Archived post

This is an archived post. Please click here to see the latest entries.

« Yet Another Diversity Bureaucrat | Home | The Indian Symbol’s Long History »

Grateful Grads Index: Small Schools Rule

Even as Phil seeks to increase the number of undergraduates by 10-25%, additional information confirms that the experience of students at smaller schools binds them more closely to their almae matres. Forbes Magazine’s Grateful Grads Index (GGI) puts the College on top, ahead of even Princeton and a host of other friendly, small schools. Here’s how the index is calculated:

This metric ranks private not-for-profit colleges with more than 1,000 students by analyzing two important variables: median private donations and gifts per student over 10 years, as reported to the Department of Education; and the Alumni Participation Rate, or the percentage of graduates that give back in the form of donations to their colleges each year— regardless of the dollar amount. This measure, from the Council for Aid To Education, is averaged over 3 years… The private donation per student figure gets a 75% weighting in our index and the alumni participation percentage gets a 25% weighting.

Forbes 2017 GG index.jpg

The GGI is a measure of the enduring impact institutions of higher learning have had during the lives of their living alumni. It sure looks like the College has had a winning strategy over the past 50-60 years. The next Ivies after Princeton to appear on the list are Yale (#14) and Brown (#16). They are, after Dartmouth and Princeton, the third and fourth smallest Ivies respectively. Funny how that works, isn’t it? The four Ivies with the largest undergraduate enrolment are further down the list: Penn (#20); Harvard (#26), Cornell (#38) and Columbia (#52). What can I say? Small is beautiful.

That said, the data that is the basis of the College’s #1 ranking seems suspect. Look at U.S. News’ information on alumni giving:

U.S. News Alumni Giving.jpg

By these numbers, Princeton would beat us handily. In fact, the U.S. News numbers for Williams, Bowdoin, Davidson and Wellesley, too, are all quite different from the figures used by Forbes.

But there is no need today to belabor discrepancies in the data. The takeaway is that smaller schools give their students a special experience that both educates them and bonds them to their alma mater in ways that large schools cannot match. Alumni can then go out into the world armed with special skills, and they accomplish great things. Phil’s alternative is to dumb down the undergraduate experience (which is what will happen if we grow larger, no matter what he says), and then try to recruit distant researchers to the faculty who will, er, maybe, accomplish great things.

I’m not betting on Phil to get this one right.


Featured posts

  • August 14, 2013
    Breaking: Of Crips and Bloods and Memories of Ghetto Parties
    History repeats itself, first as tragedy and then as farce, or sometimes it just repeats itself. From the New York Times on November 30, 1998: At Dartmouth College, white students at a ”ghetto party” dressed…
  • June 25, 2013
    Dean of the College Charlotte Johnson’s War on Students Part (2/2)
    Part 1, Part 2 Today’s post again recounts the events that befell the Freshman. However, the content of the Hanover Police department report reproduced in this space yesterday is supplemented by information from my own…
  • October 18, 2009
    When Love Beckoned in 52nd Street
    We were at San Francisco’s BIX last evening, enjoying prosecco, cheese, and a bit of music. A full year of inhabitation in Northern California has unraveled to me no decent venue for proper lounging, but…
  • October 9, 2009
    D Afraid of a Little Competish
    So our colleague and Dartblog writer Joe Asch informed me that the D has rejected our cunning advertising campaign. Uh-oh. The Dartmouth is widely known as a breeding ground for instant New York Times successes,…
  • September 4, 2009
    How Regents Should Reign
    As Dartmouth alumni proceed through the legal hoops necessary to defuse a Board-packing plan—which put in unhappy desuetude an historic 1891 Agreement between alumni and the College guaranteeing a half-democratically-elected Board of Trustees—it strikes one…
  • August 29, 2009
    Election Reform Study Committee
    If you are an alum of the College on the Hill, you may have received a number of e-mails of late beseeching your input for a new arm of the College’s Alumni Control Apparatus called…

Dartblog Specials

Subscribe by Email

Enter your email address:

Help, Pecuniarily

Please note

This website reflects the personal opinions of its authors. Any e-mails received may be published along with the full name of the sender. If you wish otherwise, please say so.

All content appearing at should be presumed copyright 2004-2018 its respective bylined author unless otherwise noted or unless linked to original source.




June 2018
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30