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Interesting Ivy League Ranking

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Replies to: Interesting Ivy League Ranking

  • Penn95Penn95 Registered User Posts: 1,753 Senior Member
    @PurpleTitan Penn Nursing is the best undergrad nursing school, so for its field was it is the same as Wharton. Of course it attracts a different and more self-selected group but at least from my time at Penn not too long ago I remember they were just as smart and driven. It is difficult to break everything into schools, by the same token we d have to break every department separately, after all Yale engineering is not the same as Yale political science and so on.

    @keiekei the link was removed for some reason. prob because the source is a college counseling company and I guess it is against CC policy.
    if you google "ivy league rankings: what do they really mean" it is the first search result
  • prezbuckyprezbucky Registered User Posts: 3,451 Senior Member
    I think the Forbes ranking isn't worth the paper it's printed on (or the bandwidth/storage/pixels used...) because outcomes are, at top schools, basically self-selected -- based on chosen major, vocational interest, and geographic area/cost of living.

    Niche -- It's an incredibly shallow ranking, but if students like their schools, I suppose that points to the overall experience.
  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan Registered User Posts: 9,999 Senior Member
    @prezbucky: Honestly, I think the USNews rankong is worth less because so many schools now game the USNews rankings so heavily.

    At least many of Forbes components can not be games or aren't seen as worth gaming by schools.
  • Penn95Penn95 Registered User Posts: 1,753 Senior Member
    Somehow outcomes need to count for something. It is a metric that many prospective students and their parents care about. Yes for sure the prominence of certain majors in schools affects outcomes but still I feel it is something that needs to be also taken into consideration.
  • prezbuckyprezbucky Registered User Posts: 3,451 Senior Member
    edited April 21
    USNews at least has variables related to the quality of academics.

    To use outcomes correctly, you'd almost have to do it by major, while taking into account cost of living where everyone works/lives (which affects salary).

    Then, you might be able to say, "If you want to be an engineer, A is probably better than B."
  • ThankYouforHelpThankYouforHelp Registered User Posts: 1,192 Senior Member
    edited April 21
    I agree with prezbucky. Forbes isn't really measuring "outcomes." As far as I can tell, its formula mostly measures how many students choose to go into immediate money making majors and jobs like business consulting and engineering, and it penalizes schools where more people go on to higher levels of academia or public interest jobs that pay less (even though they are hard to get).

    There are no good ranking systems, but some are more obviously flawed than others. The worst I have seen is the Economist ranking. The methodology was hilariously bad. This made me sad because I'm a huge fan of the Economist magazine.
  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan Registered User Posts: 9,999 Senior Member
    edited April 21
    @ThankYouforHelp: Forbes takes in to account PhD production and their "American Leaders" subcategory counts a ton of politicians of different kinds and non-profit leaders as well as corporate leaders.

    If you want to strip out the salary part of Forbes, then look at my tiers (mostly based on Forbes data but with no salary stuff): http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/college-search-selection/1893105-ivy-equivalents-ranking-based-on-alumni-outcomes-take-2-1-p1.html
  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan Registered User Posts: 9,999 Senior Member
    edited April 21
    @prezbucky: Outcomes tell you if the academic quality is worthwhile. If the academic quality is high, then PhD production, prestigious awards won, elite grad school entry, and general success of grads should be high. If they aren't, then of what use was "academic quality"?
  • Penn95Penn95 Registered User Posts: 1,753 Senior Member
    Maybe the WSJ/THE rankings do a better job for outcomes? Salaries are still a part of outcomes, far from the only part of course of course, but still they should be considered along with the other things you mention.
  • prezbuckyprezbucky Registered User Posts: 3,451 Senior Member
    If a kid has a BA from Yale in English and makes $35k at a newspaper, that will reflect poorly on Yale's outcome score, even though the kid got a world-class education.

    Outcomes tell you:

    1. The quality of the career dept and
    2. The kids' vocational preferences, which are often tied to their college major. (of course, that doesn't always mean there are jobs available in that field...)

    Salary outcomes metrics favor schools where most students major in STEM subjects, especially Engineering and CS, or other pre-professional areas like Business.

    PhDs are also largely self-selected: some kids go after them while others don't. Maybe a school can instill a love of academia in kids, and that might be worth something, but still, they choose whether to follow that path.

    To level the salary playing field between heavy STEM/pre-pro schools and more intellectual schools, maybe they could do something like this:

    Outcome Score = Average Salary + [(Average Salary)(% of intellectual majors)], where "intellectual majors" are all non-Business/Engineering/CS majors.

    That might alleviate some of the outcome bias toward schools with a high percentage of CS, Engineering and Business majors. It's far from perfect, but at least it moves the bias needle a bit. (and maybe too much the other way...)

    It still would not alleviate the cost of living bias toward East Coast and West Coast schools, but at least it would do something to boost schools with relatively more Humanities and soft science majors than Engineering, CS or Business majors.

    There may not be a perfect way to measure academic quality, but I think any formula should include class sizes, % of lecturers with terminal degree, prof awards (some do teach), a prof publishing metric (they don't just teach it; they innovate it) and maybe an academic satisfaction survey to catch the qualitative side of things.

    I see a little bit of merit in the "academic rep" thing where college deans rate other schools on academic rep, because it is their job to know; but there's also potential bias there.

    Those are just some thoughts. There's no perfect way to rank schools; at least, we haven't found one yet.
  • marvin100marvin100 Registered User Posts: 9,014 Senior Member
    "Interesting" is subjective, I guess.
  • Penn95Penn95 Registered User Posts: 1,753 Senior Member
    edited April 22
    @prezbucky i dont disagree with you, but it also shows which careers a certain school has a long tradition of sending kids into, or whether a school has a strong department that traditionally means higher salaries after graduation. And yes schools that have a strong tradition of sending kids to lucrative careers, and are strong in STEM and business will benefit , as i think they should. But that is not the only metric. I feel all the other metrics do balance that bias of salaries out. It is just another measuring stick and of course it should be used in conjunction with many others that benefit schools with different strengths, so in the end things balance out a bit.
  • prezbuckyprezbucky Registered User Posts: 3,451 Senior Member
    Fair enough. I'll just weight it less than others might.
  • ChrchillChrchill Registered User Posts: 819 Member
    Absurd. Cal tech below Rice and NU. penn ahead of Columbia and UChicago. Emory and tufts ahead of JHU.
    Why not just throw blind darts at a board ?
  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan Registered User Posts: 9,999 Senior Member
    ^ Well, now we know who heavily emphasizes research rankings at the exclusion of all else (actually, we knew that before).
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