St. Olaf has always ranked around 50th in the US News rankings (54th this year), far below Carleton (5th) and Mac (26th). However, the Washington Monthly Magazine a little while ago put out their own version of college rankings that attempts to: "provide a guide not just to what colleges can do for you, but what colleges are doing for the country." They also include such things as social mobility, research, and service.
Given this as a foundation it is not a surprise that Olaf rises dramatically! Not quite in the top 10, but 12th (PDF) nation wide for Liberal Arts Colleges. Further reinforcing the stereotype that Olaf students graduate, search for meaning in their life and work at an urban non-profit after school program for at-risk students and earn $21k a year. While Carleton grads go to law school and represent big tobacco. (I jest).
College rankings seem to be a big issue now - the Mac president mentioned skipping the US News rankings - and this is an interesting perspective. More please.