Did Your School Make The Cut? Here Are The 50 'Smartest Colleges In America'

by Robert Gordon

The smartest students in the United States may not be at the most prestigious university, according to new data.

If we’re made to believe data released by memory and attention stimulating game creator Lumosity, Washington University in St. Louis has the smartest student body, topping the site’s “smartest colleges in America” list.

MIT came in second, with Princeton University, Northwestern University and Carnegie Mellon University rounding out the top five, respectively.

Here’s the top 50 in its entirety:

1. Washington University in St Louis

2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

3. Princeton University

4. Northwestern University

5. Carnegie Mellon University

6. University of Chicago

7. Rice University

8. Harvard University

9. Yale University

10. Dartmouth College

11. Tufts University

12. Stanford University

13. Georgetown University

13. University of Notre Dame

15. University of Virginia

16. Duke University

17. Bucknell University

17. Vanderbilt University

19. College of William and Mary

19. Boston College

21. Bowdoin College

22. Johns Hopkins University

23. Cornell University

23. University of California-San Diego

23. Georgia Institute of Technology

26. Columbia University

27. Worcester Polytechnic Institute

28. Boston University

29. Wheaton College

30. Case Western Reserve University

31. Trinity College

31. University of California-Berkeley

31. University of Southern California

34. University of Pennsylvania

34. Brown University

36. Washington and Lee University

36. Colorado School of Mines

38. Lafayette College

38. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

40. University of the Pacific

41. The College of New Jersey

41. Colgate University

43. University of Richmond

44. Brandeis University

44. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

46. Bethel University

47. Villanova University

47. The University of Texas at Austin

49. Oberlin College

49. Lehigh University

The list has a few notable omissions, particularly Swarthmore College, Amherst College and William College, all extremely prestigious institutions.

So how did Lumosity come up with this list? Here’s how VentureBeat broke it down:

“Lumosity creates brain-training exercises and since 2007 has amassed the world’s largest and continuously growing dataset of human cognitive performance, made up of 1.2 billion data points from its 50 million users. This particular study examined game play data from 72,388 college students who played Lumosity games that challenge five cognitive areas: memory, processing speed, flexibility, attention, and problem solving.”

Harvard University and Stanford University fell significantly this year, to eighth and 12th after finishing second and third last year, respectively.

Is there something to be said about Lumosity’s college rankings, or are they inaccurate?

“College rankings typically rely on standardized test scores and GPA — what’s unique about our college rankings is that we are able to measure a sample of a student population’s core cognitive abilities, which are important underlying factors that allow you to function in your everyday life,” said Lumosity data scientist Daniel Sternberg, PhD.

Maybe the students at the unnamed institutions were just spending their time doing things other than playing games on Lumosity.

Via  Lumosity/Venture Beat, Photo credit: College via Shutter Shock