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Priceonomics -Ranking the Best (and Worst) Colleges for Low Income Students

gettingschooledgettingschooled Registered User Posts: 1,951 Senior Member

Interesting methodology. Like any, it has its drawbacks. For instance the net price is based on in state tuition. I am sure the acceptance rates are based on the mix of in state and out of state so in many flagships the OOS selectivity is higher, but it is an interesting way to look at it.

Replies to: Priceonomics -Ranking the Best (and Worst) Colleges for Low Income Students

  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 76,728 Senior Member
    For instance the net price is based on in state tuition.

    There probably are not many low income out-of-state students at most public schools, since they would not be able to afford the out-of-state cost with worse or no financial aid, unless they got big merit scholarships.
  • gettingschooledgettingschooled Registered User Posts: 1,951 Senior Member
    Agreed. I just think that means a list like this is hard for a student to use. What good is it for a student in Idaho to know that Texas A&M tops this ranking if using OOS tuition, they might not stack up well to the University of Idaho.

    I think the list is more interesting to those who care about what schools are doing to help low income students get an affordable education that improves their chances of being able to become solidly middle class.

    I do like that the authors give a nod to highly selective schools aid programs but point out that the odds of a low income kid getting into those schools are even lower than the low overall admission rates would indicate.
  • Madison85Madison85 Registered User Posts: 10,695 Senior Member
    edited October 2015
    So the number 2 ranked school on the first list in terms of low cost and high graduation rate (Be'er Yaakov Talmudic Seminary) is not going to appeal to a large number of people. Total enrollment is 289 people.

  • Erin's DadErin's Dad Super Moderator Posts: 36,455 Super Moderator
    Surprising to see GTech and UW on there. No UCs? I have trouble believing that.
  • Madison85Madison85 Registered User Posts: 10,695 Senior Member
    edited October 2015
    Post #3 - oops! That's an alphabetical list, not by rank!
  • bclintonkbclintonk Registered User Posts: 7,653 Senior Member
    Kind of goofy, if you ask me. They rank both Michigan State and the University of Michigan among the schools with the "best outcomes for low income students with accessible admission rates," Michigan State at #6 and Michigan at #14. Yet between the two schools, Michigan has a higher low-income graduation rate, a lower net cost for low-income in-state students, and higher future annual earnings for low-income students. So why does Michigan State do better than Michigan in the ranking? Because Michigan State has a much higher admission rate. But why should that matter?

    I can see Michigan State being a nice fallback option if a low-income Michigan resident can't get into the University of Michigan, but between the two schools it should be a no-brainer if you get accepted to both: if you choose Michigan, you're more likely to graduate, your net costs will be lower, and your lifetime earnings are likely to be higher. The fact that Michigan State has a higher admit rate shouldn't be a reason to prefer it to the University of Michigan. That's just dumb. The fact that Michigan State has a higher admit rate, relatively low costs, and quite good outcomes is a good reason to apply to it in case you don't get admitted to the University of Michigan, but if you can get admitted, Michigan is the better value proposition.
  • Data10Data10 Registered User Posts: 2,899 Senior Member
    edited October 2015
    The article finds that highly selective colleges have much higher graduation rates than less selective colleges, yet still seems to assume selectivity of the student body has no influence on this difference in their conclusions? For example, Duke is listed as having a 92% low income grad rate, and Alabama State is listed as having an 18% grad rate. If a particular student is accepted to Duke and chooses a full ride at Alabama State instead, obviously his chance of graduation does not drop to 18% like the average Alabama State student. Instead he'll have a very high chance of graduation, perhaps higher than he would at Duke since he'll have fewer financial concerns, with the full ride. This makes the ranking have little meaning.

    A better measure would be looking at how the graduation rate at Duke / Alabama State compares to schools with similar selectivity... in short looking at the difference between predicted and actual graduation rate, where predicted grad rate is based on things like student body stats, student body income level, and major distribution.
  • GMTplus7GMTplus7 Registered User Posts: 14,567 Senior Member
    FYI, the rollout of 2 new college rankings based on value-added by the schools, and not just based on SAT scores, size of endowment, or number of research paper citations.

    One list is by The Economist, and the other by the Brookings Institute. These 2 interesting lists don't have your usual suspects.

This discussion has been closed.