Newsweek ranks U.Va. among best colleges

Newsweek released its rankings of the nation's best colleges last week, placing the University in seven of its 25 categories. The "Newsweek and The Daily Beast College Rankings" was based on data collected by the College Board, the National Center for Education Statistics, the Shanghai Ranking Consultancy, the Washington Monthly, the Sustainable Endowment Institute and directly from students.

In accordance with Newsweek's philosophy that "different schools are best for different types of students," the magazine lists the top 25 schools in a range of categories including Best Food, Best Weather and Accessible Professors. The University made appearances in the following categories: Athletic, Most Beautiful, Return on Investment, Computer Geeks, Horniest, Future Politicians and Future CEOs.

The University received its highest ranking in the Athletic category, placing 12th in the country. Newsweek rated schools based on four factors which included the "financial aid per athlete, athletes as a percentage of total undergraduate enrollment, operating expenses per athlete, and the ratio of athletic expenses to instructional expense," according to the Daily Beast, Newsweek magazine's online home. At the University, athletes make up 5.9 percent of undergraduate enrollment and athletic spending constitutes $0.21 per instructional dollar, Newsweek reported.

"I think U.Va. has a great athletics program," second-year College student Garry Baker said in response to the ranking. "There are definitely some sports we could improve in, but I'm proud to be a Wahoo."

Newsweek also ranked the University 14th on its "Most Beautiful" list.

First-year College student Andrew Miller was attracted to the University for "the look of the campus," he said. "It has that historical air to it." However, the ranking was given not only for the University's "eye-catching campus," but also for its "good looking students," according to The Daily Beast. Newsweek used the grades given by College Prowler to judge the attractiveness of a school's student body; the University's guys received the grade A+, and the girls were given an A.

For its "Return on Investment," the University received another ranking of 14th in the nation based on "money and quality of life," according to The Daily Beast.

Newsweek judged schools based on both's ranking of "colleges worth the investment" and the number of alumni who have made donations in the last year, as recorded by the Council for Aid to Education. 18.1 percent of alumni donated to the endowment last year, Newsweek reported.

"U.Va. is such a good school that whatever major, you're going to be prepared when you get out there [in the work force]," second-year Engineering student Cherie Magennis said.

The University placed 17th on the list of Computer Geeks.

"To divine which schools will most likely churn out the next Mark Zuckerburg or Steve Jobs (or which school future tech gods will drop out of), Newsweek looked at which schools have the best record of creating today's leaders in tech and which schools attract the most advanced computer-science geeks," the website reports.

For one of its atypical categories, Newsweek ranked "the 25 schools where students have the best odds of hooking up." The University was rated the 19th "Horniest" school in the nation by using College's Prowler's high grading for the attractiveness of students and its rating for "campus strictness." The University was also judged for its male to female ratio, collected from the National Center for Education Statistics. Extra credit was given to schools which were also on Playboy's best-party-school list for 2011, which the University was not. "I think because U.Va. has a reputation for drinking a lot, with drinking comes sex, and I think with the party scene comes the reputation of being highly sexual," Baker said.

The category "Future Politicians" rated the schools on the extent to which they "offer the greatest chance of success based on the alma maters of today's political heavyweights," Newsweek reports. The University was ranked No. 20 for having an alumnus become president of the United States and having six serve in Congress.

The University's was rated 21st, its lowest ranking, in "Future CEOs," based on producing successful business leaders from both its graduate and undergraduate programs.

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