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2018 US News Best Colleges rankings have been released

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Replies to: 2018 US News Best Colleges rankings have been released

  • whatisyourquestwhatisyourquest Registered User Posts: 529 Member
    edited September 12
    @CaliDad2020 Ha. No oboe majors or life-drawing classes at Caltech, true. But we were told during the tour that the "houses" press their own olive oil using fruit from the campus trees; they then have an annual contest to see whose olive oil tastes best. That tradition is unquestionably "a bit more" and, if it were common knowledge, would surely send Caltech zooming up the USNWR ranking :)
  • CariñoCariño Registered User Posts: 133 Junior Member
    @anxiousenior1 "UChicago is just not on the radar of the typical average high school student yet...""
    Really?? Where do you live???? UChicago received 31.000 applications last year....
  • akin67akin67 Registered User Posts: 149 Junior Member
    @anxiousenior1 I am pretty sure plenty of people are aware of the University of Chicago. Also, they can send the mass mails and emails to students who have a shot at getting in since they get their lists from the College Board where they know their SAT scores, but they choose to bombard way too many students who don't have a shot just to get them to apply. Don't get me wrong, I think Chicago is an phenomenal institution and belongs in the top ten. I just dislike this one practice of theirs.
  • f2000saf2000sa Registered User Posts: 674 Member
    edited September 12
    Uchicago is doing everything to entice an application. Mass mailing, mass information sessions. Their mailing seems to be customized to convince students that they have a great shot. They also waive the application fee for any student that are applying for FA, basically every one.
  • PetraMCPetraMC Registered User Posts: 144 Junior Member
    A colleague of mine at a different school said that a committee was put together recently to try to pinpoint the most efficient things they could "improve" to go up in the rankings. Your tax dollars at work!
  • northwestynorthwesty Registered User Posts: 2,609 Senior Member
    edited September 12
    The math does not support that idea for Chicago.

    Student selectivity is 12.5 percent of the USNWR formula. 65% of that is ACT/SAT scores. Students in the top 10% of HS graduating class is 25%. The third component is the acceptance rate or the ratio of students admitted to applicants (10 percent).

    So admit rate is only 1.25% of the formula. Small beer.

    The drug of choice for top schools that are not HYPSM is ED. Penn was the pioneer on this decades ago. Duke, Dartmouth, NW, Brown, JHU, Vandy, Emory also are heavy ED users. It improves your ranking numbers in so many ways (including admit rate).

    Most importantly, ED helps you lock in better qualified/resourced students. That raises your test scores. And it also raises your frosh retention rates (99% at Chicago!) and your 6 year grad rates (94% at Chicago!), which are big components of the USNWR formula. Since high stat well resourced kids tend to stay and graduate in larger numbers than weaker enrollees.

    Chicago first rolled out ED for the 2016-2017 cycle. I can't find their numbers for that cycle, but I bet that is what is going on.
  • anxiousenior1anxiousenior1 Registered User Posts: 1,010 Senior Member
    @Cariño They get that many applications because of their aggressive mailings and marketing...it's peers don't need to do that marketing because they are already household names.

  • f2000saf2000sa Registered User Posts: 674 Member
    edited September 12
    The ranking is far from the realty. No. 5, Stanford? It is biggest competitors to Harvard. Many students choose Stanford over Harvard.
  • TiggerDadTiggerDad Registered User Posts: 780 Member
    I also dislike that UChicago is gaming the system. Don't know how many postcards and brochures from them that ended up in my trash bin but enough to be really annoying. However, I don't find their #3 ranking to be far-fetched at all.
  • northwestynorthwesty Registered User Posts: 2,609 Senior Member
    edited September 12
    Chicago also now super-scores both the SAT and ACT. Which produces higher reportable test scores for the enrolled class. In the USNWR formula, test scores count 6.5X more than the admit rate.

    It is all about the test scores at U Chicago. Last year Chicago's SAT scores were second only to CalTech.
  • dragonmom3dragonmom3 Registered User Posts: 258 Junior Member
    edited September 12
    My daughter at Vandy says the reason that so her school rates so high for happy students is that about half are ED and they knew what they wanted in a college experience and were thrilled to be admitted. Vandy loves the kids who really want them, and attracts other top kids-like my daughter- with excellent FA. Maybe ED helps in the rankings, but it also makes for a good "vibe" for all the students.

  • evergreen5evergreen5 Registered User Posts: 86 Junior Member
    If test scores have such significance, maybe that's how UCB and UCLA tied - the test scores are pretty much the same.

    It's interesting that Wake Forest and UNC ended up where they did.
  • northwestynorthwesty Registered User Posts: 2,609 Senior Member
    "That raises your test scores. And it also raises your frosh retention rates (99% at Chicago!) and your 6 year grad rates (94% at Chicago!), which are big components of the USNWR formula."

    Actually, Chicago's 6 year grad rate last year was 92%. Which is low for that band of schools. But if Chicago is currently retaining 99% of its freshman, its six year grad rate (which is a lagging statistic) should be increasing over the next several years.

    6-7 years ago Chicago probably was not enrolling the numbers of high stat kids that it is today. The more recent enrolled classes will undoubtedly have very high 6 year grad rates -- but you have to wait six years for that data to come in.
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