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Thread: OT: Cal (and the UC's) vs. USC & private schools

  1. #1

    OT: Cal (and the UC's) vs. USC & private schools

    Seems like every convo I've had with a USC alum in the past 2 years seems to involve the following talking points (from them):

    "We're a better university than UCLA. US News said so."
    "We'll soon be a better university than Cal. It's just a matter of time."
    "We did it the right way, by spending money on resources and scholarships for top students. You get what you pay for. USC's future is bright, Cal and UCLA's future is not."

    Has anyone else been hearing this party line? How would you respond?

  2. #2
    I usually just smile and nod. Some of it's true, $C has gotten better academically but take the US News stuff with a keg of salt. If they persist I just tell them they're football first CHEATERS and still haven't produced any Nobels. Money can buy you lots of things but not academic cred and merit.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by 510Bear View Post
    Seems like every convo I've had with a USC alum in the past 2 years seems to involve the following talking points (from them):

    "We're a better university than UCLA. US News said so."
    "We'll soon be a better university than Cal. It's just a matter of time."
    "We did it the right way, by spending money on resources and scholarships for top students. You get what you pay for. USC's future is bright, Cal and UCLA's future is not."

    Has anyone else been hearing this party line? How would you respond?
    We've been here for a century, and we've held position even in USNWR through the worst economic crisis in decades. There are maybe three fields in which you'd rather have a USC degree than a degree from Berkeley, and they're all entertainment related. That's not to say USC isn't a good school, or that you can't get to where you want to be with a USC degree, but Notre Dame is higher rated than us in USNWR. Does anyone think Notre Dame is a better university than Berkeley? People say you can't use graduate education to compare the two schools, but if we're talking about raw academic resources the choices of prospective grad students means something. For grad school, it's not surprising when someone picks Cal over Harvard, Princeton, and Yale. There's not a grad student in the world who would pick USC over any of those schools.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by 510Bear View Post
    Seems like every convo I've had with a USC alum in the past 2 years seems to involve the following talking points (from them):

    "We're a better university than UCLA. US News said so."
    "We'll soon be a better university than Cal. It's just a matter of time."
    "We did it the right way, by spending money on resources and scholarships for top students. You get what you pay for. USC's future is bright, Cal and UCLA's future is not."

    Has anyone else been hearing this party line? How would you respond?
    They game the USNWR rankings. Here is but one of many examples:

    http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2009/06/08/usc

  5. #5
    If there is a day when USC will be considered better than Cal academically, none of us will be alive to see it. Neither would our children. Yes, they are that behind.

  6. #6
    True Blue Golden Bear NYCGOBEARS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maxer View Post
    They game the USNWR rankings. Here is but one of many examples:

    http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2009/06/08/usc
    $C cheats at more than just sports, huh? Why am I not surprised?

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by 510Bear View Post
    Seems like every convo I've had with a USC alum in the past 2 years seems to involve the following talking points (from them):

    "We're a better university than UCLA. US News said so."
    "We'll soon be a better university than Cal. It's just a matter of time."
    "We did it the right way, by spending money on resources and scholarships for top students. You get what you pay for. USC's future is bright, Cal and UCLA's future is not."

    Has anyone else been hearing this party line? How would you respond?
    Let's see..."spending money on scholarships for top students" admitting them during the Fall (the only admits US News looks at), pushing your lower scoring legacy admits to the Spring, taking their money to throw more money at top students for Fall then relying on a magazine that counts the qualifications of the students that you bought (for the Fall) as the measure of the quality of the education they all will receive.

    Education is the process. The quality of the process is not measured by the quality of the inputs.

    There are many examples of SC pretty much fraudulently reporting data to US News (for research dollars, if 5 members of the faculty received a grant jointly, they multiplied the amount of the grant 5 times and reported THAT to US News). You might say why not? US News is not a government agency. There are no auditors and there is no penalty for being wrong and in fact, there is much reward, but it takes a huge stretch to call that the "right way." Maybe for Machiavelli's prince, but not for people with principles.

  8. #8

    Juxtaposed

    I'm an alumnus of both institutions so I can speak from a position of knowledge (per se). I'd say USC has reached parity (or close) with Cal with their professional degree programs. As a matter of fact, SC's professional schools are considered amongst the elite in the country (law, dentistry, pharmacy, business, medicine, etc). Other than that, it's all...

    Last edited by conservativebear; 03-03-2012 at 12:24 PM.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by conservativebear View Post
    I'm an alumnus of both institutions so I can speak from a position of knowledge (per se). I'd say USC has reached parity (or close) with Cal with their professional degree programs. As a matter of fact, SC's professional schools are considered amongst the elite in the country (law, dentistry, pharmacy, business, medicine, etc). Other than that, it's all...

    You must live in LA. That is not true (at least in regards to law and business -- I can't speak to dentistry and pharmacy) anywhere else. A degree from Boalt or Haas has a great deal more cachet nationally than one from Marshall or Gould. Not to say they aren't "good", but they aren't elite in the way Boalt and Haas are.

    If you don't believe me ask a Goldman dude in NY or a Skadden lawyer anywhere but LA.

  10. #10
    I'd ask them how it really affects them (if even true)... seeing that they paid big bucks for a slacker education when they attended.

  11. #11
    The only thing USC alum will be better at than Cal alum is being Spoiled Children.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by conservativebear View Post
    I'm an alumnus of both institutions so I can speak from a position of knowledge (per se). I'd say USC has reached parity (or close) with Cal with their professional degree programs. As a matter of fact, SC's professional schools are considered amongst the elite in the country (law, dentistry, pharmacy, business, medicine, etc). Other than that, it's all...

    I cna tell you, while U$C has a good dental school, it is not considered one of the Elite. I am talking Dental Circles now, Not Magazines..

  13. #13
    No way $C has a better engineering or architecture school. One could argue easily that they don't even have the best in LA of either.

    If I recall Cal has most top ranked graduate and professional school of any school in the nation. Nope, not going to beat some Ivies head-to-head on many but collectively (including the non-pro "softies") Cal rules.

  14. #14
    True Blue Golden Bear bearister's Avatar
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    Here is a practical consideration:

    U$C admits applicants to the freshman class into its undergraduate business school. Cal doesn't admit incoming freshman into its business school until sophmore year (and sometimes until junior year). That being the case, if a kid has their heart set on being a business major and gets admitted to Cal and then admitted to U$C's undergrad school of business, they are taking a calculated risk going to Cal because there is no guaranty that they will ever get accepted into Cal's undergrad business school. I am not a gambler by nature, nor am I arrogant, so if I had been faced with that situation as a kid that wanted to be a business major, I would go to U$C (naturally, if finances were not a consideration).

  15. #15
    What are you saying Bearister, that Cal weeds students out before anointment? I forgot about the angst related to getting into tough and impacted majors. I know at private schools that's usually sorted out better and less competition.

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