Funny spoof of rankings


I tend to make fun of a lot of the rankings, and although I know the folks at US News and like most of them, the bottom line is that a huge amount of their ranking is based on a survey of the same people that rank high on the list, and then on how much money the school spends. In other words, you can spend your way to the top…but this website WHICH IS TOTALLY FAKE – made me laugh about how most of us might guess they set the rankings:

http://www.concurringopinions.com/archives/2008/03/the_official_le.html

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5 Responses

  1. It’s a good thing U.S. News and World Report doesn’t take into account the internships a University can provide – that would be completely silly. USN&WR only considers important things such as “Average Alumni Giving Rate” – which of course doesn’t skew the results in favor of the ultra-wealthy. What a great ranking system!

  2. The alumni office at your college will provide you with many opportunities to give a donation after you graduate. A lot of graduates feel they want to give back to their school because they feel they received so much when they were students. The giving rate does not give amounts….it only deals with how many alumni contributed. That could have been $5., $50., $500 and so on. I disagree that this favors the “ultra-wealthy”.

    Maybe Dean Flagel could provide us with insight about how GMU handles internships for it’s students. It would also be interesting to learn GMU’s transfer rate (especially after one or 2 semesters).

  3. On giving rates, you are correct that the percentage, not the amount, is what US News uses. On the other hand, older and wealthier alumni have a far higher percentage of donating to their alma maters, so this still benefits older institutions with wealthier families.

    Internships and transfer rates are interesting, as very few schools have really good data on the subject, although many will happily quote off statistics as if they do. These are usually based on some kind of survey data, and it’s always worth asking about response rate to see if their claims seem reasonable to extrapolate. Obvoiusly our location makes internships one of Mason’s big strengths, but the number has been hard to pin down. Our graduating senior sruvey indicates that about two thirds of students work while at Mason, and most report that they work in a job related to their major/career. On the other hand, along with a central career services office each major also handles it’s own internship program. Some are paid, some not, some for credit, some not…so pinning a number down here has been terribly difficult. This is true for most of the DC area schools (and I assume other urban areas with good economies) where students can pretty much walk down a street and get an intership.

    Transfer rates have an even gibber challenge. We can safely brag about a high retention rate but of the students that do leave we don’t have a way to know where they are going. We’ve tried exit interviews, but if students are leaving they don’t have an incentive to complete them. I can tell you from the surveys we do collect that the students transferring out are usually doing so for a particular major (pharmacy, physical therapy, architecture) that we don’t offer.

    Hope that helps!

  4. “Wow – you mean another reality like the Matrix? How cool. I also like the idea that my research will soon prove my prejudicial theories. Of course, I’m not sure what theories I’ve proposed, or how they might be prejudicial, but why should that stop me. It’s true that I am nearsighted. I’ve been thinking of getting Lasik…maybe you have some helpful advice on that as well?

    Your response is an example how you use your research to prove your prejudicial theories. If GMU taught it’s students to give back (like other schools do) or if GMU students felt a desire to give back because of all they gained from their undergraduate experience, this study would favor GMU. However, these facts are NOT true of GMU. It has nothing to do with wealth. It has to do with a culture of give and take. You seriously need to associate with more adults!

  5. I’m afraid I don’t quite understand your post, but don’t blame Mason, since I didn’t get any of my degree there. It appears you are actually arguing about the “research” in the original post. There’s no research in the article, or that I’ve put on this site. The link is to a humor article written by someone else.
    Sorry you seem to be missing that point.

    My research is actually on how colleges and universities evaluate transfer applicants. Not sure how that could possibly be prejudicial.

    Not sure about your claim that other schools teach their students to give back more than Mason does. Can you explain, or is this just more random ranting?

    As for associating with adults, my thanks for the advice and for looking out for my welfare. So good to know I have you out there, watching out for me. Lurking. Maybe stalking. OK, maybe not so good.

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