Not sure, I don't have the full paid membership to USNWR to look at all the statistics. I would think that the things that would bring UA down would be the 6 year graduation rate, and the counselor/peer ratings. That is all I can think.
There are a number of other schools that moved around in the top 25-100 too.
UA is tied with Baylor, American University, Colorado school of Mines, and UCSC. Not a shabby group of schools to be tied with, IMO.
Thanks for finding last year's ranking. Don't know why I couldn't find it. It is a little disappointing that UA didn't move up a point or two. I really thought they would but I am very happy that the U stayed near last year's ranking. It shows that UA is here to stay in the top 100, or top 77 as it were. UA does have very good company, Vlines!
Yes, UA is still ranked above AU. UA is tied with other schools at #77, while AU is tied with other schools at #89. The ties make them seem farther apart than they really are. There are several schools tied at #83 in between UA and AU.
When I look at the criteria used by U.S. Snooze to make these rankings, I have to chuckle. Here's one criterion they use, weighted 22.5% in their magic formula:
"Undergraduate academic reputation (22.5 percent for National Universities and National Liberal Arts Colleges; 25 percent for Regional Universities and Regional Colleges): The U.S. News ranking formula gives significant weight to the opinions of those in a position to judge a school's undergraduate academic excellence. The academic peer assessment survey allows top academics—presidents, provosts, and deans of admissions—to account for intangibles at peer institutions such as faculty dedication to teaching.*
For their views on the National Universities and the National Liberal Arts Colleges, we also surveyed a sampling of 2,213 counselors at public high schools, each of which is a gold, silver, or bronze medal winner in the most recent U.S. News rankings of Best High Schools, and 400 college counselors at the largest independent schools; the counselors represent nearly every state and the District of Columbia."
So these guys actually believe that presidents and provosts can accurately assess factors such as faculty dedication to teaching at other universities. Or that college counselors at the largest independent schools have valid evaluations. Let me tell you that my son attended the largest independent school in the nation, one of the most prestigious private schools in the land, and the large college counselor staff was absolutely clueless about UA until they saw the light last year following a visit that I more or less harassed them into making. Now they are raving fans.
As the ranking process states, significant weight is given to reputations and opinions. Calling it "data" does not make it valid. Garbage in, garbage out.
I'm certain Mark Twain turns over in his grave every time these rankings are released.
So true, Malanai. I know my D's high school is a medal winner in the USNWR Best High Schools, and their guidance staff knows NOTHING about UA beyond its football team. D's guidance counselor actually tried to discourage her from applying to UA - fortunately she ignored him. On the other hand, my BIL, who is a professor of anthropology at a higher ranked university, had only excellent things to say about the UA anthro department, with which he was actually familiar.
I'm always happy to hear the opinion of someone with actual knowledge, whether that opinion is good or bad. However, the USNWR criteria have always seemed flawed to me (most of the college ranking criteria seem flawed to me) and I think they cause more harm than good because of the steps schools take to improve in the ratings, many of which don't improve the quality of the school at all.
Malanai and Beth's mom, that is exactly why I thought that part of the ranking may keep UA from making big jumps in the rankings. It is also why a number of other schools remain in the top 30. It is their reputation.
DD's GC actually wanted her to apply to American University over 'BAMA, even though we pointed out 'BAMA's top rating by PRWeek for the undergrad program...she was very aware of AMerican's great reputation...and not so of Alabama's.
Not to mention the HUGE difference in Merit-based scholarships...
Goes to show that educating yourself is the most reliable thing you can do.
As a student, I'm rather disappointed. Unfortunately reputation makes up a lot of people's decisions. UA needs to be more aggressive in reputation improvement. Get those ACT scores up, and decrease that graduation rate. We need at least a 26 or 27 average ACT, I believe it is currently only 25. I was almost certain we would have climbed at least into the 60's range. Sighhhh. There has been too much dead time between the changing of guards (referring to president). I feel like a lot of lost ground needs to be made up. Hopefully Dr. Bailey will do the job.