Oberlin's Ranking to Change? In Which Direction?

<p>How will this change Oberlin's USNWR ranking for the 2011 college edition of U.S. News and World Report? It's from USNWR website announcing changes being considered to ranking methodology. Wouldn't "predicted graduation rate" (the subject of another thread) cause Oberlin to lose about 10 spots in the ranking? That would be horrible. Here it is:</p>

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—We may add high school counselors' rankings of colleges as part of the academic reputation component, which is now 25 percent of the America's Best Colleges rankings. To do this, we would reduce the weight of the regular peer assessment survey for the National Universities and Liberal Arts Colleges categories.</p>

<p>—We are considering combining the scores from the current peer assessment survey rating done by college academics with the scores and high school counselors' ranking of colleges. That combination of scores could be called the "undergraduate academic reputation index."</p>

<p>—We are considering adding the admit yield—the percentage of students that the school accepts that enroll at that school in the fall—back into the rankings. Yield is a very good proxy for student views, because it's how much students value their acceptance from that particular college. If yield is added back into the rankings, it will be part of the undergraduate academic reputation index variable.</p>

<p>—We may slightly increase the weight of the "predicted graduation rate" that currently accounts for 5 percent of the National Universities and Liberal Arts Colleges rankings. The predicted graduation rate has been a well-received variable by some higher education researchers, because it measures outcome and rewards schools for graduating at-risk students, many of whom are receiving federal Pell grants.

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<p>Try to ignore rankings. Some of those changes would likely help and other would hurt Oberlin. But most of all, pay no attention to those idiots behind the curtain at USNWR.</p>

<p>^
I hear ya, but if it were that easy then all colleges, including Oberlin, would've done as Reed College did years ago: refuse to cooperate in the rankings survey. But almost all colleges and universities keep on participating, as if terrified of the consequences if they do not.</p>

<p>Students can't ignore the USNWR rankings if the colleges don't ignore them.</p>

<p>^ Maybe it is that easy; it certainly hasn't hurt Reed. On the contrary, since 2001, applications to Reed have doubled, and the acceptance rate has plummeted—from 74 percent to an all-time low of 32 percent in 2007. Maybe the publicity, or that HS students approve, or ???</p>

<p>I never met anyone at Oberlin who would dream of paying any heed to the US news rankings, except perhaps in the context of a scornful remark. The holistic premise of any Oberlin education undermines the legitimacy of such ranking methodologies. </p>

<p>Please, don't choose Oberlin because of the rank given to it by people who likely would be rejected from Oberlin!</p>

<p>^</p>

<p>Again, if no one at Obelrin cares, why do they diligently cooperate with and participate in the survey? To say no one cares but they expend the resources to participate every year doesn't make sense. You're ignoring facts. Obviously, some folks high up in Oberlin's administration do care.</p>

<p>Maybe no one at Oberlin (or at most other schools) cares, but they know some of the public cares.</p>

<p>^</p>

<p>Then Oberlin cares that the public cares, which comes down to Oberlin caring. Reed doesn't care. Their actions clearly demonstrate that they don't care. Dickinson has now decided not to cooperate anymore, so they don't care. Oberlin cares.</p>

<p>The ironic thing is that the average USNWR reader (even most college applicants) look no further than the national universities rankings- you'd be surprised how few people have even heard of Swarthmore, Williams and Amherst, despite the fact that they'd only have to take a cursory glance at the LAC rankings to be so informed (and there are a bunch of outstanding LAC's).</p>

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The ironic thing is that the average USNWR reader (even most college applicants) look no further than the national universities rankings- you'd be surprised how few people have even heard of Swarthmore, Williams and Amherst, despite the fact that they'd only have to take a cursory glance at the LAC rankings to be so informed (and there are a bunch of outstanding LAC's).

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<p>Or Oberlin. Don't forget, the USA is the country in which the majority of citizens can't point out their own state on a map of the USA. So I'm not surprised.</p>

<p>Don't kid yourselves; of course the Oberlin administration cares. A couple of years ago, when Oberlin's USNWR rank hit 18 or 20 (sorry, can't remember); the college immediately posted the news front and center on the website. Then, just as quickly, removed the ranking news, when reminded that they had agreed with other colleges, not to tout USNWR rankings. </p>

<p>As for other colleges; students and their responses; I do know of kids from schools such as Oberlin being tweaked about their school's ranking in comparison to say, Swarthmore. So, again, people do look at the rankings; how much they care (or should care) is up for debate. </p>

<p>There is also a lot of regional bias going on; in New England; people may not have heard much about mid-Atlantic schools etc.</p>

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There is also a lot of regional bias going on; in New England; people may not have heard much about mid-Atlantic schools etc.

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<p>Don't you mean Midwestern schools? Mid-Atlantic is more New Jersey, NYC and PA. I'm pretty sure people in New England have heard of the elite schools in Joisey, New York and Pennsylvania. But once you cross central PA and keep going west, past Pittsburgh and into Ohio, you cross into the Midwest and Oberlin. This is fly-over country to a lot of New Englanders. Although I've been surprised at the number of Obies from Massachusetts, Vermont and even Maine. The College is not totally unknown out east. What I've found more surprising are the Texans, Arizonans and Hawaiians on campus.</p>

<p>Where is Oberlin?</p>

<p>Plainsman; sorry, I didn't explain myself clearly. One of my kids will be going to Bryn Mawr next year; we get blank stares, then polite smiles from people who've clearly never heard of the school; hence my reference to the mid-Atlantic. I hadn't heard of Colby or Bates until we moved back to New England. It's partially regional bias, but also, if one doesn't have a kid in high school, or isn't interested in a type of school, many schools are just off one's radar screen. I can't for the life of me, stop confusing Wake Forest from Lake Forest; I have only vague ideas where each school might be, don't know anything about either school.</p>

<p>At one point my daughter was concerned that so few people had heard of Oberlin. What was the point of going to a good school if no one knows that it is a good school? Then she noticed that the people who had heard of Oberlin were the intelligent, educated ones.</p>

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At one point my daughter was concerned that so few people had heard of Oberlin. What was the point of going to a good school if no one knows that it is a good school? Then she noticed that the people who had heard of Oberlin were the intelligent, educated ones.

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<p>Don't sweat it. People are incredibly ignorant and provincial. 75% of Americans are unable to name even one of their own state's U.S. Senators (it's even more shocking when you realize that many of these same folks VOTED for a senate candidate). I'll bet you 100,000 bucks that you can't find a single person with a job in the White House (other than secretary) who hasn't heard of Oberlin.</p>

<p>As long as the RIGHT people know, the movers and shakers, that's all that really counts. There is little you can do about the moron parent at the soccer game.</p>