LEWISTON – Newsweek magazine this week published its “25 new Ivies.”

Bowdoin and Colby are on the list.

Bates is not.

The magazine offered its list as the next tier of Ivy League-like schools, after existing Ivy League schools and the handful of other colleges considered to be the best in the nation.

“It’s an interesting list. It seems pretty random,” Bates College spokesman Bryan McNulty said. “You have very unlike schools in there. It’s a real mix of schools.”

Saying he does not know what method Newsweek used to come up with the top colleges, McNulty’s reaction was that it’s always nice to be included in the growing number of annual rankings and listings.

Other reports have sung Bates’ praises, including it on their list of chosen colleges.

This time, “it seems we’re in good company” with other colleges left out: Amherst, Williams, Cornell and Swarthmore, McNulty said.

In the world of academia, there is no such things as “new Ivies,” McNulty said. “That’s a term coined by Newsweek.”

There are only eight original Ivy League colleges, including Yale, Harvard and Princeton. The Ivy League came about from an athletic league.

Rankings of hot colleges and universities by different publications is growing more plentiful every year, McNulty said. The listings indicate a growing anxiety among students choosing a college.

Bowdoin College spokesman Scott Hood said he’s pleased his college is on the list. If there are going to be rankings, “it’s nice to be well thought of,” Hood said.

He agreed with McNulty that there are more publications listing what they consider the best colleges.

To the extent the rankings provide data about the colleges, the listings are helpful, Hood said. “But there’s a proliferation because they sell.”

Colby spokeswoman Ruth Jacobs said, “We’d rather be named than not named” in the Newsweek report.

Colby’s student applications, and rejections, shot up this year, she said. The rate of acceptance this year was 32 percent, the lowest ever, Jacobs said. If Newsweek looked at the growth of the institution and growth of how selective Colby has become, “perhaps that is part of it,” she said.

When asked how they came up with the list, Newsweek said it “was based on admissions statistics and interviews with administrators, faculty, students and alumni. Our list of 25 is necessarily subjective and many fine schools, like Bates, didn’t make the list,” Jan Angilella of Newsweek’s communications office said Tuesday.

In its article, Newsweek said that Bowdoin’s location “is high on the list of reasons students flock there. The star attraction: the Atlantic.” Colleges comparable to Bowdoin, Newsweek said, include Williams, Amherst, Brown, Dartmouth and Middlebury.

In 1871, Colby was the first all-male college in New England to admit women, Newsweek reported. Now Colby attracts diverse applicants. Incoming freshmen include students from Ethiopia, Zimbabwe and Vietnam. Comparable colleges, according to Newsweek, include Bowdoin, Dartmouth, Middlebury and Bates.

A more established top college ranking is done by U.S. News and World Report, which sells out of its annual report.

The 2007 “America’s Best Colleges” list will be out Aug. 21, a U.S. News and World Report spokeswoman said Tuesday. In its listings of the nation’s top liberal arts colleges last year, the magazine ranked Bowdoin sixth, Colby 20th and Bates 21st.



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