Skip to main content
2 answers
3
Asked 521 views

How are colleges usually "ranked"? Prestige, undergrad problems, etc.

#college #university

+25 Karma if successful
From: You
To: Friend
Subject: Career question for you

3

2 answers


0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Ken’s Answer

Regardless of various rankings, it really does not matter where you go to school. What matters is how well you study to get the best grades and how well you do networking to get to know people in your career area of interest. Here is an interesting site by a person who worked at Stanford University which talks about the choice of college. ## http://www.ted.com/talks/julie_lythcott_haims_how_to_raise_successful_kids_without_over_parenting?utm_campaign=social&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_content=talk&utm_term=education<span style="color: rgb(103, 106, 108);"> </span>

<span style="color: rgb(103, 106, 108);"> </span>

<span style="color: rgb(103, 106, 108);"> </span>

0
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Alice Foster’s Answer

Hi, Eric. How schools are ranked varies by the publication or organization that shares the results, but many include things like selectivity (based on standardized test scores, GPAs and class rank of the incoming freshman class, and the percentage of applicants accepted), graduation and retention rates, and the number of Pell grant recipients (reflecting promotion of social mobility). While they don’t always make it easy to find, any ranking system should provide their methodology, which is usually a pretty detailed explanation of the criteria they used and why.


That said, don’t put too much stock in the ranking systems. While they do usually accurately promote amazing schools, there are lots of great schools out there that don’t rank highly for one reason or another. For example, U.S. News and World Report incorporates peer rankings from other institutions that rely solely on reputation, not on first-hand knowledge of the quality of the instruction, and lesser-known schools simply aren’t going to score well in that category. Scores also don’t always reflect some positive aspects of a school in a positive way, e.g. schools that recruit students from low socioeconomic groups may have lower standardized test scores, since those students typically don’t have the resources to prepare for the tests as well or take them multiple times like those from higher income groups do. Additionally, since some (not all, but some) schools are known to “game the system”—doing things like inviting students that aren’t competitive at that school to apply in order to boost their selectivity percentage—even schools who rank well will attest that the rankings are not a perfect science. I used to work at a liberal arts college ranked in the top five in the country that intentionally did not use rankings in its marketing materials for that reason.

Alice Foster recommends the following next steps:

Always check out the methodology of the ranking system you are reviewing to make sure it is emphasizing what is important to you. The system should provide detail, as U.S. News does at https://www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/articles/how-us-news-calculated-the-rankings.
If what is important to you is not part of the rankings, see if the relevant information might be available directly through the school you are interested in. For example, you mentioned “undergrad problems.” The Higher Education Act legally requires that colleges disclose such information as financial policies and safety incident reports.
0