Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community polls, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

What is the difference between "Regional" and "National" on the USNWR List?

kumitedadkumitedad Posts: 612Registered User Member
edited August 2010 in College Search & Selection
I may be slow, but just what is the difference between Regional Universities, Regional Colleges, and National Universities on the USNWR list. What determines who goes where, and what does this mean as far as the institutions relative strength?

I am in data overload here, so thanks in advance.
Post edited by kumitedad on
«1

Replies to: What is the difference between "Regional" and "National" on the USNWR List?

  • WatermarkWatermark Posts: 214Registered User Junior Member
    How U.S. News Calculates the College Rankings - US News and World Report
    1. Category names have been changed. To make the rankings more understandable and to reduce confusion, for the 2011 Best Colleges we changed many of the ranking category names. This year, schools are designated National Universities, National Liberal Arts Colleges, Regional Universities, and Regional Colleges. The two regional groups previously were labeled "Universities-Master's" (now called Regional Universities) and "Baccalaureate Colleges" (now called Regional Colleges) to reflect the official Carnegie classification of universities whose highest degree is a master's and four-year colleges that specialize in professional as well as liberal arts degrees. In addition, we changed the category name of the Liberal Arts Colleges to the National Liberal Arts Colleges. The labels "Universities-Master's" and "Baccalaureate Colleges" had regularly puzzled both readers and the schools themselves. For instance we were regularly asked both by readers and those at some higher education institutions whether the Universities-Master's category represented rankings of master degree programs at any of the schools. The rankings were not of any master's program at any of the schools. The label Baccalaureate Colleges was also unclear because colleges don't identify themselves using that terminology and many people did not understand how the word Baccalaureate could be used to describe a particular type of college. The number of institutions in the Regional Universities and Regional Colleges did not change, and the schools are still ranked in four regions—North, South, Midwest, and West—because they tend to draw heavily from surrounding states.
  • scansmomscansmom Posts: 1,523Registered User Senior Member
    Basically, national schools offer PhD programs, regional schools do not (or very few). Note also that schools on one list are not compared to schools on the other and the methodology is slightly different, so you cannot easily "rank" the regional schools in comparison to the national schools. With respect to determining a school's relative strength, this might help:
    Which measure of quality is most important? First, remember that each measure that U.S. News uses in its rankings captures some important dimension of the academic program. The weight (expressed as a percentage) tells you the relative importance that U.S. News places on each measure. For national universities and national liberal arts colleges, the U.S. News ranking formula gives the most weight (22.5 percent) to peer assessment scores a combination of the academic peer score at 15.0 percent and the high schools counselor rating score at 7.5 percent, because a diploma from a distinguished college helps graduates get good jobs or gain admission to top-notch graduate programs. (Synovate, a Chicago-based opinion-research firm, collected the peer assessment data.) For these schools, the faculty resources and the graduation and retention measures are also weighted relatively highly (20 percent). For regional universities and regional colleges, the ranking formula gives the peer assessment and the graduation and retention measures a weight of 25 percent each. Graduation and retention are given a higher weight (compared with the national universities and national liberal arts colleges categories) because the ranking formula for the national universities and national liberal arts categories includes an additional indicator related to them: graduation rate performance. This indicator was given a weight of 7.5 percent. We recommend that prospective students consider which indicators are especially important to them and look at those individual elements as well as the school's overall rank. (The website's search and sort capabilities make it simple to locate schools that are strong in a particular area.)

    Frequently Asked Questions: College Rankings - US News and World Report
  • kumitedadkumitedad Posts: 612Registered User Member
    Makes sense, but still very confusing. Makes it hard to compare across catagories a bit. One college on our list has a 60 score for National LAC while another has a 68 for Regional Universities-West. How does one compare the two using this? ick.
  • xiggixiggi Posts: 21,568Registered User Senior Member
    This might help a bit:

    The University of Richmond used to be ranked at the very top of what is now the Regional Universities rankings. A few years ago, Richmond was "upgraded" to the LAC rankings.

    This is news from 2008: See University reaches 33rd on U.S. News rankings | The Collegian ? University of Richmond
    U.S. News & World Report has ranked the University of Richmond at No. 33 on this year’s list of top liberal arts colleges, tying Trinity College of Hartford, Conn., and propelling the school to its highest ranking since it moved from the “Best Master’s Universities” category in 2006.

    Last year, Richmond ranked 40th on the U.S. News list, tied with Franklin & Marshall College, Sewanee-University of the South and Union College. The school was 34th in 2006, its first year on the “Best Liberal Arts Colleges” list after spending 11 consecutive years atop the best master’s universities category for colleges in the south.

    In its "America's Best Colleges 2010" issue, U.S. News and World Report ranked Richmond 30th among national liberal arts colleges.

    In the just released version for 2011, Richmond is ranked 32d.
  • noobcakenoobcake Posts: 1,736Registered User Senior Member
    Most schools on the regional school list are not very good.

    I would personally top 5-10 schools in each region into the LAC list. Most would be 20-30+ ranked.
  • xiggixiggi Posts: 21,568Registered User Senior Member
    I am not sure that this is true.

    For instance, look at the following TRULY excellent schools:

    1 Trinity University San Antonio, TX
    2 Santa Clara University Santa Clara, CA

    and compare them to Southwestern University in Georgetown that is ranked 62d among the national LACs. Although Southwestern is a gem of a school, Trinity University is a more prestigious school.

    Both Trinity and Santa Clara, were they to move to national categories, would come in pretty high.
  • PizzagirlPizzagirl Posts: 24,140Registered User Senior Member
    Where do you think Santa Clara would come in if it were to be counted in the national list, xiggi?
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Posts: 57,734Registered User Senior Member
    ^^^

    I would imagine between UT-Austin's and Purdue's ranking. (JMO) :)
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Posts: 57,734Registered User Senior Member
    kumitedad...

    Makes it hard to compare across catagories a bit. One college on our list has a 60 score for National LAC while another has a 68 for Regional Universities-West. How does one compare the two using this? ick.


    Don't even try. You need to figure out which is better for your child based on major/program. Using a raw ranking is not the way to figure out which is "better."
  • kumitedadkumitedad Posts: 612Registered User Member
    mom2collegekids: You are right there. Maybe I am just trying to find the Magic Formula here to make a choice. At least the new categories are less confusing than the old ones. Will just look at it like one more brick in the wall
  • DunninLADunninLA Posts: 4,267Registered User Senior Member
    How is this for an approximation of a Ranking -- that is, student quality, faculty quality, research opportunities, and all the other metrics that make up a National University rank ordering -- conversion between categories:

    conversion of LAC rank to National Uni rank: (LAC rank * 2) + 7

    conversion of Regional University to National Uni rank: (Regional Uni * 8) + 50

    By ths method, Williams College (#1 LAC) becomes alongside #9 on the Nat Uni list, Pomona (#6 LAC) becomes alongside #19, etc.

    By this method, Villanova, #1 in Regional Universities North, becomes #58 on the Nat. Uni list -- alongside George Washington, Tulane -- whereas Loyola University of New Orleans, (#7 Regional Universities, South), becomes alongside #106.
  • 1sokkermom1sokkermom Posts: 3,515Registered User Senior Member
    ^ That conversion doesn't make sense at all.

    Some "Regional" Universities and or LAC's are preferred to the other groupings.
    _________________________________________________________________

    Quote: "Most schools on the regional school list are not very good".

    Another profound Statement! :eek:
  • DunninLADunninLA Posts: 4,267Registered User Senior Member
    For conversion of Regional University to LAC: (RU Rank * 4) +30.

    By this method #1 Regional Uni North, Villanova, would be listed alongside #34 ranked LAC, and #7 Ranked Regional Uni South, Loyola of New Orleans, would be listed alongside #58 LAC.

    So to summarize:

    Villanova, #1 Reg. Uni North, #34 LAC, #58 National Uni
    Loyola of New Orleans: #7 Reg. Uni South, #58 LAC, #106 National Uni.
    Williams College #1 LAC, #9 National Uni
    Pomona College, #6 LAC, #19 National Uni
  • 1sokkermom1sokkermom Posts: 3,515Registered User Senior Member
    ^ Based on what ? A hunch ? :confused:
  • DunninLADunninLA Posts: 4,267Registered User Senior Member
    1sokkermom -- I am aware it doesn't make sense to compare apples and oranges and pears. What one can compare is the quality of faculty, and the quality of student, across all categories. The only real nationally recognized metric that could be applied to *all* three categories are 25/75 SAT scores of incoming freshmen.
«1
Sign In or Register to comment.