New Ranking

<p>This is a new, extremely interesting ranking system recently created by economists at harvard, based on which school "wins" when admitted students are deciding where to matriculate. the idea is to base the ranking system on where students most want to be.</p>

<p>here is a summary of the ranking system from the boston globe
<a href="http://www.boston.com/news/education/higher/articles/2004/10/20/new_ranking_system_based_on_choice/%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.boston.com/news/education/higher/articles/2004/10/20/new_ranking_system_based_on_choice/&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>here is the actual ranking (on page 29)
<a href="http://papers.nber.org/papers/w10803.pdf%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://papers.nber.org/papers/w10803.pdf&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>Quick Summary</p>

<ol>
<li>Harvard</li>
<li>Yale</li>
<li>Stanford</li>
<li>Caltech</li>
<li>MIT</li>
<li>Princeton</li>
<li>Brown</li>
<li>Columbia</li>
<li>Amherst</li>
<li>Dartmouth</li>
<li>Wellesley</li>
<li>U Penn</li>
</ol>

<p>I believe that a ranking system such as this is biased toward schools like Brown and Notre Dame, which tend to cater to a specific group of people. A Brown applicant isn't as likely as a Princeton applicant to have to compete against Harvard and Yale because Brown is really different from HYP.
Brown's applicants are probably more likely to apply to other places with no core curriculum, which tend to be less popular than HYP. There's no "strength of schedule" component in this ranking, which really makes it little more than a popularity contest.</p>

<p>No, if you read the details of the ranking system--the way a higher ranking is obtained is by winning matriculants from dual admits. So the whole point is that several people did apply to Brown AND Harvard, Princeton, Yale, etc., and chose Brown after being admitted to all of these places.</p>

<p>That being said, you are absolutely right about it being little more than a popularity contest. But I think that is compelling in itself. The election of a president is also a popularity contest, but it is also a mandate of support. Similarly, I am pleased to see that so many people believe in the institutional philosophies that Brown espouses, to the degree that they are willing to choose Brown, despite the age-old prestige and high endowments of HYP.</p>

<p>I see what you're trying to say dcircle, but it doesn't seem to make sense. One way to obtain a higher ranking than, say, Dartmouth, is to beat them in head-to-head competiton (someone chooses Brown over Dartmouth). BUT - you also get an advantage in the rankings for what you do against other, "lesser", schools. When Brown beats URI, for example, they get a small boost in the rankings. Obviously not as big as when they beat Dartmouth directly, but if Brown accumulates enough wins over URI, their ranking will climb over Dartmouth if Dartmouth has to keep competing against HYP.
The ranking works the same as in chess. Say player A is better than player B who is better that player C. If B plays C ten times and wins each time, and B rarely plays A, then B might be ranked higher than A because B gets lots ranking boosts by beating C constantly. A, on the other hand, might be playing against tougher opponents and losing and thus dropping in the rankings. </p>

<p>That is what I believe is happening with Brown.</p>

<p>Hmmm...that could be the case, but why would Brown have an advantage over Dartmouth in this regard...why would a student be more likely to apply to Brown and URI than Dartmouth and UNH. Or take Columbia for example. Many people apply to Columbia because of the location, and so they apply to a whole slew of NYC schools at once--does Columbia have an advantage?</p>

<p>I would think that all of the top universities are on the same playing field in this regard...in your hypothetical chess game, it is most likely that all of the top ten (or twenty) universities are "playing" the same amount of times.</p>

<p>Also, don't forget that the converse also applies. Brown, Columbia, and Dartmouth are all likely to be paired with Harvard, Princeton, and Yale--all of which historically have higher yeilds.</p>

<p>I used URI just as a name of a weaker school that would share many applicants with Brown...I wasn't trying to say that Dartmouth/UNH isn't a similar situation.</p>

<p>I made this point in my original post, I think...Brown is unique from HYP in that it tends to attract the type of applicant who wants a school without a core curriculum and who really wants total control of their education. That's probably a big reason why the acronym "HYP" is so widely used...they are all pretty comparable in many key areas.
Let me put it this way. </p>

<p>Try to think of the three best suburban colleges that have a core curriculum that's neither very strict nor very loose. You might say Yale, Princeton, Stanford, Caltech...and there are quite a few others that are world-class universities as well.</p>

<p>Now try to think of the best three urban universities that have little or no core curriculum. There are quite a few LACs that have no core but they are typically in rural areas. I can't think of any, other than Brown, offhand. Obviously they exist, but they aren't of the Yale/Princeton caliber. Brown benefits in this ranking because they share applicants with these weaker schools while YPS, all top-10 schools, have to struggle for the same applicants.</p>