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US NEWS Releases Top 10 Public Schools, and Things Changed

guitar321guitar321 Registered User Posts: 416 Member
https://www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/articles/2017-09-07/2018-best-colleges-preview-top-10-public-universities

UIIC and UWisconsin - two amazing public schools - are now not included in the Top 10. Thoughts? How will this year's rankings change? Will public schools finally do better as a whole?
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Replies to: US NEWS Releases Top 10 Public Schools, and Things Changed

  • CALSmomCALSmom Registered User Posts: 440 Member
    Nice to see a lot of UC schools on the list
  • moscottmoscott Registered User Posts: 839 Member
    Really not too much of a change from last year other than UF moving into the top 10.
  • osuprofosuprof Registered User Posts: 339 Member
    More detailed comparison with last year's ranking --

    Top 9 are still in the release lis: Berkeley, UCLA, Virginia, Michigan, UNC Chappel Hill, W&M, Georgia Tech, UC Santa Barbara and UC Irvine.

    For #10, there was a 4-way tie last year: UC Davis, UC San Diego, UIUC, and Wisconsin. For #14, there was a two-way tie between Penn State. Florida has moved to the next group up, whereas UC Davis, UIUC, and Wisconsin dropped a bit.
  • ZinheadZinhead Registered User Posts: 2,610 Senior Member
    edited September 7
    Five of the schools are in the South, and only one is in the Midwest. Given that Big 10 schools have long dominated the public university rankings, this is a major flip, albeit one that has been in the making for quite some time due to population growth.
  • hzhao2004hzhao2004 Registered User Posts: 495 Member
    I bet budget cuts in WI and IL have a lot to do with it.
  • ZinheadZinhead Registered User Posts: 2,610 Senior Member
    To put this in perspective, here are some historical lists:

    1997
    1___University of Virginia____________________21
    2___University of Michigan at Ann Arbor________24
    3___University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill___25
    4___University of California at Berkeley_________27
    5___University of California at Los Angeles______31
    6___College of William and Mary______________33
    7___University of California at San Diego_______34
    8___University of California at Irvine___________37
    9___University of California at Davis___________40
    10__University of Wisconsin at Madison________41
    11__University of Washington________________42
    12__University of California at Santa Barbara____46
    13__Georgia Institute of Technology___________48
    14__University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign__50

    2007
    1___University of California at Berkeley________21
    2___University of Virginia___________________24
    3___University of Michigan at Ann Arbor_______24
    4___University of California at Los Angeles_____26
    5___University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill__27
    6___College of William and Mary_____________31
    7___University of Wisconsin at Madison_______34
    8___University of California at San Diego______38
    8___Georgia Institute of Technology__________38
    10__University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign_41
    11__University of Washington_______________42
    12__University of California at Irvine__________44
    13__University of California at Davis__________47
    13__University of California at Santa Barbara___47
    13__Pennsylvania State University ___________47
    13__University of Florida___________________47
    13__University of Texas at Austin_____________47

    2017
    1___University of California at Berkeley________20
    2___University of Virginia___________________24
    2___University of California at Los Angeles_____24
    4___University of Michigan at Ann Arbor_______27
    5___University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill__30
    6___College of William and Mary_____________32
    7___Georgia Institute of Technology__________34
    8___University of California at Santa Barbara___37
    9___University of California at Irvine__________39
    10__University of Wisconsin at Madison_______44
    10__University of California at San Diego______44
    10__University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign_44
    10__University of California at Davis__________44
    14__Pennsylvania State University___________50
    14__University of Florida___________________50
    16__University of Washington_______________54
    17__University of Texas at Austin____________56




  • CorbettCorbett Registered User Posts: 2,656 Senior Member
    edited September 7
    The UC system has made a multiyear committment to significantly expand enrollment, starting with a large bump in Fall 2016. The latest USNWR rankings are based on the Fall 2016 entering class, which represents the first phase of that enrollment growth. Most of the growth is coming from in-state students, who have (on average) lower test scores than out-of-state and international applicants.

    https://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/uc-dramatically-boost-california-student-enrollment

    It may seem like the acceptance rates at top universities fall every year, while the test scores rise every year. But when the upcoming rankings become available in full, you will probably find that the opposite pattern holds for the UC campuses, in comparison to last year's ranking.

    For example, consider UC Davis, which is apparently about to fall out of the USNWR Top 10 Public Universities list. Here are some numbers from the Common Data Set:

    - Fall 2015 (used in last year's ranking): 38% acceptance rate, 1070-1340 SAT
    - Fall 2016 (used in upcoming ranking): 42% acceptance rate, 1050-1330 SAT

    So the acceptance rate rose, the test scores fell -- and the USNWR ranking (apparently) dropped. It's quite possible that all of the UC campuses will show this pattern to some extent.

    The UCs are expanding access, which is arguably the right thing for a public university system to do. But accepting more students means lower selectivity, which will hurt them in the USNWR rankings, at least in the short term.

    In the long term, demand for spots at UC campuses seems insatiable. It wouldn't surprise me if UC acceptance rates eventually start falling again.
  • Much2learnMuch2learn Registered User Posts: 4,392 Senior Member
    edited September 7
    @guitar321 "UIIC and UWisconsin - two amazing public schools - are now not included in the Top 10. Thoughts? How will this year's rankings change? Will public schools finally do better as a whole?"

    This reflects the ongoing funding issues at both Wisconsin and Illinois. If the state can no longer afford to fund these schools, they should allow them to become private. Keeping them public and not funding them puts them on a long slow slide into irrelevance.

    Letting them go private will allow them a lot more autonomy to set their own tuition, rally their vast alumni bases for funding, make decisions that are more efficient and best for the school, and both of these amazing schools would be stronger than ever in a very short time.
  • TTGTTG Registered User Posts: 647 Member
    I never really appreciated how unique William and Mary is, as a top-flight, non-flagship public LAC/university. It is pretty remarkable that 4 of the top 7 are in southern states, though all 3 of their states (VA, NC, GA) have strong economic centers and a large tech sector.
  • Much2learnMuch2learn Registered User Posts: 4,392 Senior Member
    @TTG Like the Ivies (except Cornell), William and Mary is very old and has a long-developed reputation.
  • youceeyoucee Registered User Posts: 1,018 Senior Member
    @Corbett The acceptance rate for UCLA, UCSB, and UCI went down a bit this year. Berkeley went up a little bit and UCSD stayed about the same. Davis also looks like it went up a little again.
  • CorbettCorbett Registered User Posts: 2,656 Senior Member
    edited September 7
    In the long term, demand for spots at UC campuses seems insatiable. It wouldn't surprise me if UC acceptance rates eventually start falling again.
    But it may not be happening yet. For Fall 2017, the acceptance rate at Davis rose again, to 44%.
    http://admission.universityofcalifornia.edu/campuses/davis/freshman-profile/index.html

    So the acceptance rates have risen over the past few years (from 38% to 42% to 44%). The USNWR rankings assumes a rising acceptance rate is a Bad Thing. It could mean that Davis is becoming less popular.

    But Davis isn't becoming less popular. Number of applications:
    Fall 2015: 64,410
    Fall 2016: 67,472
    Fall 2017: 70,968

    There's an alternative factor that can cause acceptance rates to rise: deliberate enrollment growth. That's what's happening at Davis (and other UCs).

    If Davis had held the number of admits at 2015 levels, its current acceptance rate would be 35% instead of 44%, and its ranking wouldn't be slipping. Davis (and other UCs) are currently sacrificing USNWR rank to admit thousands of additional in-state applicants. It's a tough choice, but probably the right one given the UC's public mission.
  • CorbettCorbett Registered User Posts: 2,656 Senior Member
    edited September 7
    The acceptance rate for UCLA, UCSB, and UCI went down a bit this year. Berkeley went up a little bit and UCSD stayed about the same. Davis also looks like it went up a little again.
    The big bumps in UC acceptance rates were between Fall 2015 and Fall 2016. The rates apparently stabilized between Fall 2016 and Fall 2017, although the rates continued to rise slightly at some campuses.

    The point is that applications are hitting record highs across the UC system -- yet acceptance rates are more or less stable, or even rising. This is because the UCs are trying hard to increase enrollment to keep up with the record applicant volume.

    From the USNWR perspective, this is the "wrong" thing to do. For USNWR ranking purposes, it would be better to keep enrollment stable as applications rise; this would improve the "Selectivity Score". Private schools like Stanford or USC are happy to do this. But public schools like the UCs have a different mission, which the USNWR ranking criteria do not address.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 62,974 Senior Member
    Much2learn wrote:
    This reflects the ongoing funding issues at both Wisconsin and Illinois. If the state can no longer afford to fund these schools, they should allow them to become private. Keeping them public and not funding them puts them on a long slow slide into irrelevance.

    Letting them go private will allow them a lot more autonomy to set their own tuition, rally their vast alumni bases for funding, make decisions that are more efficient and best for the school, and both of these amazing schools would be stronger than ever in a very short time.

    Perhaps a privatization, but with an explicit trade of some state subsidy for lower in-state tuition and better in-state financial aid for a reserved number of in-state residents, may be an option, if there is any interest in maintaining some level of access for state residents at the privatized "state flagship". However, it does not seem that IL or WI has that as a priority, so a privatization or semi-privatization is more likely to end up like the Penn State model, where in-state financial aid is poor enough to make it unaffordable for most non-wealthy in-state students.
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