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Most underrated college/university?

124

Replies to: Most underrated college/university?

  • Groenveld9Groenveld9 Registered User Posts: 1,495 Senior Member
    Indiana
    Ohio State
    Michigan State
    Texas A&M
    Richmond
    MiamiU
    just to name a few :)
  • hawkettehawkette Registered User Posts: 4,863 Senior Member
    starbury,
    I'm guessing from your prior posts that you are a Fordham student. IMO Fordham is among the most underrated schools around, particularly with regard to Wall Street placement where its numbers certainly exceed its national reputation.

    However, I don't think I follow your thinking on Rice. Perhaps you don't know a lot about the school, but if it were located in the Northeast, I have little doubt it would rank among the top 10. If you look more deeply at the school, I think you will find that Rice is every bit the equal to the Ivies ex-HYP. U Michigan, by contrast, is qualitatively at the level of Boston College or NYU. Certainly fine schools, but not in Rice's league.
  • TzarTzar Registered User Posts: 166 Junior Member
    well- I will be going there, but I would say Cooper Union is highly underrated, even for architecture.
  • trizkutttrizkutt . Posts: 236 Junior Member
    UW Madison is far superior to Uminn.
  • collegealum314collegealum314 Registered User Posts: 6,768 Senior Member
    the reason UW-Madison is ranked higher than UMinn is because it has many highly ranked graduate programs (a lot of them in the top 10-15.)
  • trizkutttrizkutt . Posts: 236 Junior Member
    ummm...the undergraduate rankings have nothing to do with graduate programs. hope that helps/
  • collegealum314collegealum314 Registered User Posts: 6,768 Senior Member
    If you look at the breakdown for the undergraduate rankings a big part of it is the faculty and research. These are virtually the same criteria as the graduate rankings.

    Among schools of similar class (i.e., state public,) the quality of the student body tends to follow the reputation of the graduate schools.

    The prestige of undergraduate colleges are completely separate because obviously they tend not to have graduate schools.
  • flongflong Registered User Posts: 1,600 Senior Member
    I have to agree the LAC's are the most under rated of them all. If you are looking to go to a top university schools like colgate, colby, Reed, and hamilton are great.
  • friedokrafriedokra - Posts: 414 Member
    Starbury:

    Fordhams Law School is ranked number 25. Though I am not into "rankings." It serves only as a very blunt instrument in making initial characterizations. Like an SAT score. SAT is to intelligence as rankings are to colleges. A very very blunt instrument.

    Fordham was late to the game of "marketing". A good reason why WashU in St. Louis is now skyrocketing up so high is because of marketing outside their region. The school hasnt changed: it was ALWAYS a superb college. But it takes marketing to get the word out and attract kids with high stats. BC has a 10 year jump on Fordham in marketing. That is all changing.

    In 10 years, Fordham will be at the forefront of Catholic schools in the US. Mark my words.

    If I were Georgetown and Notre Dame, I would be nervous.

    As far as who is over-rated, that is also somewhat subjective. One kids paradise is another kids hell. Depends on what they like or dont like. Notre Dame is a superb school. But its cold, in a dingy northern Indiana town, and not all of its programs are as deep as some others. But would I turn it down if I were admitted? That depends on what I wanted to study, what kind of campus life I wanted, whether sports was important to me or not (cf. WashU where sports are definitely NOT the selling point.) Rice is a superb school as well, but its narrowly focused for math and science. I would not pick Rice for liberal arts studies. I would not pick Michigan (except its law school if I wanted to study law), because its too darn big. Mellon has superb grad schools.

    I would pick UChicago in a heartbeat, but that turns a lot of people off: southside Chicago, a little nerdy and quirky, sports dont get it there, etc. But the chance to study political economics there would be hard to beat. Milton Friedman, after all.

    Dartmouth is very special. But its also only an undergrad school by and large. Its remote, its cold, and it has those weird quarters with weird schedules. But is it THAT much better than Williams, Tufts, Haverford, or the like? I dont think so. Its mythology to think an education varies that much from one school to the next. What differs is the "culture of the campus" and the factors that play into that. Is it greek city? Is it jock city? Is it intellectual snob city? Is it cut throat stab your buddy city? Do they emphasize true "collegiality"? Do they emphasize independent study? Do people get along or are they clickish? Do people attend the free concerts given by the theatre and music departments? Is it religious? Do they foster tolerance of others? Are they narrow minded to the left or to the right? Do professors play politics? Is creativity downplayed or emphasized? Do they push technology down your throat like making you take all exams on a computer program instead of writing longhand in bluebooks? Is it a drunken bachnalian boorish bash? Is it a place where people with personal morals need not apply? Is chivalry dead or alive? Do they encourage or discourage interdisciplinary studies (you may be very surprised if you find the REAL answer)? Are foreign languages treated like an ugly stepsister or key to the Golden Dome? Are you classmates nervous and hyperactive and frenetic all the time, obsessing about schoolwork, papers, exams and "studying" or is their balance in their lives? When you go into the student union are they discussing the mets or Immanuel Kant?

    There is no right or wrong answer for everyone. Only right and wrong answers for you as an individual. How many kids at Kansas State say, "Hey this sucks, I should have gone to Georgetown?" How many kids at Dartmouth say, "Hey this sucks, I should have gone to Wisconsin?"

    There will be some, because no school has a 100% contentment factor. There is always a small percentage who made the wrong choice (and the college as well.)

    I congratulate everyone who got in everywhere and wish them luck and a very positive experience, even if I wouldnt send my pet dog to their school, or I didnt like the "vibes" I got when I visited there.

    Know thyself and know thy school.
  • SarahsDadSarahsDad Registered User Posts: 380 Member
    Perhaps one measure of "contentment factor" is freshman retention rate. If you like it, you're likely to stay. If you don't, you're more likely to drop out or transfer. Although 1% difference isn't much, this is the USNWR ranking:

    Freshman Retention Rate:

    99% - Pomona.
    98% - Bowdoin, Princeton, Yale, Stanford, MIT, Penn, Columbia, Notre Dame.
    97% - Williams, Amherst, Carleton, Harvard, Duke, Dartmouth, WUStL, Northwestern, Brown, Berkeley, Georgetown, UVa, UCLA
    <97% - Everybody else.
  • bbeckerbbecker Registered User Posts: 520 Member
    I'm gonna go with UF, :-) yeah.
  • loslobos71loslobos71 . Posts: 1,769 Senior Member
    Another school that's entirely underrated is Truman State. Honestly, most people probably think it's an awful school.
  • atomicfusionatomicfusion Registered User Posts: 1,987 Senior Member
    Perhaps one measure of "contentment factor" is freshman retention rate. If you like it, you're likely to stay. If you don't, you're more likely to drop out or transfer. Although 1% difference isn't much, this is the USNWR ranking:

    Freshman Retention Rate:

    99% - Pomona.
    98% - Bowdoin, Princeton, Yale, Stanford, MIT, Penn, Columbia, Notre Dame.
    97% - Williams, Amherst, Carleton, Harvard, Duke, Dartmouth, WUStL, Northwestern, Brown, Berkeley, Georgetown, UVa, UCLA
    <97% - Everybody else.
    SarahsDad is offline

    Not necessarily. High freshmen retention rates can also mean that the school has grade inflation. Pomona, for example, has very high grade inflation.

    Places like Caltech and Harvey Mudd lose ground in the USNWR ranking because of the high difference between the freshmen retention rates and the estimated ones by USNWR. How does USNWR estimate the freshmen retention rates? By SAT scores. So Caltech and Mudd have ridiculously high SAT scores and thus ridiculously high expected freshmen retention rates. So they get the shaft and get underrated (more in Mudd's case because Caltech is already ranked pretty high).
  • hawkettehawkette Registered User Posts: 4,863 Senior Member
    I believe that, for USNWR ranking purposes, freshman retention rates have nothing to do with SAT scores. Freshman retention numbers are drawn directly from the Common Data Set for each school.
  • atomicfusionatomicfusion Registered User Posts: 1,987 Senior Member
    Sorry, I think I meant graduation rates. Either way, freshman retention rates and graduation rates are similar. USNWR for sure uses SAT scores to estimate "expected graduation rates." Many people have brought this up before as one of the major flaws in the USWNR rankings.
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