Reed researchers challenge USNWR rankings validity

Most interesting…potential ranking “penalty” imposed if an institution chooses not to complete the USNWR survey.

excellent project for the students, but as my D’s Dean always ask, ‘why is this important?’ (Reed has made it quite clear for many years that is does not care about its ranking and does not want to play the rankings game. Props to them for taking and supporting a stand.)

Rankings are like “baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet.” Welcome to America!

The chart of their regression analysis showed several other outliers other than Reed and those outliers appeared on both sides of the predictive line. It would be very interesting to know which colleges those other outliers are.

Based on their second graphic, I am going to surmise Bucknell, Siena, Stonehill, Marlboro and Covenant would be among those “under-ranked” and Wabash and Ohio Wesleyan among the “over-ranked”.

Reed constantly decries the USNWR rankings but seem at the same time obsessed with debunking them. Personally I would be much more interested in the long term affect that the drop in rankings (self perpetuated by Reed since it doesn’t provide the data to USNWR) has had on Reed which would make a much more interesting case study.

  1. Has it had any affect on the incoming class?
  2. Have its statistics improved or declined in relation to the metrics used my USNWR since Reed no longer decide to participate?

Still I find that Reed is one of a very few schools that is standing by its principles even at its own expense.

It’s all beginning to remind me of the J.D. Power quality surveys. What a racket: 1) Write and administer a survey. 2) Charge companies to access the responses of their customers. 3) Charge companies to access the scores of their market competitors. 4) Charge participants to use the J.D. Power name if they perform well. 5) Repeat annually.

I’ll restate my post with correction above, Reed seems to be obsessed with what there ranking should be. Really not a good look for a college that does think they are valid.

^^except that it is nothing like that. USNews only requests that colleges complete an annual survey form. (Which Reed refuses to do even tho ~90% of the info becomes public information in iPeds anyway.) USNews does not charge for access to the responses nor for using the rankings results in the colleges marketing materials.

Instead, Reed gets a lot of publicity about their non-compliance with the annual survey. It works for them.

So the USNWR data is free. Huh…I had no idea they were such benevolent benefactors.

The data collected by USNWR is fine; it’s the ranking (by magazine editors!) that is such nonsense.