Shady schools!

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by chrisjm18, Sep 11, 2021.

  1. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    "A very small proportion of the total number of schools that are ranked – typically less than 0.1% each year – inform U.S. News that they have misreported data that were used to calculate their school's ranking."
    -U.S. News

    My opinion is that these schools are shady, despite their name recognition, and rankings should not be trusted. What about those who don't inform U.S. News that they "misreported"?

    Among 2021 "Best" Shady Graduate School are:
    St. John's University
    University of Missouri
    University of Pepperdine

    Among 2021 "Best" Shady Colleges are:
    Eastern University
    Middle Georgia State University
    University of La Verne

    To see the full list of schools, dating to 2019, that misreported their data, visit:
    Dustin likes this.
  2. Rachel83az

    Rachel83az Active Member

    I've always been under the impression that most, if not all, schools misrepresent their data in some manner.It depends on how they want to be ranked.
  3. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Rankings feel almost meaningless. The distinctions between individual schools in a ranking are miniscule, and schools ranked far apart are distinguishable by so many other means.

    Oh, and except for the best-of-the-best, no one cares. And except for the beginning of your career, no one cares.

    I hold a PhD from a school no one ever heard of beyond the realm of boards such as this one. Yet, it had an amazing impact on my career, financially and otherwise. I also hold a doctorate from a school ranked in the top 200 in the world. Many people have at least heard of it. It has had exactly zero impact on my career.

    Why? Timing. When I did the PhD I already had more than two decades of experience in my field. I wasn't looking to impress employers with my school ranking, so a PhD from a school no one has ever heard of was just fine. And the second? It came along too late to have any meaningful impact. (The learning and research did, however, just not the degree nor the school who issued it.)

    These things have to be taken in context.

    If you want to go to work with a big consulting firm after earning your MBA, you'd better go to a top-ranked school. You don't have anything else to offer at that point, and that's where they'll be looking. On the other hand, I got hired by Xerox at a career fair held at National University while working on my MBA. It didn't hurt that I was a veteran with significant work experience, despite being 21. They didn't care about National (or Regents).
  4. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    I don't get it. Did these schools misreport to go from being ranked #200 to #100?
  5. Asymptote

    Asymptote Member

    So let’s take a look at a case in point:

    St. John's University: The education school originally reported fiscal year 2019 research expenditures of $4,343,913. The school informed U.S. News the correct value is $3,650,962. Total research expenditures have a weight of 15% in the Best Education Schools ranking methodology, and average research expenditures per faculty member have a weight on 15%”

    So it is not the whole university, just their graduate school of education. And the issue was misreporting $700,000 in research funding. Ultimately, the program updated their numbers to USNews. Is that shady, or just an error that was eventually corrected? It would be more interesting to learn about why it was originally incorrectly reported, than to brand the whole university as shady. Slim chances of such journalism, however.
  6. Dustin

    Dustin Well-Known Member

    Some of these strike me as updates due to data available at the time information is requested.

    • "The business school originally reported that the fall 2018 average GMAT score for its part-time MBA program was 510. The school informed U.S. News the correct figure is 500" (that's a 2% difference)
    • "The school originally reported that its fall 2018 entering class average score on the SAT evidence-based reading and writing portions was 646 and that the average score on SAT math was 638" (a 1.2% difference)
    • "The school originally reported that its average 2019-2020 academic year average faculty salary was around $114,500. The University of La Verne informed U.S. News that its correct average faculty salary for that year was around $102,000" (11% difference, but explainable if they had forgotten to count adjuncts or other faculty)
    Others appear more egregious and might be relevant to ranking-gaming. I wouldn't call a school shady for changing its results or being disqualified on an effectively meaningless rating system. What makes a good Philosophy department is not what makes a good Chemistry department. The best rankings come from within each discipline and I don't trust US News to collate those.

    The only reason I think rankings are helpful, is if you're an undergrad student trying to survey the land. When my kids get old enough to go to college, I might have them look at the USNWR entries for the part of the country they want to go to school in, so they can get an idea of schools to look at, but closely following rankings is not likely to be useful to the average person.
  7. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    felderga, chris richardson and Dustin like this.
  8. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Referring to UVI as a school in the South is the triumph of geography over culture. :D
    chris richardson and chrisjm18 like this.
  9. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    Yay! University of Florida is now ranked #28 nationally and #5 among national public universities. I'm crossing my fingers that they didn't misreport.
  10. felderga

    felderga Active Member

    I love that the best Public Ivies continue to be the University of California systems schools as they continue to dominate with six schools placing in the top ten!!!

    2022 Best Colleges rankings
    Overall Public National
    UCLA 1 20
    Berkeley 2 22
    Santa Barbara 5* 28*
    San Diego 8 34*
    Irvine 9 36*
    Davis 10* 38*

    Riverside 33* 83*
    Merced 38* 93*
    Santa Cruz 46* 103*

    Social Mobility Ranking
    Riverside 1
    Irvine 2
    Merced 4
    Santa Cruz 12
    Santa Barbara 16*
    Davis 16*
    UCLA 21*
    San Diego 26*
    Berkeley 82*
    *denotes a tie with another institution

    Go UC Irvine !!! Go UCLA !!! Go UC Santa Barabara !!! (my daughter's alma mater)

    My son attends San Jose State which was ranked #1 by Money as the most transformative
  11. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I bet Charter Oak SC is pretty shady. Pine Manor College? Not so much. And don't get me started on The College of Our Lady of the Elms.

    Of course, I prepped at Shady Side Academy in Pittsburgh, so I might be biased.
    chrisjm18 likes this.
  12. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    Maybe you could add Palm Beach State College to the list, or maybe palm trees aren't that shady. :D
  13. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Marshall Mathers.
  14. Asymptote

    Asymptote Member

    See my post above.
  15. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Slim chance. :D
    Asymptote likes this.
  16. Futuredegree

    Futuredegree Active Member

    They should add Monroe College to the list. They are shady I feel as if they false report stats to improve rankings. A lot of people I have met and personally know drop out of CUNY and SUNY ultimately find a way to graduate from "Monroe College" which is a for-profit institution very small. Most of the people dropped out because they couldn't meet the academic requirements of CUNY or SUNY or simply failed their classes... Very suspect that a lot of people can graduate from the undergraduate programs provided by Monroe College but couldn't pass courses at a city or state community college... Shady stuff going on here...
  17. Dustin

    Dustin Well-Known Member

    Those are some serious accusations to be making on the basis of a hunch. In addition to having a higher graduation rate, Monroe also has a much lower student loan default rate than average (3.9% compared to the average 11% across the whole state) suggesting that their graduates are successful in getting jobs that allow them to pay back their loans. A small school may allow them to provide more intensive, individualized support to each student which could increase their likelihood of success.

    Monroe College default:
    NYS default:
  18. Futuredegree

    Futuredegree Active Member

    Just a personal opinion I have seen first hand what I stated..
  19. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

  20. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    It just dawned on me that while UVI is ranked among colleges in the South, the school is Middle States accredited, not SACS.

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