mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Fun with collge rankings...

US News has come out with their best collge rankings. Of course, they are generating some controversy in the blogosphere. Their methodology isn't exactly clear, and I've heard complaints in the past that it's partly based on surveys of college professors and administrators - which would make it more a measure of people's perceptions of colleges than anything else.

What confuses me most about their rankings is how they seperate colleges into catagories - their classification seems arbitrary and not terribly useful to the average high school student looking at colleges. Curious how my alma mater ranked, I checked National Universities, Liberal Arts collges, and comprehensive colleges before finding out that it was in Northern Universities - masters. I have to say that when I was a prospective undergrad (and my guess is that most of the readers of these things are), I couldn't have cared less about masters or phd programs, but that's how US News divides colleges.

My favorite college rankings have to be The Princeton Review, which surveys current students and ranks them in various catagories. Looking at what they have for my beloved green and grey, they seem pretty on target - nice dorms, crappy library, lots of booze, good (although expensive) food. While I don't think choosing a collge based on these rankings is a good idea, it does give a good perspective on the collge you are looking at from the perspective of actual students, not from stats ranking colleges in incomprehensible ways.


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