Are College Rankings Bogus?

Are College Rankings Bogus?

August 15, 2019 0 By Stanley Isaacs


>>>>PEGGY: UC SAN DIEGO SCORED BIG AGAIN
THIS YEAR IN THE NATION’S RANKING OF UNIVERSITY. UCSD RANKED THE EIGHTH BEST PUBLIC UNIVERSITY
AND THE 38TH BEST UNIVERSITY OVER ALL. SAN DIEGO STATE RANKED 156TH OVER ALL.
HERE WITH THE DETAILS ABOUT THESE RANKINGS IS LYNN O’SHAUGNESSY, CONSULTING DIRECTOR,
AND AUTHOR OF THE COLLEGE SOLUTION, A GUIDE FOR EVERYONE LOOKING FOR THE RIGHT SCHOOL
AT THE RIGHT PRICE. LYNN, THANKS FOR JOINING US.
WHEN IT COMES TO US NEWS RANKINGS THAT CAME OUT THIS MONTH, IT RANKED SCHOOLS IN FOUR
CATEGORIES.>>>>LYNN O’SHAUGHNESSY: THERE’S THE NATIONAL
UNIVERSITY CATEGORY, NATIONAL LIBERAL ARTS CALLS, AND THEN UNIVERSEÊ
>>>>PEGGY: WHEN YOU REALLY SCRUTINIZE THESE RANKINGS AND THE METHODS OF HOW THEY’RE DONE,
WHAT HAPPENS? HOW ARE THEY DONE?>>>>LYNN O’SHAUGHNESSY: ER.
>>>>LYNN O’SHAUGHNESSY: RITZ NOT A SCIENTIFIC METHODOLOGY.
THE MAJOR FACTOR IS WHAT ALL THE SCHOOLS THINK OF EACH OTHER.
ALL SCHOOLS IN A PARTICULAR CATEGORY LIKE NATIONAL UNIVERSITY CATEGORY THEY RANK EACH
OTHER ON A ONE TO FIVE SCALE EVERY YEAR. WHAT DOES SOMEBODY AT SAN DIEGO STATE KNOW
ABOUT WHAT’S GOING ON AT UNIVERSITY OF CONNECTICUT OR MISSOURI.
IT’S A FLAWED WAY OF EVALUATING SCHOOLSÊ THREE PEOPLE AT SAN DIEGO STATE DEPARTMENTS,
SOMEONE THE PROVOST, PRESIDENT AND ADMISSIONS OFFICE HAVE TO RATE THEIR PEER ON A ONE TO
FIVE SCALE. THAT INCLUDE AS DIVERSE GROUP OF NATIONAL
UNIVERSITIES FROM THE IVY LEAGUES TO SCHOOLS YOU MIGHT NEVER HAVE HEARD OF THROUGHOUT THE
COUNTRY.>>>>PEGGY: SO SDSU’S PRESIDENT COULD BE ASKED
TO RANK THE UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA, NEVER GOING THERE.
>>>>LYNN O’SHAUGHNESSY: RIGHT. SO WHAT DO YOU DO IF YOU’RE NOT SURE HOW YOU
SHOULD RANK IT, YOU LOOK AT U.S. NEWS TO SEE HOW IT’S BEEN RANKED IN THE PAST.
>>>>PEGGY: WHAT ARE THEY REALLY MEASURING THEN IF NOT A HANDS ON SCIENTIFIC METHOD OF
STUDENT GRANT GRADUATE RATES.>>>>LYNN O’SHAUGHNESSY: THEY DO INCLUDE STUDENT
GRADUATE RATES, BUT THIS IS THE BIGGEST FACTOR OF WHAT ALL SCHOOLS THINK OF EACH OTHER.
>>>>PEGGY: YOU MENTION IN YOUR BOOK THAT REPUTATION IS VERY IMPORTANT IN THE U.S. NEWS
RANKING. WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY REPUTATION?
>>>>LYNN O’SHAUGHNESSY: YOU KNOW, IT’S KIND OF A GENERAL FEELING THAT SCHOOLS HAVE ABOUT
THE KIND OF QUALITY OF EDUCATION THAT’S GOING ON AT THEIR OTHER PEER INSTITUTIONS.
IT’S KIND OF A NEBULOUS THING, LIKE HOW DO YOU MEASUREÊ A.
>>>>PEGGY: HARVARD OR UCLA MIGHT GET A HIGHER PERCENTAGE.
>>>>LYNN O’SHAUGHNESSY: THEY’LL GET A FIVE, EVERYBODY’S HEARD OF HARVARD, EVERYBODY THINKS
OF UCLA, THEY’RE GOING TO GET A BET FER RANKING AUTOMATICALLY.
>>>>PEGGY: FORBES MAGAZINE ALSO RANKS COLLEGES AND THEIR RANKINGS WERE A LITTLE BIT DIFFERENT.
HOW DO THEY DIFFER? YOU TEND TO LIKE THEIRS A LITTLE BIT BETTER.
>>>>LYNN O’SHAUGHNESSY: ONE REASON IS BECAUSE THEY DO LOOK AT WHAT STUDENTS THINK OF THEIR
PROFESSORS. THEY LOOK AT MILLIONS OF RATE MY PROFESSOR.COM
EVALUATIONS OF SCHOOLS. THEY ALSO LOOK AT OUR KIDS GETTING JOBS WHEN
THEY LEAVE OUR SCHOOLS AND THEY LOOK AT PAY SCALE.COM FIGURES.
THAT’S, YOU KNOW, NOT IDEAL EITHER BECAUSE IT’S SELF REPORTED, BUT IT’S BETTER THAN NOT
LOOKING AT STUDENT OUTCOMES AT ALL. THEY ALSO LOOK AT WHAT KIND OF DEBTED LOADS
STUDENTS ARE HAVING, WHICH IS REALLY IMPORTANT. AND US NEWS TOTALLY I IGNORES THAT.
>>>>PEGGY: HOW MUCH WOULD BE LEFT IF YOU HAD TO PAY TO GO TO HARVARDÊ
>>>>LYNN O’SHAUGHNESSY: WHAT THE TYPICAL DEBT LOAD IS FOR A STUDENT IN ANY OF THESE
SCHOOLS. THAT’S IMPORTANT.
>>>>PEGGY: WHAT IS YOUR BEST ADVICE FOR PARENTS AND HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS TRYING TO DECIDE
ON WHICH COLLEGE? CAN THEY USE THESE RANKINGS AND HOW SHOULD THEY?
>>>>LYNN O’SHAUGHNESSY: I THINK THE BEST WAY TO USE THEM IS A TIP SHEET.
THERE’S A LOT OF FABULOUS SCHOOLS OUT THERE, BEYOND THE ONES THAT VERY TOP OF THE RANKINGS.
IF YOU USE ANY OF THESE RANKINGS JUST TO GET IDEAS, I THINK THAT’S A GREAT WAY TO GO, BECAUSE
FRANKLY, MOST STUDENTS ONLY GO TO SCHOOLS WITHIN A TWO TWO HOUR DRIVE OF THEIR HOUSE
AND I THINK IT WOULD BEHOOVE STUDENTS TO THROW A WIDER NET.
>>>>PEGGY: YOU HAVE A BLOG AND WE CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION ON THAT CALLED THE COLLEGE
SOLUTION.>>>>LYNN O’SHAUGHNESSY: THANKS SO MUCH FOR
INVITING ME.