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Academic Rating of Goucher vs. Brandeis

pyewacketpyewacket 1568 replies114 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,682 Senior Member
edited April 2005 in Parents Forum
My D is interested in both these schools. Goucer as a safety and Brandeis as a reach. According to Princeton Review, Goucher has an academic rating of about 92 and Brandeis about 84--how can this be given the much higher selectivity and faculty reputation at Brandeis?
edited April 2005
10 replies
Post edited by pyewacket on
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Replies to: Academic Rating of Goucher vs. Brandeis

  • minimini 26172 replies259 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 26,431 Senior Member
    Better attention to students, better advising, smaller classes, better access to faculty. I'm not saying that is so, only that this could easily explain the differences. (there is, of course, a different selectivity measure.)
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  • garlandgarland 15872 replies197 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 16,069 Senior Member
    PR's subjective descriptions are informative, but their ratings system has been widely perceived as arbitrary and untrustworthy.
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  • minimini 26172 replies259 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 26,431 Senior Member
    The latest PR gave Brandeis a "93" in academic quality, and Goucher a "92" - maybe you have an old edition? Anyhow, this is how they derived it:

    Academic Rating
    How hard students work and how much they get back for their efforts, on a scale of 60-99. This rating is calculated from student survey results and statistical information reported by administrators. Factors weighed include how many hours students study outside of the classroom and the quality of students the school attracts. We also considered students' assessments of their professors, class size, student-teacher ratio, use of teaching assistants, amount of class discussion, registration, and resources.
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  • dstarkdstark 33322 replies919 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 34,241 Senior Member
    Princeton Review's academic ratings are garbage.
    Mini, normally I agree with you, but Brandeis is very strong in all the things you mentioned in post 2.

    I wouldn't use PRs ratings.
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  • minimini 26172 replies259 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 26,431 Senior Member
    Oh, I wasn't commenting on the usefulness of the rankings one way or the other. Nor do I know anything about Brandeis or Goucher. I was just commenting on how one COULD come up with a difference, one, which apparently doesn't exist.

    PR ranks Brandeis very highly for academic quality (they give Harvard, Yale, and Washington U. a 94) - do you disagree with them?

    I have found PR far more accurate than the other ratings, and I think it is because they incorporate so much actual student input (and they actually explain what they are doing.) But ratings are ratings are ratings....
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  • dstarkdstark 33322 replies919 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 34,241 Senior Member
    I can agree with PR that Brandeis is strong academically and think PR is garbage.
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  • barronsbarrons 23029 replies1951 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 24,980 Senior Member
    The sample used to derive the rankings is totally unscientific thus garbage in garbage out. I have heard of the surveys being passed out to a bunch of frat buddies in order to get the things done.
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  • jamimomjamimom 3277 replies1 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,278 Senior Member
    I would not say that the ratings are pure garbage. But I can tell you comparing Brandeis to Goucher would be very difficult as they are totally different types of schools with different ways of teaching and the way things are set up. Goucher is a former all women's college and is similar to Vassar, Skidmore, Wheaton, Bennington, Sarah Lawrence , in style whereas Brandeis is more like a traditional smaller university. What is more important than any academic rating is to visit the school and find out which learning and living environment is better for you. I've known kids who have loved each school and some who have hated either one. It is all a matter of match. A free spirit type would probably be more at home at Goucher. A traditionalist would probably prefer Brandeis. Goucher enjoys an excellent reputation in the mid-Atlantic,particularly in Maryland. Having lived in Baltimore for many years and being familiar with Goucher's transitions and situation, I can say that it is an excellent academic value for its selectivity today. Brandeis is more right on, I believe, with its statistics. In my day, Brandeis was nearly all Jewish, Goucher was all female. Both situations have changed as I know many non Jewish students who love Brandeis and Goucher is more than a third male now. I would recommend anyone who is trying to choose between these schools to spend a "day in the life of".
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  • pyewacketpyewacket 1568 replies114 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,682 Senior Member
    jamimom,

    Thanks for your considered opinion. My D has visited both B and G. Both are appealing in that they are not "party schools" and offer ways to combine journalistic-writing with traditional LAC courses. Also they are both small enough to be undergraduate focussed and personalized (more so at G than B.) B. would, of course, be academically more challenging but G seemed to allow "space" for following individual interests. They are the the extreme ends of my D's college list so far.

    May I ask, what is your take on the "safety" aspects of being in Baltimore? Towson?
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  • yulsieyulsie 747 replies57 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 804 Member
    Goucher is like a 'gated community' - D of a good friend is there, loves it. Nice to see horses on a campus too. It was a safety for S, and when we visited he liked it quite a bit. It is appealing, lots of attention, everyone goes abroad, small classes, music teachers are from Peabody, you can take classes at Hopkins or other schools - decent combination of quality points, IMO.
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