A Well-Being Ranking of U.S. Colleges: Enabling Students to Choose a Life of Flourishing and Encouraging Schools to Measure It

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Thesis or dissertation

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Well-being is related to and predictive of a whole host of positive outcomes. Despite well-being’s demonstrable downstream effects in domains such as education, health, and the workforce, it is not overtly taken into account in popular rankings of U.S. colleges. Research has demonstrated that these rankings not only impact the choices made by applicants, but also affect the strategic and financial decision made by the colleges themselves. Given well-being’s utility, the current state of college rankings, and the demonstrated impact of these publications, an opportunity exists to supplement the field with a well-being ranking of U.S. colleges. I propose a ranking methodology that leverages big data analyses, technology-based behavioral measures, and self-report questionnaires. It is my hope that such a college ranking would enable students to choose a life of flourishing and encourage schools to better support the well-being of their communities. What we measure matters: we pay attention to what we measure, we can evaluate the impact of what we measure, and we can improve what we measure. Well-being is worth paying attention to, evaluating, and improving.


college ranking, flourishing, well-being, positive education, well-being measurement


Achievement, Education


Literature Review

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Date Posted: 25 September 2018