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Dickinson Announces New Rankings Policy


Replies to: Dickinson Announces New Rankings Policy

  • wyograd76wyograd76 Registered User Posts: 60 Junior Member
    I just found this site, wish I had known about it earlier. Anyway, this is an interesting thread. We used the US news rankings to make an initial list for each of our 3 kids. Visiting narrowed down the choices. This thread caught my eye because my daughter is a senior at Dickinson. She was ranked #2 in her public hs class of 487 students, and had math 800, verbal 790 SAT's. Was accepted to Swarthmore, JHU, Goucher, Dickinson, Rutgers, and Colby. After visiting, she felt a most comfortable fit at Dickinson and it was not because it was full of B students as collegeprep11 mentioned. Swarthmore, JHU and Colby offered zero financial aid. Goucher offered full ride, Rutgers full tuition, and from Dickinson she got $15,000 per year merit, $3000 engage the world fellowship and extra bonus for making it #1 on her national merit selection. She has found the academics there very challenging (science major) and the other students extremely bright. I think the schools ranked between 26-50 try to recruit top students who have the stats to get into higher ranked colleges. Looking back, it was similar for my other 2 kids who have graduated from college in the past 4 years.
  • dwinchodwincho Registered User Posts: 581 Member
    It doesn't do anymore than that besides attempt to quantitatively list schools - and most agree that the schools ranked number 5 are better than ranked 15, which in turn are better than ranked 25, etc. It makes for a decent way to look at schools when you don't know anything about them.

    No, I don't agree. For instance, I don't think Middlebury is necessarily better than Bates or Reed, or that Lafayette is better than St. John's. Even before we get to this argument, we have to define what 'better' stands for.
  • vonlostvonlost Super Moderator Posts: 30,798 Super Moderator
    I also disagree that "the schools ranked number 5 are better than ranked 15" because the premise that schools can be ranked as one-size-fits-all is bogus from the start. For some students, Middlebury is better than Bates, and for others, Bates is better than Middlebury. What *can* be said, e.g., is that SAT scores are higher at one school than at another, but the reason for *that* may be, e.g., the prestige of attending a good undergraduate school co-located with a great graduate school, instead of attending a great LAC.
  • cushie32cushie32 Registered User Posts: 116 Junior Member
    "I doubt that the 41st-ranked LAC is really going to make a difference."

    It's comments like that that show how stupid the rankings are. I mean, with 3,000 colleges, #41 should still be good.
  • collegeprep11collegeprep11 Registered User Posts: 478 Member
    can we just stop talking about "best fit"? sure one can say coe college (ia) is better than amherst simply because it's a better fit for him but does it mean it is a better school? most certainly not. when we're comparing which school is better we should look at them the way most people percieve them to be not which school is better for you as an individual. however, i am not saying "the schools ranked number 5 are better than ranked 15" because there seems to be very little difference between middlebury and harvey mudd when it comes to quality of students. the same cannot be said about middlebury and dickinson.
  • vonlostvonlost Super Moderator Posts: 30,798 Super Moderator
    'can we just stop talking about "best fit"?'

    No, because we need to consider the students when thinking about the quality of a school. The purpose of even the bogus one-size-fits-all rankings is to try to help pick a school, but picking the right school can be done only by considering a given student's appropriateness for the school.

    'we should look at them the way most people percieve them'

    This is the vicious circle of self-fulfilling prestige; most people perceive school A to be the best, therefore most students want to go there, therefore the selectivity goes up, therefore it's perceived to be the best, on and on. To maxmize success, however any given student defines it, requires matching a student's and a school's features to each other.

    I agree with dwincho, that "we have to define what 'better' stands for." It's empty to simply say it's better if most people *think* it's better. The closer we get to specifics, the better job we can do at evaluating fit: School A is better at preparing high school biology stars for medical school than is school B; School C is better at preparing high school physics stars for a PhD in physics than is school D. But even this can be too broad a measure, not matching, e.g., learning styles with teaching styles.
  • hobofromdowntownhobofromdowntown Registered User Posts: 2,232 Senior Member
    seems like some school is cranky b/c they were ranked #41.
  • kwijiborjtkwijiborjt Registered User Posts: 750 Member
    Ten cool points for Dickinson.
  • kwijiborjtkwijiborjt Registered User Posts: 750 Member
    Oh, be quiet hobo, that's such a pretentious thing to say.
  • Dippity DoonutDippity Doonut ., * Posts: 34 New Member
    i support mr. dickinson in his desire to make the rankings more objective! please be transparent america!
  • NJresNJres Registered User Posts: 6,080 Senior Member
    Dickinson just moved up 12 places in my ranking! :D
  • CC AdminCC Admin Administrator Posts: 32,448 Senior Member
    Dickinson will rise up another 20 points when the new Science Building gets finished by 2008!!
  • davida1davida1 . Posts: 312 Member
    This is bad for Dickinson. Only TTT schools don't provide information to US News. I personally find it insulting. The college admission process is stressful enough on students and parents, being forthcoming about your statistical information for major publications is helpful to prospective students and their families. Whatever your ideology is, choosing not to participate is unfortunate and embarassing, considering weaker colleges are the ones that tend to do this.
  • MarathonMan88MarathonMan88 Registered User Posts: 1,321 Senior Member
    If I read the press release correctly, Dickinson will continue to furnish statistical information to guidebooks--most colleges make these data public in other forums in any case.

    The crux of their policy change is that they will not trumpet their rankings in their publications, web postings, and admissions literature. The only "information" that they'll deny USNWR is their subjective ratings of overlap institutions. I say bravo Dickinson!
  • CC AdminCC Admin Administrator Posts: 32,448 Senior Member

    i agree
This discussion has been closed.