The Alumni Factor: U.S. Air Force Academy alumni are most conservative -- Oregon's Reed College are most liberal in ranking of top schools in U.S.

Oct 17, 2012, 08:10 ET from The Alumni Factor

ATLANTA, Oct. 17, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The U.S. Air Force Academy and Reed College in Oregon may both be excellent academic institutions but when it comes to social and political views their alumni are on the extreme, opposite sides of the political spectrum.

Based on a survey in The Alumni Factor, a new book that ranks colleges based on the success of graduates in their careers and lives, Reed's alumni are the most liberal college in the United States and the Air Force Academy's graduates are the most conservative.

Rounding out the top 10 liberal colleges and universities, based on data from their alumni, are Oberlin, Macalester, Grinnell, Bard, Swarthmore, Haverford, Bryn Mawr, Wesleyan, and Smith.

In addition to the Air Force Academy, the schools with the most conservative alumni are Brigham Young, Auburn, U.S. Naval Academy, U.S. Military Academy, Texas A & M, University of Mississippi, Georgia Institute of Technology, Baylor, and the University of Alabama.

The political leanings of the schools' alumni were based on an assessment of responses to 20 hot button questions regarding political and social views, including gay marriage, racial profiling, abortion rights, and government-funded health care.

Monica McGurk, executive editor of The Alumni Factor said more than 42,000 alumni in the survey were asked to what extent they agreed or disagreed with each statement regarding the controversial social issues.

The questions were asked in both affirmative and negative ways to control for bias, she said. Each college's alumni responses were then plotted relative to one another on a "very liberal" to "very conservative" spectrum.

The full list of questions and how the alumni of each of the top 50 schools responded to them is in The Alumni Factor, a new book and its corresponding website ( platform.  The Alumni Factor ranks the nation's top 177 colleges and universities based on real life outcomes – how successful the school's alumni are in their careers and lives.

About The Alumni Factor/Methodology

The Alumni Factor, headquartered in Atlanta, is a college rankings system that identifies the country's best colleges based on real life outcomes of alumni – how well they do in their careers and lives.  The data is based on feedback from tens of thousands of alumni obtained in an extensive, independent survey.

Media Contact: Barry Wanger, 617-965-6469 or

SOURCE The Alumni Factor