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Princeton maintains top spot in U.S. News college ranking, all thanks to one overachieving sophomore

Photo of boy with glasses on a dark blue background

Danny Cole ‘26. Enough said.

The following content is purely satirical and entirely fictional.

A sense of relief was palpable throughout campus after Princeton was listed No. 1 in the U.S. News & World Report’s annual ranking of national universities for the 13th consecutive year. On social media, students boasted that they attend an institution that is still marginally better than MIT, according to one of our nation’s most esteemed publications.


Despite the celebratory mood, administrators downplayed the significance of the ranking, attributing most of the work to academic weapon Danny Cole ’26. 

“We would be nowhere near the top of the ranking if not for the countless accomplishments of Danny Cole. The rest of the student body has essentially given up,” said Dean of Assessments Gordon Pritchard in an emailed statement.

Among his many endeavors, Cole is captain of three varsity sports teams, chairs the student government committee on nuclear non-proliferation, and performs improv comedy in the legendary group Lobster Club, all while running a multi-million dollar biotechnology firm from his dorm room.

Cole is a senior Prospect writer, writing The Daily Princetonian’s sex advice column, “The Sexpert.”

Professor Gael Alvarez praised Cole’s work in his algebraic topology class and thanked Cole for helping save his 23-year marriage. Similarly, graduate student Lucy Hayes credited much of her dissertation on post-war Brazilian literature to a brief conversation she had with Cole after he rescued her from a burning vehicle on the highway.

Mr. Cole could not be reached for comment because he is out of the country negotiating a trade deal in the Balkans.


Meanwhile, Yale President Peter Salovey blamed his school’s demotion to fifth place to the disproportionate weight placed on senior Natalie Goodman. At a press conference on Monday, Salovey expressed optimism for next year due to the recent matriculation of the two youngest Cole brothers.

Sam McComb is an associate Humor editor. He would not be alive today if not for his dear friend Danny Cole.

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