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2018 US News Best Colleges rankings have been released

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Replies to: 2018 US News Best Colleges rankings have been released

  • prof2dadprof2dad Registered User Posts: 694 Member
    @sbballer "Stanford has a highly ranked arts and humanities program and recently ranked number 1 along with MIT (lols..cue the howls from the gallery:)) by Higher times..."

    Times Higher Education is a joke. Two of the four or five criteria they use are research and citation. They treat humanities and arts like STEM. It is well known that the main scholarship form in humanities and arts are monographs, books, and performance. Journals that track citations are therefore much limited in humanities and arts relative to STEM. Now let us imagine the world in which arts scholars do not make arts because their performances/exhibits would not count!

    I think it is quite logical in the world of STEM, Stanford and MIT are the greatest not just in STEM, but also in humanities and arts. Congratulations!
  • f2000saf2000sa Registered User Posts: 729 Member
    Times Higher Education is a joke. Very true... Purely waster time and trees.
  • labegglabegg Registered User Posts: 1,569 Senior Member
    A 5 way tie at #56, 6 way at #61, 6 way tie at #69, 7 way at #103 etc. The ties in the #50 - #150 ranked schools are ridiculous. If there is not that much difference at that level, enough to make a flat out 1 place, one school ranking, I can only imagine that the measurable difference in rankings at the #1 - 50 range is miniscule. The fact that USNWR is unable or unwilling to differentiate speaks volumes about the whole process. It is like the everyone gets a trophy phenomenon. @Sbballer may well have hit the nail on the head.
  • sbballersbballer Registered User Posts: 445 Member
    edited September 13
    lols.. cue the gallery. they use objective criteria....

    btw what does alumni giving have to do with undergraduate education?
    what is behind the use of a USNWR "logarithmic qualifier" except to game results?
  • jzducoljzducol Registered User Posts: 141 Junior Member
    "btw what does alumni giving have to do with undergraduate education?"
    It could be a measure of financial success maybe?
  • wisteria100wisteria100 Registered User Posts: 2,984 Senior Member
    btw what does alumni giving have to do with undergraduate education?

    It's in part a measure of customer satisfaction ie; grads having great experiences with their school and expressing gratitude. Also a measure of active and engaged alumni and a strong alumni network
  • sbballersbballer Registered User Posts: 445 Member
    fund raising is a better one.
  • Gator88NEGator88NE Registered User Posts: 5,417 Senior Member
    edited September 13
    Alumni giving is an indirect measure of student "satisfaction"

    Logarithmic qualifier puts a limit on scores. If they didn't put it in place, rich, high enrollment schools would dominate the rankings (even more than they do today)
  • sbballersbballer Registered User Posts: 445 Member
    edited September 13
    or it's more an indication of wealthy alumni and effective marketing rather than "consumer satisfaction"

    it's a very dubious metric imo
  • sbballersbballer Registered User Posts: 445 Member
    edited September 13
    all pointing to the fact that USNWR games its results. remove the logarithmic qualifier and you get Caltech.
  • prezbuckyprezbucky Registered User Posts: 3,509 Senior Member
    edited September 13
    @sbballer

    It's an undergrad ranking, not a grad/PhD ranking. Giving grad and PhD program rankings influence in this undergrad ranking would be ridiculous. Stanford, Harvard and MIT might have Princeton beaten at overall grad program breadth and output, but that is not the case at the undergrad level, at least according to the USNews formula.

    One potential reason is that the top profs at Princeton (and other schools with a relatively low grad population) spend more time with undergrads, since there are fewer grad students and research projects with which to split their time. More face time with profs is probably a pretty good thing for most students. Maybe that is behind the alumni giving -- a measure of satisfaction and capacity to donate -- and maybe it is reflected in other variables of the ranking.
  • sbballersbballer Registered User Posts: 445 Member
    so when Chicago is accused of gaming the system... the biggest offenders of gaming are in fact USNWR which is my point exactly
  • rgosulargosula Registered User Posts: 610 Member
    @northwesty

    USC #44 in 1996. T21 and 23. That's big. +21

    And then you've got NEU -- 162 in 1996.

    I guess both my kids are at the highest climbers! I got one at USC and one at NEU.
  • northwestynorthwesty Registered User Posts: 2,746 Senior Member
    "While a college might move up and down in a single year, there is a clear trend over many years when you take the average, and looking at averages, tells us that it is very very difficult to game the USNews ranking effectively to make huge gains in the ranking and it gets even more difficult once you get into the top 20. "

    So why not just compare the current trailing 3 or 5 year average to the same average from 10/20/30 years ago? That's how you'd typically smooth out the peaks/valleys.

    Comparing the average of the past five years to the average of the past 35 years (which then double counts the past five years) doesn't make much sense to me. It misses and/or minimizes some pretty obvious, large and continuing trends. In particular, you completely lose visibility on schools that both go up and go down (i.e. Chicago) over long periods of time.

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