up in conversation at Book Club to make up for the fact that her son didn’t get into Harvard (“Oh but he always wanted Yaaaale. Yale is really the new Harvard”)/she didn’t know what quinoa was last week (“Oh you haven’t tried kaaale? Where have you beeeeen? It’s the new seared wagyu”).   In response to the question of whether or not Yale deserved its position as #3 on the U.S. News and World Report rankings, a not bitter Weinberg Sophomore who wishes to remain anonymous said, “I have no clue why Yale got 3rd! I would never want to be there! I definitely was not interested in their fun residential colleges or in love with New Haven! I feel like I'm getting just as good an education, if not better, at Northwestern!” You keep telling yourself that, kid.   - Xenonia Diamondfarts[/expand]

 

  1. [expand title="Harvard University" excerpt='Harvard']  Listen, I’m not here to talk about Harvard. You already know most of the things you need to know about Harvard. Yeah, it’s on this list. Of fucking course it’s on this list. Harvard’s dean would probably Seppuku himself on the gold-leaf dome of Boston City Hall if Harvard wasn’t poking its Ivy-wreathed little head around the top of this list.   What I’m here to talk about is the tiny little gem that sits right in the dappled shadows of Harvard’s gleaming buildings: Cardullo’s Gourmet Shoppe. Located right in Harvard Square, Cardullo’s is a food-lover’s paradise, from its huge collection of imported foods, goods and candies to its kickass made-to-order sandwich shop right inside the store.   When I’m in Cambridge, I almost never go to Harvard, because I find it unnerving that so many tourists wear Harvard sweatshirts ON the Harvard campus like they hope that maybe if they camouflage themselves well enough, the school will kind of just let them leave their child there. I do, however, always make a point of going to Cardullo’s. I get their Piedmont sandwich, which consists this amazing cured beef called Bresaola, capers, roasted red peppers and extra virgin olive oil on Ciabatta so fresh you should wash its mouth out with soap.   You’re asking what kind of ranking Harvard deserves? Fuck you, you KNOW what kind of ranking Harvard deserves. What you don’t know is that there’s a tiny little sandwich paradise located right around the corner. You’re welcome, asshole.   - Penis Philbin[/expand]

 

  1. [expand title="Princeton University" excerpt='princeton']  U.S. News flaunts Princeton like a mom flaunts her child without polio to a bunch of kids with polio. Perpetually in the top three, Princeton, America’s buttress of academic progress, constantly reminds people like you and me that we’re content with mediocrity. I don’t mind waking up and screaming, “I didn’t get in DAD” to the ceiling, and my therapist says you shouldn’t either. However, I do take offense to Princeton taking the “numero uno” slot in this ranking when their admissions system is inherently flawed.   Think back to 2004. Remember that movie with Lizzie McGuire and that really hot dude? She was this abused Cinderella, except not really because she went to an upper middle class, predominantly white high school and had access to basic human needs, education, etc. The hot guy wanted to go to Princeton and write angry poetry about his dad or something, so he quits football. And Lizzie McGuire was so supportive about it because she also wanted to go to Princeton, but her botox step-mom trashed her acceptance letter in easily one of the bitchiest moments of 2004. By the end, hot guy makes the logical decision to not dedicate his life to a future of hearing the joints in his knees creak when he arches over a toilet seat to pass a future kidney stone. She finds the letter, he gets into Princeton, and they both go—a happily-ever after by all standards.   Except how the fuck can I believe Lizzie McGuire and that hot guy got into Princeton? Is this your standard, Princeton? Working at a diner and being sad about an earthquake? Fuck Lizzie McGuire and her diner. I want to see her ACT score, resume, and PDF versions of every essay. And, am I supposed to believe hot guy was writing life-changing, visceral poetry? He texted Lizzie McGuire on what basically was 2004’s version of KIK under the alias “Nomad.” I know people who have written more poetic things in the “Additional Details” section of their GrubHub order. Princeton, I’m sure you love this movie, inspiring millions of young girls to throw their money and time to your application as you sit in your ivory tower beheading small birds and probably kids with polio. Down with Princeton, and down with this ranking.   - Felix Jortex[/expand]

 

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