A Wall Street Journal ranking of higher education institutions has placed Widener University in its top 10 list of best Philadelphia-area colleges.
The newspaper published a rankings report this fall that narrowed the nation’s more than 4,700 schools down to the 500 best, based on a host of criteria that included engagement, resources and career preparation. It processed its data more extensively this month, announcing the top-10 Philadelphia area schools.
Widener University was ranked ninth on the list of Philadelphia-area schools, and 252 out of the national pool of top 500 schools.
The newspaper undertook the rankings project in collaboration with Times Higher Education, a business entity once owned by News Corp, parent of Dow Jones & Co., which owns the Wall Street Journal.
Rankings were based on four categories: school resources, engagement, outcomes and environment. The analysis included a survey of 100,000 college students as well as an examination of things like student-to-faculty ratios, costs, salaries 10 years after entering the school and more.
In addition to the rankings, the newspaper gave Widener a score of 8.7 out of 10 on a question that asked students whether their Widener education will prepare them for their careers.
The results are similar to outcomes Widener has seen on other national surveys, including the National Survey of Student Engagement published last year. It showed 90 percent of Widener seniors rated their overall Widener experience as “excellent” or “good.” Widener students’ satisfaction with their education is also six percentage points higher than the norm at four-year private colleges and universities in the eastern region of the United States, based on results of the Noel Levitz Student Satisfaction Inventory from this year. And Payscale has ranked Widener among the top 20 percent of universities nationwide on the basis of alumni median salary.
“I am delighted to see Widener included on this list of Top 10 schools in the Philadelphia area, particularly since, with roughly 100 schools, it is one of the most competitive higher education markets in the United States,” Widener President Julie E. Wollman said. “It is gratifying to see such a distinguished news organization recognize us as a best choice. Widener offers an outstanding academic experience, with close personal attention, a multitude of opportunities for hands-on learning and leadership development.”