Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community discussions, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

  • Reply to threads, and start your own.
  • Post reviews of your campus visits.
  • Find hundreds of pages of informative articles.
  • Search from over 3 million scholarships.
Please take a moment to read our updated TOS, Privacy Policy, and Forum Rules.

2018 US News Best Colleges rankings have been released


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

  • simba9simba9 Registered User Posts: 2,654 Senior Member
    @Mastadon UC Irvine has been climbing, especially the law school since Chemerinsky has become their dean.
    He just moved to Berkeley.
  • ParapraxesParapraxes Registered User Posts: 16 New Member
    edited September 14
    lols.. not only is USNWR gaming results.. it was done for political reasons.

    "Political reasons"--how piquant! how pernicious! how--how--how bafflingly heteronomous! One almost forgets--in the wake of such perfidy--the QS's and THE's y/w/rankers whoreson shilling for (the whoremasters) Oxford and Cambridge, and the recent inward motions (of the bowels most like, though I don't deny the vowels' place) leading all these great divers(e) Rankings Corporations (© ) to sustain the Harvard-Stanford-MIT cabal at the top. Presumed the "world's best universities," they are found to be the best in all things--from public service to innovation to social mobility to research to teaching to perfectibility to social ig(n)(m)obility to imperfectibility. Equally odd are the equestrians mounting the Stanford/Chicago hobbyhorses through and throughout these venerable fora.
  • CleepopleCleepople Registered User Posts: 42 Junior Member
    edited September 14
    I always find it weird how UW Seattle is always ranked so low in US News rankings. The research output at UW is one of the highest in the US but USNWR doesn't seem to care :P
  • MrSamford2014MrSamford2014 Registered User Posts: 277 Junior Member
    @tonymom: "ARE WE DONE?"

    Not until we've had a thorough airing of the Stevens vs. NJIT debate, including a rigorous analysis of which school has proven its superiority in statistical science by better gaming the USNWR ranking system.
  • UWfromCAUWfromCA Registered User Posts: 1,066 Senior Member
    edited September 14
    UW has gone from 41 in 2011 to 56 this year.


    It was 41 or 42 from 2008 to 2012. It was 42 in 1997 apparently.


    UW's enrolled student profile is similar to UCSD, SB, D and I (e.g., 26-32 ACT, 3.79 UW GPA), but those schools have held steady in the upper 30s to mid 40s range during that same period.

    Research output and departmental strength are not part of the US News College Ranking methodology.


    You will see higher rankings for UW in the THE (25), ARWU (13), NTU (6), CWUR (27), US News Global (11), etc. rankings, which include research output and impact as factors. I certainly enjoyed my graduate studies there many years ago: great city and surrounding area, beautiful campus, state of the art facilities, brilliant faculty and outstanding students at all levels and in all departments. Perhaps the upper left corner gets overlooked by those 70 guidance counselors who fill out the surveys. Maybe its grad rate or financial resources have not kept up with some of its peers. My understanding is that state appropriations cover less of UW's budget each year; at the same time, the school is among the top recipients of federal research grants and private donations.

    I have lived and worked near UCSD for almost 30 years and am always pleased to see it and the other UCs perform well whatever yardstick is applied. I consider the UW to be in the mix with UCSD, SB, D and I, and that's how the kids in this area seem to think of it. Perhaps someone with access to the US News data could identify the ranking factors the UW would need to improve if it wanted to rejoin its cousins to the south in the upper 30s to mid 40s range. I should add, the UW administration does not seem too concerned about it.

  • tk21769tk21769 Registered User Posts: 9,736 Senior Member
    edited September 14
    The average graduation rate is one of the most heavily weighted factors in the USNWR national university ranking. About 80 universities on the Kiplinger "best value" lists (~60 private, ~20 public) have higher 4 year graduation rates than UW.

    Research production is an important factor in several graduate program/department rankings.
    The US News and Forbes undergraduate rankings don't consider it directly (although it may have some influence on the heavily weighted US News peer assessment scores). Washington Monthly does consider "research"; it ranks UW 14th overall among national universities. However, the WM ranking doesn't seem to get as much respect (or attention) among CC posters as the USNWR or Forbes rankings do.
  • suzyQ7suzyQ7 Registered User Posts: 2,988 Senior Member
    edited September 14
    @tk21769 US News uses 6 year graduation rate, not 4.

    "Graduation rate performance (7.5 percent): This indicator of added value shows the effect of the college's programs and policies on the graduation rate after controlling for spending and student characteristics, such as standardized test scores, high school class standing and the proportion receiving Pell Grants. U.S. News measures the difference between a school's six-year graduation rate for the class that entered in 2010 and the rate U.S. News had predicted for the class. New this year, the proportion of science, technology, engineering and math – STEM – degrees out of the total degrees granted are included for the National Universities ranking category only.

    If the school's actual graduation rate for the 2010 entering class is higher than the rate U.S. News predicted for that same class, then the college is enhancing achievement or overperforming. If a school's actual graduation rate is lower than the rate that U.S. News predicted, then it is underperforming."

    Edited to add - even this metric is fuzzy. "vs the rate U.S. News had predicted for the class". How do they predict?

    "New this year, the proportion of science, technology, engineering and math – STEM – degrees out of the total degrees granted are included for the National Universities ranking category only." What does this even mean relative to the graduation rate metric?
  • UWfromCAUWfromCA Registered User Posts: 1,066 Senior Member
    Washington Monthly also lists the 6 year graduation rate (83%, in the case of UW) and a "predicted" graduation rate (72%) for each school.


    I do not know how US News predicts graduation rates, but this is how Washington Monthly does it:

    "A college’s graduation rate (from the IPEDS) counted for 20 percent of the social mobility score, with half of that being determined by the reported graduation rate and the other half coming from comparing the reported graduation rate to a predicted graduation rate based on the percentage of Pell recipients and first-generation students, the percentage of students receiving student loans, the admit rate, the racial/ethnic and gender makeup of the student body, the number of students (overall and full-time), and whether a college is primarily residential. We estimated this predicted graduation rate measure in a regression model separately for each classification using average data from the last three years, imputing for missing data when necessary. Colleges with graduation rates that are higher than the 'average' college with similar stats score better than colleges that match or, worse, undershoot the mark."
  • pupflierpupflier Registered User Posts: 74 Junior Member
    edited September 14
    Princeton doesn't have a business school so they shouldn't even be on the list, Dartmouth has an excellent business school, and Yale is not a top-10 business school. Swap out Princeton with Dartmouth, swap Yale with Berkeley or Michigan, move Kellogg into tier 2. This is how I would rank the undergrad:
    I think you misinterpreted my post. I am well aware that Princeton does not have a business school.
    The point I am making is that if you are planning to get an MBA, you may want to approach the USNews undergrad ranking a little differently

    Both Harvard and Stanford have great reputations and highly ranked business programs, if you plan to get an MBA and have been admitted to either one of them, it makes sense to take that offer because these schools do admit a significant percentage of their undergrad alums in their MBA programs( choosing between them is purely personal decision at this point)

    Then we come to the next tier. MIT, Penn and UChicago also are ranked highly for undergrad and also have highly ranked MBA programs as well. These schools also like their undrgrads for their grad program. So given their relative MBA ranking, they fit in a single tier. Personally I wouldn't put Penn in the same tier as Harvard and Stanford, because that suggests that a kid getting into either Penn or Harvard or Stanford would choose between these schools for undergrad based on personal preferences. I don't think that is realistic given the relative prestige of the institutions today. I am sure there are exceptions though

    I think choosing between Penn, MIT and UChicago is purely personal, since going to either school will significantly improve your chances to get into that school's MBA program relative to the general pool of MBA applicants. I don't think Northwestern belongs in that category even though it has a great MBA program because when given a choice between Northwestern and Penn, MIT and UChicago an overwhelming majority of kids would choose the latter three schools for their undergrad. That is just where things stand today. Ten or fifteen years ago, the situation may have favored Northwestern over UChicago, but not anymore.

    We then come to the third tier of schools, namely Columbia and Yale. Clearly great undergrad schools, but slightly weaker MBA programs than the schools mentioned above. So if you are interested in an MBA eventually and mulling over an offer from Yale vs Penn or UChicago, I would choose Penn or UChicago, because you will get an excellent undergrad education and increase your chances to get into a higher ranked MBA program relative to the general pool of MBA applicants. If you go to Yale, you will increase your chances of making it into Yale, but relative to a Penn or UChicago undergrad, your chances at those schools will be lower ( not much, but still every small advantage counts). Yale's MBA program is making great strides, but still doesn't belong in the same tier as HSPCMKC

    I have included Princeton in the final tier because an undergard from Princeton will still be an excellent signal for any top MBA program. The primary disadvantage with going with Princeton is that it does not have its own MBA program, so why risk it by going there if you can go to Penn, UChicago, even Yale. At least you get a leg up on admission to one MBA school. With Princeton you are competing as an outsider for every MBA school, albeit with a very strong brand. That is why it is in the same tier as Duke and Northwestern which have good undergrad reputations and solid MBA programs as well

    What about Dartmouth, Cornell, Michigan etc? In my opinion their combination of undergrad and MBA ranking doesn't put them in the same tier as the other schools mentioned above. That is my personal opinion. Once you go past the M7 super elite schools for MBA, you are in a different tier although Yale might break into this tier in a decade or so, displacing Columbia, given all the changes happening there.
  • preppedparentpreppedparent Registered User Posts: 2,259 Senior Member
    I think your tiers are missing some facts. UNWR puts Berkeley's MBA program consistently 7th ahead of Yale and Columbia. In other It also places Berkeley as tied for second with MIT in the undergraduate business program.

    You've conveniently left out Haas which by the way is focusing on their ranking and you'll see it climb to at least 5th by next year.
  • pupflierpupflier Registered User Posts: 74 Junior Member
    @preppedparent Berkeley Haas is a great MBA program, but I don't think most would consider it part of the M7 super elite schools yet. It's undergrad business program is strong, but MBA schools are really not giving any advantage to business undergrad students during admissions. In fact it might hurt them relative to STEM, Economics and Humanities majors. So Berkeley's undergrad strength in business shouldn't really be a factor if you are thinking about an MBA from an elite grad school. If however you are just thinking of a Bachelors business program as your terminal degree, the calculation would be very different.

    We then come to Berkeley's general undergrad program. It may be a great public school, but really cannot compete in terms of resources, class sizes and overall experiences with the private schools for a "better undergrad" experience, specially given the cuts in the budget. Classes are overcrowded, getting into classes that you need is getting increasingly difficult ( I have several friends there, and the reports are not flattering) and increasingly they are turning to international and out of state students to balance their budgets. Berkeley undergrad is heading in the wrong direction and so unless finances are an issue ( which is quite important btw), most kids would turn down Berkeley for one of the top 10 private schools. That is just the reality today.
  • Much2learnMuch2learn Registered User Posts: 4,392 Senior Member

    Michigan has to be hurt by the fact that public ed in that state has been in free fall, with student scores falling for years. That is the pool for 1/2 of their freshmen. It can't be good.
  • dragonmom3dragonmom3 Registered User Posts: 281 Junior Member
    edited September 14
    Strongly agree with the above analysis of Berkeley versus top privates-but I would extend it to the top 50 or so.
    I had one child at Cal, one at WUSTL and one at Vanderbilt.
    The latter two had MUCH better undergrad experiences: better housing, better departmental advising, smaller class sizes, more school pride, and the excellent FA at Vandy make it about half the price of Cal and UCLA-where she was accepted and received nothing other than $2000 for Regents.

    I attended Santa Clara University back in the day and though it is not even ranked-other than as a "Regional U" -I feel that the over-all quality of my undergrad far exceed that of my son at Cal.
  • northwestynorthwesty Registered User Posts: 2,749 Senior Member
    edited September 14
    "I would contend that there should be even more separation into different types of schools, rather than the two large categories that exist now. Different types of schools should be evaluated on different attributes. This is one of the ideas in Malcolm Gladwell's critique of this largely useless ranking endeavor at"

    Weak. Since USNWR already does this extensively.

    Best National Universities.
    Best LACs.
    Best HBCUs
    Best undergrad business programs
    Best undergrad engineering programs
    Best public schools
    Best schools for B students
    Best regional universities sorted by region
    Best regional colleges sorted by region
    Best value schools

    Also, they separately rank grad schools. Best law. Best med. Best engineering. Best B schools. Best nursing. Best ed schools. So the above discussion of grad schools is irrelevant. When it comes to undergrad education, it does not matter that Dartmouth has an MBA school but no law or med school, while Princeton has none, and Michigan has all three.

    End of the day, USNWR (while imperfect) does as good a job on this as you could reasonably do. And their work is completely transparent. So you can hone in on the data and metrics that matters to you. I found their stuff extremely helpful in shopping colleges for my three kids, who were all very different and ended up at three very different schools. Way easier than plodding through a hundred different one-off college common data sets online.

    The money I spent for their annual magazine (99 cents online) was money extremely well spent!

Sign In or Register to comment.