Nine Worst Colleges in America

Yes, it’s another college ranking list, but this snarky / cheeky one really stands out. Radar Magazine Online recently put together a “semi-scientific guide to the most substandard schools in America.” Using a wide variety of sources, Radar took up the challenge of choosing which accredited 4-year colleges with physical campuses made the “dishonor roll.”

Worst Party School: (Tie) California State University-Chico; San Diego State University
Illustrious Alumni: Chico lays claim to good-time-guy novelist Raymond Carver (who graduated elsewhere) and bare-knuckled political consultant Ed Rollins, while SDSU graduated disgraced former CIA executive director Kyle “Dusty” Foggo and oft-disrobed former C-movie actress Raquel Welch.

Worst Trust-Fund-Baby College: Bennington College (VT)
Notable Course: “SHHH! The Social Construction of Silence,” a class focused on breaking down the classification of silence as an absence of sound and “establishing it as a presence.” Or, the class where you sleep off your hangover.

Worst Ivy League University: Cornell University (NY)
School Pride: “I haven’t overheard a single intellectual conversation in three years, unless it was between Indian or Asian students,” writes an architecture major on Students Review.

Worst Christian University: Liberty University (VA)
School Pride: “The mountains and all are beautiful. It’s right near the Wal-Mart too,” writes a student on Campus Dirt.

Worst of the Big Ten: Michigan State University (East Lansing)
It’s not surprising this hard-drinking football school hasn’t made it to the Rose Bowl since 1988: Much of its student body seems to be in jail. Over 1,000 students were arrested for drug and alcohol offenses last year, along with another 1,224 perps in the crime-ridden city.

Worst Military Academy: Virginia Military Institute
VMI excluded women from its ranks until the U.S. Supreme Court forced the academy to admit female cadets in 1996.

Worst Women’s College: Texas Woman’s University
Notable Course: Cultural Perspectives of Personal Appearance.

The Worst College in America: University of Bridgeport (CT)
Fun Fact: At orientation, all incoming students are given a “personal alarm locator” that will send swarms of campus policemen racing to their rescue whenever they press a panic button.

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  • Comments (29)
    • Tom Thumb
    • October 10th, 2008

    I am currently a physician assistant student @ Nova Southeastern University. I pay around 48,000 dollars a year. However, I get nothing out of my education. I am being taught by “has been” Physician Assistants who are completely unqualified to teach. I sit in class and read medical manuals while my professors lecture on outdated and often incorrect information. I am sorry to sound like a negative student but I am just looking for a platform to voice my complaint. So for you graduate students that are investigating the physician assistant field I highly recommend the career move but I would strong advise you to find another university.

    • John
    • October 31st, 2008

    I almost never express my opinion in public or on the Internet, but when I saw this story about UB on the web, I felt compelled, as a graduate of the University’s MBA program in 1983, to respond to it and to the subsequent comments written about it. But, before I start, I must provide a disclaimer. Although, most see me as an educated person of average or above average intelligence, I am not an exceptionally good writer, and am most certainly capable of making spelling and even more egregious writing errors. I am completely aware that within the realm of debate, on and off the Internet, there exists a well worn debate strategy of attempting to disqualify an opposing person’s augment by impeaching the person’s speaking or writing ability that has nothing to do with the central point being made. My lack of writing excellence is not, and should not, be viewed as reason to disqualify the validity of my statements and opinions.

    As an impoverished child growing up on welfare in the inner city of some of the worst slums in America I dreamed. I dreamed of one day of escaping the inner city poverty, condemnation, and crippling low expectations that others of better circumstances of life were forcing on me. What I dared to dream, as a young child, was so much like that of the dreams of millions of other young idealist Americans that passionately believed in what the United States stood for. What I dared to dream was simply the American dream; of success through diligence, determination, integrity, and hard work. Throughout American history, this dream that was responsible, in large measure, for building America, was motivated out of desperation and a passion to succeed. This dream, I believe, is so basic to American existence that it is one of the most cherished and sacredly held value in America. Unfortunately, there are plenty of greedy, unscrupulous opportunistic individuals and organizations that attempt to exploit this sacred American dream by making false promises and selling false hopes at exorbitantly high prices to the poorest and most desperate of the American poor.

    Long before the faculty at the University of Bridgeport went out of strike, there were indications of questionable practices at the university. UB’s willingness to exploit the hopes and dreams of young, vulnerable, and innocent people was reminiscent of the worst practices of many “for profit” proprietary schools that exploited the poorest of the poor in their quest for private profits. Back in the early 1980s, the University of Bridgeport engage in a high glitz ad campaign, taking out full page advertisements in the New York Times and other nationally know newspapers, comparing the education received at the University of Bridgeport to the quality of educational available at Ivy League Universities in the United States. It falsely exaggerated the earning power and career success of its graduates. Although, clearly hubris, false and misleading to the more knowledgeable, to the likes of this young person (at the time) and many like me, these very sophisticated and expensive advertisements were stunningly impressive. The photos and physical description of supposedly the school’s campus were equally false and misleading at the time. By looking at the photos used in their advertisement, one was left with the impression that the school was located at a beautiful pristine beach front community that was completely surrounded by a lush forested park.

    Little, if anything, of the school’s advertising and recruiting literature was remotely close to reality. While I was a student in the early 1980s at the University of Bridgeport, the incident of crime, including violent crime was intolerably high. I was personally attacked three times on, or near the campus by residents from the low income housing projects that surround the perimeter of the school. During my second year at the school, a man was found shot dead about three blocks from the university campus. It was simply not safe to walk on, or near the campus most of the day. The fear was omnipresent. Adding insult to injury, the career marketability and opportunities claimed to exist for graduates of the school by the university was in, large measure, false. The career planning and placement office at the school was a joke and pitiful. I remember frequently walking into the office and finding no staff at all in the office. After completing my first year at the university, reality about my career prospects began to set in. Things really began to get scary. I remember walking down town Bridgeport and a passerby asking me what university I was attending, and me telling him I was a UB student and his dreadful response. He told me that he had graduated from UB more than a year earlier and was completely unable to find work. This was unfortunately to be an onion in regards to my own future career prospects as a MBA graduate of good academic standings from the University of Bridgeport. I, like many other graduates of UB have graduated to unemployment and perpetual under employment. I had spent years on my career search after graduating from the University of Bridgeport, sending out many hundreds of resumes to no avail. I feel that, as a young innocent and vulnerable person, my American dream was deliberately violated and exploited for the revenue seeking needs of the University of Bridgeport. The school is nothing more than a highly questionable diploma mill.

    • Megha
    • May 30th, 2009

    HOw can you say that Cornell University is the worst ivy league? Every college has its ups and downs. Cornell’s engineering is one of the best in the country, but its communications is one of the worst. Even colleges like Harvard have its flaws. Brown University should be the worst ivy!

    • zac
    • August 3rd, 2009

    I definitely agree!

    • Owen Eden
    • August 31st, 2009

    Too many people got their jobs not based on WHAT they knew, but on WHOM they knew. It is really starting to show and not just at the University level, but on the professional level as well. People just want the paycheck. It does not occur to them to feel bad that they are doing a job they are not qualified for. They take no pride in their work. It’s all about the almighty dollar. It is catching up with them though.

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