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I HATE how Brown doesn't cater to US News Rankings

shaqdaddyshaqdaddy Registered User Posts: 117 Junior Member
edited July 2007 in Brown University
I mean, come on, Brown is ranked lower than WashU, UChicago, Cornell, Northwestern and Duke.

Why doesn't Brown manipulate numbers like WashU and Northwestern and climb back up the rankings?

You guys may think I'm shallow, but just about ALL asian kids know what a pain in the butt it is to explain to parents that they'd rather go to Brown over Cornell even though its ranked lower.

Brown has a lower admit rate, higher SAT's, but it gets killed on stupid statistics like "Faculty Rescources", where other schools just manipulate all they want. And then, Asian parents won't believe that it is true, and then call their kids useless for going to a (GULP!) number 15!!! school. God damn, do something Brown, do something. Because schools like WashU which are notorious for number manipulating might actually steal the nation's top students, and then they would get better unfairly.
Post edited by shaqdaddy on
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Replies to: I HATE how Brown doesn't cater to US News Rankings

  • modestmelodymodestmelody Registered User Posts: 4,654 Senior Member
    My understanding is the administration cares to some degree, but only if we drop to a certain point, which we haven't hit. It's upsetting that we haven't risen above a reductionist, unqualified, biased, and meaningless system that USNews has put out, but why don't you try scientifically explaining major flaws in the way rankings work and inform your parents about how little rankings matter to job placement and future employers.
  • smvsmv Registered User Posts: 148 Junior Member
    I'll admit it, I agree with you shaqdaddy. I mean, we all love Brown here for our own reasons, and I know I wouldn't want to go to any other higher ranked school, but it does bother me that people (not just parents but peers too) look down on Brown because of its lower ranking. Most people don't know Brown the way we do--they form their opinion of a school based on rankings and numbers. So yes, I'm with you in hoping that Brown does something to improve its rank in the magazines.
  • PKswmr76PKswmr76 Registered User Posts: 1,669 Senior Member
    omg, i agree with you. just the other day, i told my mom that i really wanted to go to brown and she flipped out and said i was setting my standards too low
  • modestmelodymodestmelody Registered User Posts: 4,654 Senior Member
    Pkswmr-- honestly, in that case, your mom just doesn't know about the college search.

    Same thing SMV, about your friends. I'm glad most people I know, both at Brown and from HS were not so stupid. Maybe this is something that was specific to my town, but people don't care much about USNews by me. Sure, it's used a bit as a standard, but not much beyond suggestions and largely schools are considered in tiers not in well-defined slots as determined by a magazines input focused rankings.

    They're just not meaningful unless a person gives them meaning. They're certainly not meaningful at all amongst academic positions or hiring, where people don't use the USNews info to judge a school...
  • fredmurtz2fredmurtz2 Registered User Posts: 421 Member
    I love how Brown doesn't cater to USNews Rankings. A university is not an UGG boot competing for trendiness or following the trends. More is in play than an admit rate or an arbitrary magazine number
  • modestmelodymodestmelody Registered User Posts: 4,654 Senior Member
    Fredmurtz-- I also love that about Brown. Personally-- who needs the kids who want to be here because of the rank-- get rid of them. As long as we can still attract 1500 of the best students in the country to come here, I don't care how low we go and I hope we never admit someone who does care beyond our ability to bring it top students, which hasn't come close to being reduced in recent years.
  • JohnnyKJohnnyK - Posts: 2,156 Senior Member
    When I saw the subject line for this thread I thought it was going to be an amusing tongue-in-cheek bit...but no, it was serious.

    Sigh...and yet I understand. It makes sense among the Asians. And I don't say that out of racism, I say that having worked in a Korean SAT cram school and lived in the culture that is obsessed with ranking everything, and obsessed with education on top of that...

    Put ranking and education together, and well you have the perfect storm of obsession...
  • posterXposterX Registered User Posts: 2,246 Senior Member
    I don't think there is any manipulation. Brown is probably one of the top 15 or so undergraduate schools in the country, in terms of how selective it is, but with respect to general faculty quality, reputation or resources, I would say that it is not top 50:

    http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/showthread.php?t=354531

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14321230/
  • smder99smder99 Registered User Posts: 802 Member
    Lol...Brown knows they're good and doesn't need a magazine to tell it so.
  • CoolaTroopaCoolaTroopa . Posts: 1,170 Senior Member
    Haha.. Brown being ranked lower than Duke is definitely believable.. not that Duke is better than Brown at everything, but Duke is certainly NOT worse than Brown.
    What do you mean by this 'come on'? :-]

    Brown may have the higher yield.. but people are still turning down Brown for Duke by the dozens..

    Brown actually has lower average SATs than Duke, Chicago, and yes... WashU! But Duke has especially high SAT averages.. so that school may be in a different league or something like that. :p

    If I was going into Engineering.. and got into Brown & Cornell.. I would probably pick Cornell.

    But I do agree that it is stupid that people follow USNews to decide which colleges are the 'best'... everybody should simply pick the college that he or she thinks is truly the best for them! In many cases, that college would be Brown.. in others, it would be Dartmouth.. in others, it would be Duke.

    Brown does get screwed for 'faculty resources' and 'financial resources'... WashU is ranked 6th and 4th respectively in these areas... for who knows why? Don't forget #6 for selectivity... from looking at the rankings, I would say only WashU is the master manipulator at the top.
  • modestmelodymodestmelody Registered User Posts: 4,654 Senior Member
    PosterX-- you're quite laughable, considering that most reports that specifically look at quality of undergraduate learning puts Brown up there with the top LACs and undergraduate focused schools, often higher than 15. What's also funny is how you think you have the ability to judge quality of our faculty and resources without being here to interact with either. I find those two areas to be particularly hysterical measures of a university. What does it mean to have resources? To me, the answer is, if you wnat to do it, you can do it. If your school fulfills that, you've got all the resources you need. I'd like for you to name one thing that cannot be done at Brown other than a direct business degree or other form of preprofessionalism which is not a part of the Brown philosophy.

    As to general faculty quality, I'd like to know whether this counts people who actually teach or just the names on the list that are provided and how many papers they've published. We have a quite a few well known professors here, some of whom literally created the field they're in (Shouheng Sun, Mike Paradiso, Andy Van Dam, etc), but we also have professors who are academics producing great work who are also GREAT TEACHERS (the three I mentioned all happen to be great teachers as well).

    There is no way that US News can judge how well the professors are teaching-- it'd be quite difficult with output measures but it's impossible with input measures. Teaching skill is barely considered at most schools for tenure, and it's not considered at all for US News.

    The answer here, as always, is despite PosterX's love for the ranking system and nitpicking it's details and what it reveals, the greatest revelation comes when you look at the schools and say what it DOES NOT reveal.

    There are a few schools ranked above Brown I'd like to see PosterX even try and make a case for, but honestly, that'd bore me half to death.

    Beyond all this, the truth is the best undergraduate institution is the one you fit at. I applied to none of the schools plus or minus 15 spots on USNews of Brown, despite the fact that I feel fairly good I could have gotten in. Why? They weren't right for me. If anyone is looking at colleges with any other mindset, they're going to make a decision based on the wrong criteria.

    It's that kind of thinking which is rampant on CC that really disgusts me and I try to combat on these boards daily.

    For what it's worth-- WashU is well known as a manipulator. Realize it's meteoric rise through the ranks since USNews was published. They saw an opportunity and took it. However, despite a high rank, they rarely make it beyond top student's safety in my area, and while they still bring in a ton of great students, rarely is it a first or second choice.
  • b4nnd20b4nnd20 Registered User Posts: 1,346 Senior Member
    get over it
  • profanityprofanity Registered User Posts: 98 Junior Member
    I heard that WashU is selective, because they would basically waitlist everyone and their resources are huge, because of their med school.US News is kind of shady in distinguishing the resources of the Grad School and Undergrad, which benefits school with large med school, such as WashU
  • renixrenix . Posts: 682 Member
    posterX is a yale ****, and what is it with people's fascination with Duke? F Duke..
  • posterXposterX Registered User Posts: 2,246 Senior Member
    Brown is a fantastic school. Its undergraduate alumni do as well as any of the other schools ranked among the top 20 (except, arguably, HYP/MIT/Caltech and some of the very top LACs). In terms of resources, however, the simplest measure out there is endowment per student. Brown has much, much less money available than many of its peer universities. That means less for faculty, less for research per student, less for fellowships, advising, etc. That probably explains why it doesn't crack the top fifty in many rankings, even though many/most of its traditional peers do.

    Obviously, if you're smart about picking a school, you'll look beyond rankings like that: ideally by visiting colleges for 2-3 days each and talking with as many students/faculty as possible.... but you'll do your research carefully and in doing so, try to consider the possible effects on your experience at a school when compared to other places that have a lot more money available.

    In other words, the "best" school out there is always what's best for you i.e. the environment where you can most succeed, but you definitely shouldn't rush to judgment about where that might be, especially when resources can differ in quality to such a large extent.
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