Archive for the ‘US College rankings’
This year’s U.S. News & World Report’s 2011 Best Colleges issue, at 296 pages, is quite a piece of work. To give credit to the editors, a lot has been changed this year. Colleges that grant postgraduate degrees are no longer ranked alongside the schools that offer only undergraduate programs. And for the first time, high school guidance counselors helped create a new “Undergraduate Academic Reputation Index.”
But the central problem remains. It’s the claim that these US college rankings will help students identify the “best colleges” in America. That claim – both implied and stated openly – is what makes students, parents and even grandparents plop down $9.95 for this year’s issue. And it just doesn’t make any sense.
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The American people love to rank things. From cars to coffee, there are rankings for almost everything. Why do we like them so much? I think it may be because it is an easy way to get a quick overview of what can be very complex information. So it only makes sense that lists of US college rankings would be among the most popular rankings. They seem like the perfect way to choose which schools to apply to. After all, if a school doesn’t make the list, it means they’re not very good, right? Wrong.
From wind turbines that provide power to their campuses, to student-run organic farms that provide the produce you find in the dining commons; colleges all over the country are stepping up to the challenge of making their campuses more sustainable. But where do the colleges you are considering rank when it comes to their overall commitment to sustainability?
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A lot is said about US College Rankings and if they are in fact relevant to the college search. As a representative for a small, comprehensive, liberal-arts based university in Connecticut, I am constantly encountered with questions about how the University of New Haven “ranks” against other schools. As you begin (or even conclude) your college search, it is important to concentrate on a different word than “rank” … That word is “fit”.
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Today we have a guest from Emily Goll. Emily is a graduate of Whitman College with a degree in English literature. She currently lives in Seattle, Washington and writes for GuidetoOnlineSchools.com, a publisher of accredited online college and online degree information.
The reputation of your college is incredibly important. It will help to determine the rigors of your academics, the jobs you are eligible for, and the quality of faculty that teach at your school. As a result, most graduating seniors who hope to attend a four-year institution spend the months before their applications are due pouring over books and magazine articles that feature college rankings.
Such articles and books cover everything about a school from the cost of tuition, to the student to faculty ratio, to the academic rating, and to the admissions selectivity rating. Not only do these types of lists help students narrow down their choices, but they paint a clearer picture of the schools for each individual. This can strongly help a student make a well-thought out, informed decision when choosing where to obtain his or her bachelor’s degree.
I was just reading an article this morning about women’s professional tennis and the flaws in its ranking system. This time of year, I also see weekly reviews with different people giving their opinion about the various ranking systems in college football. There are computer programs that use data analysis, coaches votes, win/loss and strength-of-schedule ranking systems, and different ranking systems based on the weight of each different criteria. Honestly, I find it to be a bit of overkill. But, what about US college rankings? So how do the US college ranking systems work? Which US college ranking organization is most reliable? (more…)
Last month, the Princeton Review released their annual college rankings, listing off the nation’s biggest party schools, best college towns and nicest dorms. And while you may be thinking about those factors as you shop for schools, maybe it’s worthwhile to look ahead: PayScale.com recently released an interesting report of college graduate salary statistics. Is your dream school worth the price of tuition?
We all see the college rankings published by corporations, such as U.S. News and World Report, Princeton Review and many more. Are these fair and honest? Do they have the best information to rank a school? Are they influenced by money?
I cannot answer these questions, but I do know that I’d rather learn about a college from students, professors, and others who are ACTUALLY part of the college. It’s just like buying a TV. I want to take advice from people that have actually experienced what I’m looking for.