September 2, 2008

2008 Dishonor Roll

Radar magazine has released its ranking of the worst colleges in the U.S. Among other things, this allows readers to feel smug about their college choices. I mean, what are the odds that one’s alma mater will be singled out for humiliation?

Oops, San Diego State University —MY alma mater— apparently has the “Most Degenerate Student Body." And SDSU’s graduation rate is only 17%? I’m going to be ill. An Aztec graduate comments: “SDSU is just a place to spend those magical seven years that fall between high school and your first job at the warehouse.”

Humph. Sure, it took me seven years to graduate. But it would have been EIGHT, except I took 35 units my last semester. And after getting my very useful English degree, I worked at a FACTORY, not a warehouse. So there!
(That's SDSU's beloved mascot, Monty Montezuma, pictured above, BTW.)

Radar did take into account statistics, but also ominously added criteria like “rock-bottom admissions standards, unbridled alcohol and drug consumption, rampant criminal activity, and dubious alumni.” The latter led to Portland’s Reed College getting an Honorable Mention as Most Insufferable:
Known for its “French-cafĂ©-know-it-all” culture, Reed churns out...smug, self-righteous bombasts.... Notes one..., “Everyone I've ever met that goes or went to Reed is either full of themselves or full of [baloney.]”
Other dishonorable awards include Ugliest Campus (Drexel, left), Most Intolerant (University of Mississippi), and, of course, the Worst College in America: The University of Bridgeport. It not only boasts a toxic beachfront, UB is also surrounded by the kind of high crime neighborhoods that make USC’s environs look like Mayberry. (USC was deemed Most Superficial.)

But I get no joy from this news. My heart is poisoned. A 17% graduation rate!? My advice to potential Aztec undergrads: Humboldt State University is as far away from San Diego as you can get and still be in California. Road trip!

On Sept. 16th, SDSU sent news that the university is world class and cutting edge. Though it's unquantifiable, the press release includes among its "recent accolades":
  • Our world class faculty continue to take on some of our nation's most pressing challenges including climate change and improving urban education.

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