US News 2015 Rankings - UA top university in Alabama

<p><a href=“http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/rankings/national-universities/top-public”>http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/rankings/national-universities/top-public</a> </p>

<p>Among publics:
UA dropped 2 spots to #38
Auburn dropped 7 spots to #48</p>

<p>Among all national universities:
UA dropped from #86 to #88
Auburn dropped from #91 to #103</p>

<p>I wonder how many people really use these rankings to help them decide where to apply/enroll? </p>

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<p>More than you realize, and not just among those on CC.</p>

<p>If UA keeps doing all the right things, why has their ranking dropped two straight years? They were #75 just 2 years ago.</p>

<p>If I’m not mistaken, peer evaluation of reputation is still the most heavily weighted part of the US News criteria. I think UA still receives a relatively lower rating from its peers. IMO, it is suffering from lingering antagonism toward Southern, and specifically Alabama institutions. If you look at UA’s progress in the other areas of the criteria, its actually quite impressive. Also, just because UA slipped a bit, doesn’t mean that its not doing “the right things.” Other schools have access to more state funding for example. UA is still a top 40 public school, and that is pretty good. </p>

<p>A change of 2 or 3 spots is mostly likely due to “noise”. The statically model isn’t very precise. </p>

<p>There is no sound reason for UA to drop in rankings. If peer-evaluation is doing this, then USNews should not weight that so much…just silly.</p>

<p>Bama has been dotting the i’s and crossing the T’s in so many things. Its ranking should be going up, not down. It’s upper 30% of the school has an ACT 30+. Other schools with a similar stat have a higher ranking. </p>

<p>It’s the usual - haters gonna hate :). 90% of the people out there have no clue about UA’s academic programs and students. One visit to the university can change minds quickly.</p>

<p>As a Wisconsin resident, I can attest to the lingering bias toward the South. When I tell people we’re thinking of sending my son to Alabama, they sometimes react like… “wouldn’t you be concerned that he won’t be around enough smart kids?” It will take awhile… and a lot of NMF kids going to Alabama… to unring that bell.</p>

<p>I’m no expert at the USNews methodology, but I believe this is the the second year in a row that UA has slipped slightly in the ratings. </p>

<p>I’m wondering if the push for high stats students has reached its maximum return for USNews ranking purposes? Unlike some flagships, like Cal, Michigan, UVA, UIUC etc., “regular” Alabama in-state students can readily attend their flagship. I’m guessing, but maybe Bama needs to address the “lower end” of the accepted students ACT/SAT range to see future increases in its USNews ranking? My guess is that politically, that option is not feasible.</p>

<p>ChicagoBear, that might have a small impact, but compared to peer evaluation, its not that big of a factor. Nevertheless, I agree that UA needs to make the move and tighten admissions just a bit. Maybe make the minimum ACT a 22 or 23 rather than a 21. </p>

<p>US NEWS ranking isn’t really good indicator of “which school is better” because the factors other than academic strength is taken account into the ranking…no wonder that Dean of Harvard wrote a letter to US NEWS, saying “STOP RANKING OUR SCHOOL”.
It’s really not an accurate indicator.</p>

<p>“As a Wisconsin resident, I can attest to the lingering bias toward the South. When I tell people we’re thinking of sending my son to Alabama, they sometimes react like… “wouldn’t you be concerned that he won’t be around enough smart kids?” It will take awhile… and a lot of NMF kids going to Alabama… to unring that bell.”</p>

<p>I’m not sure how to take your post. I’m not quite sure why anyone assumes “he won’t be around enough smart kids?” because Alabama is in the South or that “it will take a lot of NMF kids going to Alabama… to unring that bell.” I currently live in the South and I am from Alabama. I’m not an idiot. My kids are not idiots. If I was, would moving to another part of the country make me not an idiot?</p>

<p>I realize some people have stereotypes about the South just as they do about other things they don’t understand or don’t like. Frankly, I’m growing very tired of hearing it. I’ll put my kids’ levels intelligence up against anyones.</p>

<p>@bamagirls‌ Sorry about that… didn’t come out the way I intended. I live up here but have also lived in the South and spent a lot of time in Alabama as a kid. I was just relaying the idiotic comments I hear sometimes about the South from people who don’t know what they’re talking about. I agree that the stereotypes are irritating. </p>

<p>I think UA’s slight slip in the rankings is more a reflection of the gains of other schools in the things US News values.</p>

<p>I will say, however, that I personally believe that until UA applies to and is admitted into the Association of American Universities (AAU), its movement will be limited on any rankings system where academics and/or research dollars are factored into the calculation. 22.5% of the US News ranking comes from undergraduate academic reputation, which I believe is derived from the squishy “peer assessment” rating. Like it or not, the AAU is the imprimatur of North America’s best research universities. </p>

<p><a href=“http://www.aau.edu/about/default.aspx?id=5476”>http://www.aau.edu/about/default.aspx?id=5476</a></p>

<p>Another 12.5% of the calculation is based on admissions selectivity; given its mission to educate the students of Alabama, I don’t know that there’s a whole lot that can be done on that end, aside from admit the lower scoring students in the spring so those scores aren’t factored into the calculation, a la Northeastern and some other schools that have made some huge gains in the rankings over the past several years. But I certainly wouldn’t want to see UA turn away Alabamans just to claw its way up the rankings!</p>

<p>Just for fun, or in case US News rankings are affected by these misconceptions about the South, let me clarify.</p>

<p>We don’t run around barefoot all the time……oh wait, we do enjoy that sometimes in the summer. The grass really tickles the bottom of our feet, but it feels good. Give it a try.</p>

<p>We don’t all sit around drinking sweet tea and eating barbecue and banana pudding, unless its homemade, or from Dreamland, or Archibald & Woodrows, or from a neighbor’s grill, or……Again, give it a try.</p>

<p>We don’t all kiss our cousins…oh wait, sometimes we do at family reunions, at church, or at a family celebration, but I promise its on the cheek.:)</p>

<p>Our men don’t shave their legs, but our women do. (except when we think nobody will see them in the dead of winter covered by pants and socks.</p>

<p>We don’t wish we lived somewhere else. Why would we?</p>

<p>Our kids aren’t stupid. Oh should I have said “Are younguns ain’t stupid?” Just kidding.</p>

<p>We do read books.</p>

<p>We aren’t all racists anymore because we never were all racists.</p>

<p>We don’t all ride four wheelers….unless we want to. Ever tried it?</p>

<p>We don’t all have guns in our trucks, but some do. Don’t mess with them.</p>

<p>Yes, many of us are conservative. I won’t apologize for that, but you’re welcome to be a liberal if you want.</p>

<p>Yes, many of us attend church on Sunday and many of us were born going and will die doing so. Why would anyone have an issue with that? We welcome you to join, but we don’t care if you don’t.</p>

<p>Yes, most of us were raised to say “y’all, yes ma’am, and no sir”, and we like to hold the door open for the person behind us. It’s called manners. Try it sometime. It makes you feel really good inside.:)</p>

<p>The South….gotta love it! Roll Tide! Bless your heart! :)</p>

<p>"I think UA’s slight slip in the rankings is more a reflection of the gains of other schools in the things US News values.</p>

<p>I will say, however, that I personally believe that until UA applies to and is admitted into the Association of American Universities (AAU), its movement will be limited on any rankings system where academics and/or research dollars are factored into the calculation. 22.5% of the US News ranking comes from undergraduate academic reputation, which I believe is derived from the squishy “peer assessment” rating. Like it or not, the AAU is the imprimatur of North America’s best research universities.</p>

<p><a href=“http://www.aau.edu/about/default.aspx?id=5476”>http://www.aau.edu/about/default.aspx?id=5476</a></p>

<p>Another 12.5% of the calculation is based on admissions selectivity; given its mission to educate the students of Alabama, I don’t know that there’s a whole lot that can be done on that end, aside from admit the lower scoring students in the spring so those scores aren’t factored into the calculation, a la Northeastern and some other schools that have made some huge gains in the rankings over the past several years. But I certainly wouldn’t want to see UA turn away Alabamans just to claw its way up the rankings!" </p>

<p>So what would need to happen for UA to join that prestigious group LucieTheLake? I’m curious. </p>

<p>Just looked up the AAU, and here is what I found: “Membership in the asociation is by invitation,” so UA can’t just apply to it. <a href=“http://www.aau.edu/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=10972”>http://www.aau.edu/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=10972</a> Hmmm. Sounds like a convenient way to keep certain schools in the elite ranks and others in the less elite ranks. Shouldn’t there be an objective membership requirement for something with this much influence? </p>

<p>We prefer Alabamian over Alabaman.:)</p>

<p>I doubt AAU membership is in cards. The University of Nebraska was chased out of the AAU due to insufficient research funding a couple years ago.</p>

<p>The primary reason was AAU refused to count research conducted by the medical school - it was deemed a separate institution even though part if the same university system. Given the way UA and UAB are set up, it doesn’t look good.</p>

<p>If U of Oregon got in, I don’t see why UA can’t be admitted if invited…doesn’t UA have better ACT score and more research funds than U of Oregon does??</p>

<p>Does anyone have any doubt about it being political? Mizzou is a member! </p>