Posts Tagged “College Rankings”
Last Thursday, The Washington Post ran an article revealing that George Washington University has been inflating the class rank data of its incoming students, due to a flaw in its reporting system dating back more than a decade. The university claimed that 78 percent of its incoming students had been in the top 10 percent of their graduating class, when in fact it was 20 percentage points lower at 58 percent.
According to GW, the error arose since many high schools refuse to report which of their graduates were in the top 10 percent. As a result, admissions officers would instead estimate whether a student was likely to be toward the top of their class.
Class rank is a key factor in determining college rankings such as those for U.S. News & World Report. Selectivity makes up 15 percent of the ranking and of that portion, 40 percent depends on class rank data. This year, GW ranked 50th in the U.S. News & World Report rankings.
Even though the discrepancy was large, U.S. News concluded that their ranking of GW was not affected by the change. Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs Forrest Maltzman told the Post that the error was not intentional and that responsible people had been “held accountable.”
GW President Steven Knapp agreed in a statement to the university community. “I deeply regret this error and want to assure you that corrective action has been taken and safeguards put into place to prevent such errors from occurring in the future.”
Photo of GW’s new logo
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In a college ranking website, Crowdrank.net, Georgetown is listed as 25th best overall college right after Washington and Lee University, Bowdoin College, and Pomona College. CrowdRank claims to provide a competing voice to U.S. World and News Report, which they believe is the combined “opinions of a small number of self-appointed experts.” The ranking site deems itself the “Wikipedia of rankings,” with three million online voters contributing to the website’s real street credibility.
The website intends to “democratize” rankings for colleges by opening up the decisions to the general populace.”In an age of open and social communication, we think centrally controlled expert-driven models are less relevant than a crowd-based ranking methodology,” Paul Everett, Director of Analytics for CrowdRank, said in a press release. The voting method, “pairwise ranking methodology”, supposedly removes certain obstacles in average voting mediums to create a more accurate representation of a school’s overall value.
College rankings are on the loose this fall, with Princeton Review releasing its college rankings a few weeks ago. No matter where we fall in these seemingly arbitrary lists, we can always take solace in the fact that Georgetown has the most attractive male population.
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So here’s the bad news. Last week, Georgetown University appeared as number 47 (right after Columbia University!) on college rankings website thebestcolleges.com. The website claims to look beyond the traditional measures used by other ranking systems and “consider indicators of the economic value of a school and the quality of life offered by the city or town it is located in” (bold formatting theirs).
Moving on to the good news. Remember when, earlier this summer, Georgetown’s very own “Noble” (pictured right) modeled for an online shopping site, Uscoop? Well Georgetown men just added sexy to the list right after fashionable. A few days ago, in Glamour magazine’s recent blog post, Georgetown University appeared as ninth in a list of the “10 Colleges With the Hottest Guys.” The description reads: “Nerd alert, nerd alert! One senior says they’ve got ‘the sexiest nerds around.’”
The list was originally compiled by Her Campus, an online community that provides “collegiettes” with vital and invaluable advice about life as a college student. According to the site’s post, Georgetown’s guys range “from ‘prepsters’ to ‘hipsters’ [Editor's Note: Who the hell is perpetuating this myth?], all of whom share the cultural melting pot that is our nation’s capitol.”
So while we may have landed a questionable ranking on some arbitrary list, take heart, Hoyas—the real authorities have spoken, and our nerds are hotter than Columbia’s nerds.
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After yet another disappointing failure to break the top 20 universities in the country and an international ranking that we really don’t want to talk about, Georgetown was hit with yet another blow with the most recent list of college rankings to hit the Internet. Campus Grotto released their annual list of the most expensive colleges in the U.S. earlier this week, and after snagging the #15 spot last year, Georgetown has fallen to #40.
That’s right—there are now students at 39 schools who can’t make any snide comments to you about Georgetown being expensive.
This does not mean that our total cost has decreased. In fact, we’re up from $52,526 last year to $54,423. But apparently, the 2011 school year has hit a lot of the country’s other universities pretty hard, and their combined tuition, room and board, and mandatory fees have skyrocketed past those that we at Georgetown have to pay.
Once again, Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, NY, took the top spot, with their total cost edging nearer and nearer to $60k per year. The two schools taking the second and third spots, New York University and Columbia University, are the only other two on the list to break the $56,000 mark, with #4 Harvey Mudd College staying below that line by a whole two bucks. If you scroll way down on that list, you get to Georgetown, which sits just ahead of Tulane University, but manages to stay cheaper than #39, our notoriously pricey neighbor George Washington University, by $30/year. Take that, GW.
Campus Grotto also offers a list based on tuition alone, where Georgetown’s rankings drops even lower to #58, with a total tuition bill of $40,920, sandwiched between Notre Dame at #59 and Washington University in St. Louis at #57. We’re sure if they did a ranking based solely on room and board, Georgetown would find itself significantly closer to the top. Something to ponder about while you stay awake at night listening to the mice scurry around your room.
Before we all get too excited about these rankings, though, remember one thing—you (or, more likely, your parents) are still paying over $54 thousand this year alone to go to school. Think about all the swimming pools full of gold coins that would be.
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Can you believe it’s been a whole two weeks since the last time any new college rankings came out? Well, while we all count down the days until the release of the next round of U.S. News rankings (and pray that this time we break the top 20), the National Collegiate Scouting Association has released its Collegiate Power Rankings, and lo and behold, Georgetown is #15!
And unlike our friends at U.S. News, the NCSA delineates on its website exactly what methodology is behind this list. Each school receives a score based on the average of its Learfield Sports Directors’s Cup ranking, U.S. News ranking, and NCAA student-athlete graduation rate. This year, Georgetown’s total score was 31.67, trailing just behind Harvard and Bowdoin, each with a score of 31.0, and edging out Johns Hopkins’s 32.0.
This score is a significant jump from last year, when Georgetown placed 36th with a score of 47.0. Glad to see we’re making progress somewhere.
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The US News rankings are out! The US News Rankings are out! Is it Christmas already?
Well, not really. This year US News & World Report ranked Georgetown 22nd out of National Universities–one step back from last year, but still a net gain from years past.
The US News & World Report rankings traditionally account for factors like academic reputation, graduation rates, and faculty resources, and do a good job of accurately reflecting
higher education their rankings criteria.
In more rankings news, Georgetown is #26 in best value and tied for #9 in high school counselor rankings. (Harvard is #1 is all three of these categories, in case you were wondering.)
So now, we’re left to wonder, “Why can Georgetown never break the top 20?” Well it might have to do with our low-ranking endowment or poor facilities, or it could be that rankings author Robert Morse is simply annoyed by Georgetown students. That’s right: the author of the yearly rankings lives above Baked & Wired. So you’d better reduce that transient noise if you want to see Georgetown’s rank rise.
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If you can’t wait for the US News and World Report rankings (see this nifty timer for how long that will be) for your insightful college assessments, here’s a little something to hold you over—QS World Universities has released their list of the top 300 international institutions of higher learning. On the list, Georgetown ranked #166 of all schools, edging out University of Malaya, but falling just short of the University of Ghent. Not only have we fallen 11 spots since last year, but we also came out behind numerous U.S. schools that other rankings place us ahead of, like University of Arizona (#163) and New York University (#44).
Much (40%) of this website’s methodology is based on a so-called online “academic reputation survey” of various university professors and lecturers, which took in nearly 34,000 responses. Meanwhile, numbers like the proportion of international students are given a mere 5% of the pie. The rankings do not consider factors like campus environment or postgrad job opportunities.
At the top of the list, the University of Cambridge unseated all the usual suspects (Harvard, Massachusetts Institute of Technology) for the top spot. Other surprises include Princeton languishing at #13 and George Washington University sneaking in at #296.
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With a few notable exceptions, college rankings are usually pretty nice to Georgetown, especially those that rely heavily on nice location and strong academics. But let’s face it, those get a little boring.
So when Newsweek and The Daily Beast recently came out with the 2011 incarnation of their college rankings series, which consists of dozens of lists ranking schools on standards from “Braniacs” to “Horniest,” there were some we all figured we’d make it onto. Number three for “Future Politicians,” number 14 for “International Students” (Editor’s note: Up your game, Harvard), yeah, no surprises there. But wait a second—we’re number 15 in “Best Food“?
Although there are those who think that our school’s singular cafeteria is the epitome of the fine dining experience, and Leo’s has made significant efforts to improve its operation and student satisfaction in recent years, it’s hard to ignore that the whole establishment still leaves a lot to be desired. So why, when compared with schools with multiple, bigger dining halls, wider options, and meals that don’t get students violently ill, do we get the prize for 15th best dining?
The answer, sadly, isn’t the Apple Festival. Rather, it’s in the methodology that Newsweek and Daily Beast use to compile their list, where 25% of the score is based on “restaurants per capita in the surrounding area.” And, as our measly student credit cards know all too well, the Georgetown neighborhood is chock full of restaurants, from the high brow to the iconically greasy, right at the tips of our fingers or the other end of our phone lines. Throw on some Chicken Madness, and, frankly, we’re surprised we weren’t ranked higher. What does Boston College have that we don’t?
Thanks to Patrick Go (MSB ’11) for the tip!
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