Study ranks BU alumni ninth most conservative

By Linda Nguyen

Staff Writer

You don’t have to be a math major to realize the impact of these numbers.

According to The Alumni Factor, an organization that ranks universities based on alumni success and input, Baylor alumni rank as the ninth most conservative in the nation among colleges.

The Alumni Factor is also the name of the organization’s new book and website.

The Alumni Factor is a new book with accompanying website, “We rank colleges based on outcomes — how well alumni do in their careers and life,” said Barry Wanger, head of media relations for The Alumni Factor.

Wanger said The Alumni Factor looks at tens of thousands of alumni from the top 177 colleges, or the top 7 percent of universities.

Alumni are randomly selected ,and the surveys are conducted using a variety of approaches.

The survey asks the alumni 50 questions total.

Thirty are about factors like intellectual development and overall happiness. Wanger said participants were also asked 20 questions about social and political issues, which were used in determining where various colleges fell on the political spectrum.

Wanger said Baylor ranked among the top 25 most conservative in various social issues like;

disagreement with abortion: 3

disagreeing with affirmative action: 13

viewing capital punishment as positive: 15

This research lead to Baylor alumni’s overall ranking as ninth most conservative.

Baylor received other high scores.

“In areas that Baylor ranked high in, Baylor ranked 18 under spiritual development, 44th in immediate job opportunities (jobs after graduation) and in overall happiness: 25th,” Wanger said.

Wanger said Baylor also ranked 83 in college experience, which comprises intellectual, spiritual and social development.

Other numbers were not so positive.

“Some of the areas that Baylor was not as good in overall assessments were;

value for their money: 133

if they would personally choose the college again: 132

would you recommend the university to your friends: 161,” Wanger said.

Wanger said what makes The Alumni Factor’s survey unbiased is that alumni didn’t know they were being surveyed in order to rank their former universities.

“It’s very difficult for colleges to find out independently how their alumni feel about their school,” Wanger said. “When they’re surveying alumni, it’s already biased. When we did the survey, we were independently asking them the questions. They were under the impression we were doing a survey about social and political issues and not ranking colleges.”

Wanger said The Alumni Factor is unique because it is the first of its kind to look at how well graduates at the universities do in life post-graduation.

“A lot of other ranking books do their rankings based on reputation,” Wanger said. “This is the first book about who comes out of the universities.”

The main purpose of the book, Wagner said, is to help prospective students identify colleges when they’re making the choice to attend a school.

Cassidy Lawson, spokesperson for The Alumni Factor, said rankings sometimes measure everything but the actual school and its graduates, but it’s important to know how colleges fall on various issues.

“How do the students and parents choose a college that will be valuable to them post-college?” Lawson said. “Are they going to make friends? Are they going to be happy? That was the basis of the survey, for parents and students to make unbiased decisions.”