Presentation on theme: "Office of Institutional Research Song Yan, Kristy Maxwell, Mark A. Byrd Associate Director Senior Research Analyst AVP Wayne State University."— Presentation transcript:
Office of Institutional Research Song Yan, Kristy Maxwell, Mark A. Byrd Associate Director Senior Research Analyst AVP Wayne State University
U.S. News Best Colleges ranking background Methodology: Details on how the Best Colleges rankings are calculated How each ranking variable is computed and how each estimate is calculated New changes to the rankings Criticism of the rankings
First ranking published in 1983 Its purpose was to be a starting point for families searching for a college Allows for comparison of relative cost, quality, retention and graduation rates In September 2011, U.S. News Education section had 4.5 million unique visitors (announced by U.S. News) Rankings published by U.S News in 2012: Best Colleges, September 2012 Best Grad Schools, March, 2012 Best High Schools, May 2012 Top online Programs, January, 2012 (first time) Worlds Best Universities, October 2012
Ranking categories: Based on Carnegie Basic Classification National Universities: (Offer a full range of undergraduate majors, plus masters and Ph.D. programs, and faculty emphases on research) National Liberal Arts Colleges (focus almost exclusively on undergraduate education) Regional Universities (offer a broad scope of undergraduate degrees and some masters degree programs, but a few, if any, doctoral programs) Regional Colleges (focus on undergraduate but grant fewer than 50% of their degrees in liberal arts disciplines)
Quantitative measures that education experts have proposed as reliable indicators of academic quality Gather data from each college on up to 16 indictors of academic excellence Each factor is assigned a weight. Colleges and universities in each category are ranked against their peers, based on their composite weighted score
Sub - FactorData CollectionNational Universities & National Liberal Arts College -22.5% Regional Universities & Regional College -25% Peer assessment survey Completed by peer institution administrators; On a scale from 1 to 5; 66.7% (15% of total) 100% (25% of total) High school counselors ratings Counselors at public and private high school; On a scale from 1 to 5; 33.3% (7.5% of total) 0% Note: For the first time this year, two most recent survey results (2011 & 2012) were averaged to compute the high school counselor reputation score.
Equation*: Academic Reputation= Z avg. Peer assessment score * (15%) + Z avg. HS Counselor Score * (7.5%) Estimates for missing: None * For National Universities and National Liberal Arts Colleges
Sub - FactorData CollectionNational Universities & National Liberal Arts College -15% Regional Universities & Regional College -15% Acceptance rateRatio of # admitted to applicants, fall % (1.5 % of total) 10% (1.5 % of total) High school class standing in top 10% Proportion of students enrolled who graduated in the top 10%, fall 2011 entering cohort. 40% (6 % of total) 0% (0 % of total) High school class standing in top 25% Proportion of students enrolled who graduated in the top 25%, fall 2011 entering cohort. 0% (0 % of total) 40% (6 % of total) SAT/ACT scoresCritical Reading and Math portions of the SAT and ACT composite, fall 2011 entering cohort. 50% (7.5 % of total) 50% (7.5 % of total)
Equation*: Z Student selectivity= Z test score * (50%) + Z high school class standing * (40%) + Z acceptance rate * (10%) Estimates for missing: one standard deviation less categorys mean * For National Universities and National Liberal Arts Colleges
Sub - FactorData CollectionNational Universities & National Liberal Arts College -20% Regional Universities & Regional College -20% Faculty compensation Average faculty pay & benefits, AY and AY % (7 % of total) 35% (7 % of total) % Faculty with top terminal degree % full-time faculty with doctorate or highest in field, current year data. 15% (3 % of total) 15% (3 % of total) % Faculty full timeThe proportion of full- time faculty to full- time-equivalent faculty, current year data. 5% (1 % of total) 5% (1 % of total)
Sub - FactorData CollectionNational Universities & National Liberal Arts College -20% Regional Universities & Regional College -20% Student/faculty ratioFull-time-equivalent students to full-time- equivalent faculty, current fall % (1 % of total) 5% (1 % of total) Class size, 1-19 students Percentage of UG classes with fewer than 20 students enrolled, current fall % (6 % of total) 30% (6 % of total) Class size, 50+ students Percentage of UG classes with 50 students or more enrolled, current fall % (2% of total) 10% (2% of total)
Equation: Z Faculty resources= Z avg. salaries * (35%) + Z avg. w/term degree * (15%) + Z faculty ft * (5%) + Z student faculty ratio * (5%) +Z % class <20 * (30%) + Z % class 50 or more * (10%) Estimates for missing: one standard deviation less categorys mean
Sub - FactorData CollectionNational Universities & National Liberal Arts College -20% Regional Universities & Regional College -25% Average six- year graduation rate 4 year average, fall 2002 through fall 2005 cohort 80% (16 % of total) 80% (20 % of total) Average freshman 1 year retention rate 4 year average, fall 2007 through fall 2010 cohort 20% (4 % of total) 20% (5% of total)
Equation: Z Graduation and retention= Z avg. 6-yr grad rate * (80%) + Z avg. fresh retention rate * (20%) Estimates for missing: IPEDS or NCAA data; Otherwise, one standard deviation less categorys mean
Sub - FactorData CollectionNational Universities & National Liberal Arts College -10% Regional Universities & Regional College -10% Financial resources per student Average spending per FTE student on instruction, research, public service, academic support, students services and institutional support during the FY 2010 and % (10 % of total) 100% (10 % of total) FTE calculation: full time plus one third of part time.
Sub - FactorData CollectionNational Universities & National Liberal Arts College -5% Regional Universities & Regional College -5% Average alumni giving rate Average percentage of undergraduate alumni donated to the school. 100% (5% of total) 10% (5% of total)
Sub - FactorData CollectionNational Universities & National Liberal Arts College -7.5% Regional Universities & Regional College -0% Graduation rate performance Difference between actual six year graduation rate and the predicted graduation rate, cohort % (7.5% of total) 0% (0% of total) Predicted graduation rate is based upon characteristics of the entering cohort, as well as characteristics of institution.
Rankings categories have been updated Update to Carnegie basic classification (2010) For-profit institutions are included (2011) All for-profit colleges and universities grant bachelors degree and regionally accredited. Non-responders are handled differently For schools refused to fill out U.S. News survey for at least two years and for school news to the ranking, made extensive use of data from NCES.
Now collecting graduation rates of students who received a federal Pell grant, a subsidized Stafford loan but not a Pell grant, and students who received neither. May add collection of data for affordability and technology Graduation rates by race Net price of attending by EFC Average loan size # of degrees awarded per student Ways colleges using technology (computer accessibility, wireless Internet, technical support, etc.)
Most data come from the college, U.S News Main Survey, Financial Aid Survey In 2011, 93% of the 1,378 ranked college and universities returned the survey Obtain missing data from AAUP, National Collegiate Athletics Association, the Council for Aid to Education, and the NCES Estimates are used in the ranking calculation when schools fail to report particular data points.
Schools are unranked and listed separately by category if They do Not use the SAT or ACT test scores in admissions decisions for FTIAC, or Too few respondents to the peer assessment survey, or Have fewer than 200 total enrollment, or Large proportion of nontraditional students and no first-year students Also a few highly specialized schools in arts, business, and engineering
AIR members could (& have) provide feedback and suggestions to U.S. News Two weeks prior to the release of rankings, alert sent to survey respondents to Main and Fin Aid survey Free one-month short-terms passes for College Compass One day prior to the official rankings release date, survey respondents were sent notification and be able to access to two years of published ranking tables in PDF on a non-public website AIR members can receive U.S. News published ranking table in Excel format (need to send an to request the Excel spreadsheets to or Unpublished rankings available by request (send to request)
#10 Oversimplification: Comes from Stanford Universitys FUNC (Forget US News Coalition) & Reed College who in the mid-90s argued that ranking something as complex and variable as a college education with a single number is an oversimplification. FUNC claimed that the process makes college administrations focus on numerical rankings rather than on educating students. Casper, Gerhard (18 April 1997)
#9 Peer assessments: College Presidents may have outdated or no knowledge of institutions they are ranking College Participation among Presidents was 43% in 2011, down 5 percentage points overall. May rank competitors low Low participation rates, amongst high school counselors
#8 Data manipulation: As early as 1994 when the Wall Street Journal disclosed that institutions flagrantly manipulating data in order to move up in the rankings in U.S.Wall Street Journal
#7 Not much weight given to cost of attendance
#6 Academic quality not captured
#5 I nstitutional differences not taken into account Diverse student body Institutional mission
#4 Lack of data definition standards in the data collection process.