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Subject: Re: Columbia and Chicago Threads: Unraveling of HYP Hegemony

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Date Posted: 17:27:41 07/17/17 Mon
In reply to: Anthony 's message, "Columbia and Chicago Threads: Unraveling of HYP Hegemony" on 14:55:01 07/12/17 Wed

I was curious to look at the Wall Street Journal's methodology for their rankings for the top 100 colleges in 2017. While not an expert, I was very surprised to discover that someone did not seem to carefully check their statistics. To illustrate this point, about half of their top 15 ranked colleges (Stanford, Penn, Yale, Harvard, Duke, Johns Hopkins, and Northwestern) in their most recent 2017 ranking have dramatically inaccurate information for the number of undergraduate students. For example, the WSJ determined that Harvard has 14,618 undergraduates, which is off by only 118%.

Maybe the WSJ should have their staff enroll in one of the Ivies data analytics classes that are so popular today.

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[> [> Subject: Re: Columbia and Chicago Threads: Unraveling of HYP Hegemony

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Date Posted: 18:10:02 07/17/17 Mon

The Harvard Extension School is much larger than anyone knew.

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[> [> Subject: College Rankings Are a High Growth Industry

Upper Valley
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Date Posted: 17:42:39 07/18/17 Tue

Some of the college rankings out there use methodologies which are questionable at best and farcical at worst. Many of them use raw data which exemplifies "garbage in, garbage out."

Why are presumably smart people using shaky methodologies? Well, unlike selling steel or breakfast cereal, in college rankings, providers don't want to sell exactly what the other guy is selling. And yet because the products are so popular, everybody wants to sell something.

Of all the methodologies, I think that US News does the most credible job of balancing hard data and the softer qualitative aspects of being on campus A versus campus B. The problem of course is that now colleges are managing themselves to the US News rankings.

So US News is a victim of its own success. Because they are transparent to their criterion, any college can manage to the most important variables. Across all colleges, that has been a good thing as a little competitive fire has been lit. But individual colleges can and have become good at gaming the numbers.

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