U.Va. generally fares pretty well in most university-related rankings. In fact, we often make a big deal about them on UVA Today, and the University even has a Web page devoted to rankings. Being highly ranked generally makes lots of important people — students, alumni, donors, legislators — feel good about the University. As well they should.
But there’s always an uneasiness about promoting rankings. How were they put together? Does the methodology make sense? For instance, a criteria that measures spending per student may be intended to identify schools with great resources, but in reality may punish schools that operate efficiently.
All of that is a prelude to a pretty unusual new ranking that the Washington Post wrote about yesterday.
The folks at the Princeton Review — yes, the people who named U.Va. one of America’s best values in February — have a new book out, “The Princeton Review’s Best 300 Professors.”
, On Grounds
, Student Life
| Tuesday, April 10th | By: Dan @2:59 pm |
U.S. News & World Report, which has built itself quite a franchise with its annual colleges rankings, looks like it may soon expand its criteria.
You can read the magazine’s notification after the jump, but here’s the key sentence: “We plan to collect and hope to publish information in three new areas: differential graduation rates based on income and race; data about the affordability of colleges; and information about each college’s connectivity.”
While it does not sound like that data will be included in the computations for the actual rankings — yet — there are hints it could be incorporated in future years. Just a guess here, but including data in those areas could be a good thing for U.Va.’s rankings, given its high graduation rates, rich technological environment and AccessUVA financial aid program.
| Friday, March 2nd | By: Dan @4:23 pm |
And now come Newsweek and The Daily Beast with a new set of college rankings. Unlike the oh-so-serious 2012 U.S. News & World Report rankings (due out Sept. 13), these lists cover the ineffable qualities of university life. How’s the food? How green is my campus? How cute are the students?
Newsweek/Daily Beast comments, “That’s why Newsweek’s philosophy is that different schools are best for different types of students, and why for this year’s rankings we developed 25 different lists, analyzing the 25 best schools in each of those niches. Student happiness. Return on tuition investment. Colleges for future tycoons, politicians, engineers. Schools that provide the greatest academic challenge or the most stress-free environment. Whatever is the key driver in the decision, we likely have it covered.”
U.Va. is ranked on seven of the 25 lists. Continue reading…
, Student Life
| Wednesday, August 31st | By: Dan @4:29 pm |
We’re not sure what it is about the late summer, but it seems to be the designated time that various folks come out with their various rankings of colleges and universities. U.S. News (coming soon), Forbes, Princeton Review — perhaps they’re all thinking that the start of the school year is when high school seniors start to get serious about applying to colleges.
U.Va. tends to fare well in most of these rankings (we won’t speak of the football top 25, of course — at least not yet). There’s usually a lot of hand-wringing about methodology and superficiality and whether universities are the kinds of places that can be, or should be, placed in some sort of ordinal march, but deep down, it’s nice to see someone else validate your feelings that your school is a special place.
So let’s look at a couple more, shall we?
| Wednesday, August 10th | By: Dan @4:05 pm |
For the fifth time in six years, Kiplinger’s magazine has rated the University of Virginia No. 3 on its list of best-value public universities in the nation. (UVA Today story here; Kiplinger’s story here.)
| Tuesday, January 4th | By: Dan @4:41 pm |