U.S. News national vs. regional rankings

<p>I'm using U.S. News as one tool to narrow down a list of colleges. How does one compare the rankings of two schools when one is on the national university list and one is on the regional list?</p>

<p>In particular, I'm comparing the San Diego State Engineering program with the engineering program at a number of other Cal State U's, Long Beach State, for example. </p>

<p>San Diego State ranks 98 out of 150 colleges on the national university list (PHd granting institutions. This list is filled with big names we've all heard of including the ivy's, MIT's, Carnegie's, etc. , along with the biggest/best state research schools . Of course, at the bottom of this list are some schools that I've never heard of.</p>

<p>CSU Long Beach, for example, ranks 49 out of 172 on the Regional Universities (no PHd) Engineering List. This list is filled at the top with a few well-know colleges but seems to quickly get down to typical state schools nationwide.</p>

<p>As a sidelight, it is interesting that San Diego State is the only one of 23 cal states that is on the national list, probably because they do offer a few PHd programs and do some research grants. (I see other 'problem' ratings. On the same national list as San Diego State, ranked 140 of 150 is New Mexico Tech, which many people have said is a fine engineering school. I looked them up and they too offer a few Phd's and may have been 'trapped' into the national list.)</p>

<p>So, how do I compare the meaning of these two rankings to really compare the schools. Is CSU Long Beach Engineering really better than San Diego State Engineering by this considerable gap? Should I mentally elevate any school on the national list by a certain number of points or a percentage before comparing its rating with a school on the regional list? Thanks.</p>

<p>The best engineering schools in California are Cal Poly SLO, Cal Poly Pomona, and UC Berkeley.. then I would say the other CSU's are on the same level...so SDSU is about equal to CSULB.</p>

<p>the top say 100 national universities have some recognition outside of their region...as an east coast when i think of good cal schools its</p>

<p>berkeley /stanford/usc/ucla/pomona/pepperdine....ive never even heard of any other cal schools</p>

<p>@everyone</p>

<p>I understand that many people will have well-intentioned opinions on the different colleges. But for the purposes of this post, I just want opinions on how to reconcile U.S. News ranking numbers for national universities vs. regional universities. Let's not even talk about specific colleges. Thanks.</p>

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I understand that many people will have well-intentioned opinions on the different colleges. But for the purposes of this post, I just want opinions on how to reconcile U.S. News ranking numbers for national universities vs. regional universities. Let's not even talk about specific colleges. Thanks.

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<p>Instead of comparing the two different USNWR rankings, why not compile your own "ranking". Use factors that are important to you. Like SAT scores, number of applicants, choices of major, fraternities/sororities, location, Div 1 sports, campus spirit, etc.</p>

<p>^ I agree with this. I find too many issues with USNWR divisions regarding Nat'l vs. Regional. The value in the USNWR may be in collecting the data in one place (unless you know how to use I-PEDS).</p>

<p>Regional Universities and National Universities are qualitatively different, so any conversion is going to be somewhat crude. Anyway, here's sort of an "order of magnitude" comparison: </p>

<p>Villanova is the top ranked regional school in the North. It has a freshman retention of 94%, a graduation rate of 88%, and an acceptance rate of 46%. </p>

<p>For national universities, graduation rates start to dip below 90% once you get into the 20s. The acceptance rates start to go above 50% once you get into the 30s. </p>

<p>So maybe we can say that the top regional schools would land in the 30s if they were on the national rankings.</p>

<p>^ acceptance rates don't go above 50% until around the 50 school on the USNews national list.</p>

<p>Everyone has good answers that should all be considered. Another metric to consider is that the best way to tell the caliber of a student at a university is to look at the average SAT scores of admitted students. I use that when I'm comparing schools from the different ranking lists. I'm not sure there is really a quantitative way to compare the lists which is why US News does different lists to begin with. Regional schools tend to be regional and most job offers at these schools tend to come from within their region. And, as you mentioned the degree programs are often different - most only go to the masters level.</p>

<p>When you rely on rankings, you are allowing someone else to make your decision for you. Rather than obsess about a rank, decide what's most important to YOU and compile all available data on those factors.</p>

<p>Don't know why no one has mentioned Cal Tech, but that's probably the best Cal school for engineering.</p>

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The best engineering schools in California are Cal Poly SLO, Cal Poly Pomona, and UC Berkeley.. then I would say the other CSU's are on the same level...so SDSU is about equal to CSULB

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<p>SMCguy there are a few students and professors at Caltech, Stanford, Harvey Mudd, UCSD and UCSB that would completely and totally disagree with you on this.</p>

<p>National >>>>>>>Regional. It is really apples to oranges.</p>

<p>^ really? Lots of very good schools on the regional list. Not sure why graduate degrees are all the important for someone going as an undergrad. Teachers more focused on the students over research is a big plus IMO.</p>

<p>^ depends a lot on the major. For english-lit discussion groups, likely true. For science and engineering, not the case.</p>

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SMCguy there are a few students and professors at Caltech, Stanford, Harvey Mudd, UCSD and UCSB that would completely and totally disagree with you on this.

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<p>Not to mention that Pomona doesn't even have engineering...</p>

<p>Some regional schools have really high national recognition as well, like James Madison, Cal Poly.</p>

<p>I got into UMich, Tulane, and Santa Clara. I'm want to major in business (very difficult, have to apply as a sophomore at Michigan) and computer science. Would it be a mistake to take a full-ride to a regional university like Santa Clara?</p>

<p>When you have a specific major in mind, you should consider how the schools compare for that major, rather than overall.</p>

<p>For engineering, take a look at [url=<a href="http://www.abet.org%5DABET%5B/url"&gt;http://www.abet.org]ABET[/url&lt;/a&gt;] and check for accreditation in the desired engineering degree programs.</p>

<p>Both SDSU and CSULB are likely to attract the local employers to their career centers, but may not have that much visibility to out of area employers.</p>

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<p>Santa Clara has one huge advantage for a computer science major, compared to other regional or lesser known schools: it is located in Silicon Valley. This will make it easy for a Silicon Valley employer to recruit, and easy for you to interview on-site at the employer for internships or your first job out of school.</p>