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Why U.S. News' college rankings hurt students
CBS News ^ | 09/10/2013

Posted on 09/10/2013 11:22:55 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

U.S. News & World Report released its college rankings at midnight and, as usual, there was no suspense in which university was crowned No. 1.

During this annual autumn rite, Harvard University sometimes grabs the No. 1 spot and in other years Princeton does. Last year both shared the title. For the 2014 rankings, Princeton came out on top.

In reaction to the criticism that mars this annual collegiate beauty pageant, U.S. News once again tinkered with its college rankings methodology. The rankings goliath gave less weight to class rank, which fewer high schools are reporting. On the other hand, U.S. News put more weight on ACT and SAT scores, which are correlated by family income.

Despite these cosmetic changes, here are five reasons why you should ignore this year's college rankings:

(Excerpt) Read more at cbsnews.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Education; Society
KEYWORDS: college; rankings; usnews

1 posted on 09/10/2013 11:22:55 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

Why don’t we just declare ALL colleges “Number One?” After all, isn’t that the fairest thing to do? /sarc


2 posted on 09/10/2013 11:26:22 AM PDT by Cowboy Bob (Democrats: Robbing Peter to buy Paul's vote.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Funny that SAT/ACT scores correlate to family income as if that doesn’t pretty much validate the genetic component to intelligence.

Shocking: Smart people(generally) have smart kids who go to ‘good’ schools and get good jobs that pay well. Rinse. Repeat.


3 posted on 09/10/2013 11:29:50 AM PDT by EDINVA
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To: Cowboy Bob

Now this for me, is so true...

#4 U.S. News runs a beauty pageant.

A major factor in the rankings is what everybody else thinks about each other.

Three administrators at each of the institutions in the national university category, for instance, must assess what they think about all their peers on a one-to-five grading scale. What do administrators at UCLA and Notre Dame, however, know about what’s going on at the University of Texas, Oregon State or the University of South Florida?

The deck is already stacked in favor of those that have the oldest “reputation”.


4 posted on 09/10/2013 11:32:07 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: EDINVA

In light of the current student loan/debt crisis, this factor is often overlooked:

The rankings, don’t reward schools that graduate students who find solid employment. In fact, U.S. News doesn’t even ask about employment success.


5 posted on 09/10/2013 11:35:07 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

Which one has a better track record getting their graduates jobs? I would predict Harvard! Harvard really should be number one IMHO.


6 posted on 09/10/2013 11:38:01 AM PDT by napscoordinator ( Santorum-Bachmann 2016 for the future of the Country!)
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To: napscoordinator

If you want job placement success immediately after graduation, may I present to you, that outstanding conservative college that does NOT take a cent from the Federal governmennt— Grove City College.

Grove City College achieved a 96% placement rate for students from its Class of 2012. This, in a year that is still very bad for recent college grads.

See here: http://businessjournaldaily.com/education/grove-city-college-places-96-2012-grads-2013-2-12


7 posted on 09/10/2013 11:43:21 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

Hillsdale didn’t make the cut of the top 50 on this list, wonder why?


8 posted on 09/10/2013 11:43:25 AM PDT by shove_it (long ago Orwell and Rand warned us of 0bama's America)
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To: shove_it

Here are at least 5 reasons:

http://freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/3065070/posts


9 posted on 09/10/2013 11:44:20 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

For me, this is the most devastating critique:

“U.S. News fixates on how selective a school is. It focuses on the academic caliber of a school’s freshmen, not on what happens once students arrive at their schools. That’s like judging a hospital by how sick the patients are when they arrive. Are schools doing an excellent job of educating their charges or do they fail? U.S. News sure doesn’t know and doesn’t attempt to find out.”


10 posted on 09/10/2013 11:45:24 AM PDT by proxy_user
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To: SeekAndFind

Stupid article. Good for schools that provide merit scholarships. That means they are rewarding hard work and the likelihood of success at college.

Students have NEVER (as a whole....there may be an odd exception) looked at a college to see what job prospects they provide. They do look at party life, athletics, subjects taught, and other things.

This article is confused and scattered in its analysis. it presumes that all people should go to college and that college somehow by itself makes your life better. Both are incorrect. What you study matters more than where. Not all people should be college educated though it is nice if everyone is well read.

So overall I rate this a big bleeeech


11 posted on 09/10/2013 11:48:52 AM PDT by Nifster
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To: SeekAndFind

Cool. I never would know about this school had it not been for FR. My Nephew wants to go to Notre Dame...were huge Catholic Family. He is 16 so has a little time. I will suggest Grove City to him (as long as it is not a Religious school as his parents will NEVER allow him to go to a non Catholic College except for a public university that does not have non catholic classes. Old fashioned family I suppose. lol.


12 posted on 09/10/2013 11:52:55 AM PDT by napscoordinator ( Santorum-Bachmann 2016 for the future of the Country!)
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To: SeekAndFind
"Bottom Line: With all its flaws and its harmful impact on college behavior, why is anyone still paying attention to these college rankings?"

Got it.

13 posted on 09/10/2013 11:54:04 AM PDT by shove_it (long ago Orwell and Rand warned us of 0bama's America)
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To: napscoordinator

RE: as long as it is not a Religious school as his parents will NEVER allow him to go to a non Catholic College except for a public university

I got bad news for you... Grove city College is loosely associated with the Presbyterian Church. The college is non-denominational and does not require students to sign a statement of faith, though they are required to attend sixteen chapel services per semester.

See here for an introduction:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grove_City_College


14 posted on 09/10/2013 11:59:44 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

ps

You could have saved me some time by posting the conclusion to the article.


15 posted on 09/10/2013 12:00:27 PM PDT by shove_it (long ago Orwell and Rand warned us of 0bama's America)
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To: SeekAndFind

What do you want to bet that graduates of the top (say top 15-20) schools have landed decent jobs?

It’s the middle of the road and (worse) diploma mill grads who have to worry about employment prospects and/or those who choose truly worthless majors (which reflects in itself a certain intelligence deficit).

What the article writer fails to mention is that the “top” private schools (or most of them) do, in fact, cover with grants (not loans) all financial need of admitted students.


16 posted on 09/10/2013 12:00:28 PM PDT by EDINVA
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To: Nifster
Except for the criticism of merit scholarship money, her points are for the most part valid; and who is surprised or cares?

The biggest improvement that the assessment could make is to provide an estimate of "Net dollars above expected future income per dollar spent at this college." This would be easy to determine based on the expected incomes of particular SAT scores (which correlate highly with intelligence, which correlate highly with income.) I'm willing to bet real money that you'd find many of the big name schools would actually have negative results in this area. If you also broke that down by major, you'd find very large negative and positive net results per educational dollar at the same school for different fields of study. No surprise there either, but it might bring home the stark reality of how "useful" a philosophy or Wimmins Studies degree is.

I'm pleasantly surprised to see colleges paying increasingly for quality students. There was virtually no merit-based money available when I started my undergraduate career in 1973.

17 posted on 09/10/2013 12:03:28 PM PDT by FredZarguna (Dental floss is too rigorous under the new standard.)
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To: SeekAndFind

“If you want job placement success immediately after graduation, may I present to you, that outstanding conservative college that does NOT take a cent from the Federal governmennt— Grove City College.”

Hillsdale College as well. http://www.hillsdale.edu/

“Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Michigan, United States, is a co-educational liberal arts college known for being the first American college to prohibit in its charter all discrimination based on race, religion, or sex;[2] for its refusal to accept government funding; and for its monthly publication, Imprimis, with a circulation of over 2.6 million.[3] National Review has described Hillsdale as a “citadel of American conservatism.”...”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hillsdale_Dales#Athletics


18 posted on 09/10/2013 12:04:01 PM PDT by 444Flyer (How long O LORD? Habakkuk 2;Isaiah 55)
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To: EDINVA

RE: the “top” private schools (or most of them) do, in fact, cover with grants (not loans) all financial need of admitted students.

NYU’s tuition plus board is now close to $60,000/year.

A family earning a little over $100,000 a year will probably get $30,000 in grants.

They’ll still need another $30,000 to afford the school.


19 posted on 09/10/2013 12:04:16 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: shove_it

RE: You could have saved me some time by posting the conclusion to the article.

Here is the last praragraph of the article:

Bottom Line: With all its flaws and its harmful impact on college behavior, why is anyone still paying attention to these college rankings?


20 posted on 09/10/2013 12:06:00 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

See my reply#9.


21 posted on 09/10/2013 12:15:55 PM PDT by shove_it (long ago Orwell and Rand warned us of 0bama's America)
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To: EDINVA
What do you want to bet that graduates of the top (say top 15-20) schools have landed decent jobs?

I would bet it depends a lot more on their major field of study than where they went to school.

It’s the middle of the road and (worse) diploma mill grads who have to worry about employment prospects

As if the Ivy's and other elite schools aren't diploma mills. The more likely reason is the networking opportunities available at elite schools, and not the quality of education received. Please don't tell me you think Michelle 0bama got a job as a "community affairs director" for $316,000 because of the quality of her work at Princeton. Or because she even graduated from Princeton, for that matter.

What the article writer fails to mention is that the “top” private schools (or most of them) do, in fact, cover with grants (not loans) all financial need of admitted students.

Really? Please tell me what those "top" schools are, because my kids with "top" SAT's and "top" grades at one of the highest ranked school districts in Pennsylvania could not find any private university that funded more than a nominal percentage.

The country is in sh!t-shape right now because our supposedly elite institutions are turning our worthless parasites [lawyers, bankers, politicians ...] while the "diploma mills" who produce most of our engineers, scientists and programmers [that is, people who actually work and support both the indolent upper and lower classes] are being deprecated.

I never have, and never would, hire an IT professional based on where he went to school. Never.

22 posted on 09/10/2013 12:17:32 PM PDT by FredZarguna (Dental floss is too rigorous under the new standard.)
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To: FredZarguna
Princeton, for one, now has a policy of providing grants to cover costs that a student would otherwise have to borrow to meet. Nor sure about harvard and yale. I don't know how make their decisions about what their students can afford, but they announced the plan several years ago.
23 posted on 09/10/2013 1:23:08 PM PDT by Old North State
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To: SeekAndFind

I thought I’d qualified that ‘top’ school comment to include those in the top 15-20. Maybe top 10, I don’t remember which schools, but several adopted a policy some years ago that if a student was admitted, the Univ would pay whatever $ the student needed. They didn’t want their grads encumbered with loan debt.

If a student wants NYU or any comparable school under the circumstances you outlined, s/he and/or the family would assume a “co-pay” of $30K/year, either through family assets or student loans. They would be gambling, big time, that their $120K investment would pay off.

If the student does well in a desirable major, the gamble would, I should think, pay off. Some schools also increase grants/scholarships after the student has shown strong academic performance, reducing the family/student liability.

OR they could also look to another, less costly but academically comparable school. I.e., there are a number of well ranked state schools. Maybe even save the assets/debt for graduate school?

It all comes down to what the student and his/her family value and are willing to spend/gamble on his/her education and career prospects.

Personally, I am delighted to be beyond all that now!!


24 posted on 09/10/2013 1:46:19 PM PDT by EDINVA
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To: FredZarguna

What an absurd argument. Reductio ad absurdum, as it were. Take one noted person and throw that out as if it were a valid example of an entire class of similarly schooled people. You’d never hire an MIT or CalTech grad for your company’s IT? Have you ever had the opportunity to turn down one such applicant?

I don’t believe for one moment that Michelle Obama or her husband were admitted to Columbia/Princeton/Harvard because of their ACT/SAT scores or GPA’s. Nor, even as a Princeton/Harvard grad,(many years after graduation) did Ms. Obama snag a $300K job. One circumstance was fairly obviously affirmative action; the other political glad-handing.

That pathetic example doesn’t explain the ten and hundreds of thousands of Ivy grads who’ve fared well in the “real world.” I know it’s difficult to accept, but these schools are highly ranked because they offer a superior education. They have the resources to hire the best professors, they attract the best applicants. Just one big vicious cycle.

You might want to expand your search of different schools’ financial aid policies:

“Beginning with the class of 2016, families with incomes up to $150,000 will have an average expected parent contribution of 10 percent or less of their income...” Harvard for $15K a year or less. Such a deal!

“Since 2001, we have eliminated loans from our financial aid awards and replaced them with grant aid that students do not have to repay. Currently, the average financial aid grant covers 100 percent of Princeton’s tuition.”

or closer to (your) home

“The University of Pennsylvania today announced a far-reaching new financial aid initiative that will eliminate loans for financially eligible undergraduate students regardless of family income, making it possible for students from a broad range of economic backgrounds to graduate debt-free.”


25 posted on 09/10/2013 2:25:30 PM PDT by EDINVA
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To: EDINVA
You’d never hire an MIT or CalTech grad for your company’s IT?

Did not say that, said I would not consider the applicant's college. Ever. And I never have.

Have you ever had the opportunity to turn down one such applicant?

I have. And I did not turn him down. The applicant was me. I am self employed and a graduate of one of those schools.

I know it’s difficult to accept, but these schools are highly ranked because they offer a superior education.

Some of them do, in some majors, to some students. Many of them don't. Many of them are not in any way superior to the "diploma mills" you whine on about.

“Beginning with the class of 2016, families with incomes up to $150,000 will have an average expected parent contribution of 10 percent or less of their income...” Harvard for $15K a year or less. Such a deal!

If Harvard was worth $15,000/year it would be a deal. But Harvard isn't. You seem to think by seriously over inflating their tuition costs and then offering steep discounts to some students they deem worthy (we don't actually know what their criteria are) these colleges are offering a great deal. They aren't. They're over-priced and since I've recently been through the drill I know their advertising is mostly baloney.

26 posted on 09/10/2013 2:37:38 PM PDT by FredZarguna (Dental floss is too rigorous under the new standard.)
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To: shove_it
It's not a major research university. They are 82nd in the National Liberal Arts Colleges list. On the other hand, Annapolis and West Point do very well on that list.

What she says is true about the US News rankings, but the college rating game has been going on since long before they even came on the scene. The higher education business thrives on informal rankings but uses US News as a lightning rod or target for hostility: another example of their cunning and hypocrisy.

27 posted on 09/10/2013 2:56:47 PM PDT by x
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