What if you rank colleges not by SAT scores or selectivity, but by how many admitted students actually decide to go there?
That's the premise behind the 2014 Parchment Student Choice College Rankings, released this week and based entirely on which college a student chooses to attend among the schools where they are admitted.
Few surprises in the top five: Stanford comes out number one, followed by MIT, Harvard, Princeton, and Duke. But California's Harvey Mudd College came in eighth, ahead of Brown University. And Haverford College in Pennsylvania, at 17th, edged out Swarthmore and Tufts.
"The Parchment 2014 Student Choice Rankings is calculated from over 250,000 student decisions," the company said in a press release. "And students offered additional insight into the real reasons that drive preferences and choices, including proximity to home; overall reputation, reputation related to the student’s major; curriculum and honors programs; cost, scholarship and financial aid options; institution size; connection to family and friends; and nice campus and facilities."
See the whole list here.