New College Rankings

socaliganbear
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One of the common complaints on here from alumni who couldn't get their kids in is that the school favors students from low income backgrounds. Of course, Cal's students actually come from the highest income bracket of all UC schools.

Welp, US News just changed up their formula to take into account how many students from low income households in takes and graduates.

And look what happened:
"For the first time, the University of CaliforniaLos Angeles is the sole No. 1 Top Public School among National Universities, having tied for first in the 2018 ranking. The California university system improved in the rankings because of their performance graduating high proportions of low-income students new this year in the Best Colleges methodology."

So while most of the other UCs improved under this new metric, we actually dropped a spot. I wouldn't expect Cal or Virginia to jump back to #1 anytime soon.

Of course, academically, it ranks our programs well above UCLA's.
Boot
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Kids graduating is what's important.
calpoly
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Boot said:

Kids graduating is what's important.
Only when they are proficient in their field of study.
fat_slice
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Well this sucks ... we can't use the #1 public univ moniker anymore and Chip Kelly had the foresight right! They are the#1 public school and flagship now.
Golden One
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That's an absolutely stupid criterion on which to rate colleges. The income level of entering students has nothing to do with the quality of an educational institution.
BearBoarBlarney
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On a related note, I'd be interested to hear some personal perspectives from other parents whose kids have recently gone through the UC application process. My kid went through it in recent years, and I was shocked at how much better UCLA was than Cal in terms of communication during the application cycle. UCLA sent out links to campus viewbooks, fact sheets, some publicity about UCLA's outreach to economically under-resourced high schools, and several other email correspondences. None of this cost UCLA a d@mn thing, as it was always electronic links via email, not paper mailings. It was all material that an applicant could've easily found by searching UCLA's website, but the point is that the UCLA admissions process was set up in a way to stay in touch with applicants during the admissions process. Cal sent out a few pieces of email correspondence, but more like generic "Your application is under review, decision will be rendered by late March," that sort of thing. Nothing sent out by Cal included a link to Cal being the No.1 ranked public university in the USA for 20+ consecutive years, nothing about Cal being ranked in the top-6 of the academic ranking of world universities. Nothing about Cal having 15 (?) 16 (?) Nobel Laureates. Nothing about Cal's academic reputation, or the fact that it is still regarded along with Harvard as having the most departments recognized for academic excellence by such and such a reviewer, etc.

My issue is that Cal continues to do a mostly lousy job of bragging about Cal. If Cal isn't going to do it, who will? Look at USC. I don't particularly like giving them kudos for anything, but that's a school that knows how to brag. Heck, most of the private schools in the various rankings that are ranked above Cal -- yeah I'm talking to you Rice, Vandy, Brown, Notre Dame, Emory, Cornell -- couldn't hold Cal's jockstrap in terms of academics and widespread excellence. But those same schools know how to tell their story better than Cal.

With Chancellor Christ at the helm, I am hopeful that Cal will become more astute at marketing Cal. If UCLA can do a better job of it, why can't Cal??
Nasal Mucus Goldenbear
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These rankings are all over the place. Now they have UCSD(12) behind UCD(10), UCI(7), and UCSB(5). UCSD, the #6 UC? Senseless.

It was only a matter of time b4 they added Wokeness as a top criterion.
Uthaithani
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It's high time Cal alumni held the administration's feet to the fire instead of apologizing or ignoring the facts. Cal has been slipping for decades now. Cal has been surpassed by UCLA and is getting boat raced by USC, who was way behind Cal in the 80s and 90s. Instead of improving, Cal rested on its laurels and lived in the 60s while the rest of the word evolved.

Criticism of Cal doesn't make a person a hater. This university needs a lot of tough love, not warm fuzzies for doing a lousy job for decades and squandering its reputatIon on garbage and incompetence.
pingpong2
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One problem is that few Cal admins and support staff actually went to Cal. Part of the problem is that Cal grads tend to have better career prospectives elsewhere. Hence, they have no connection to the school other than getting a paycheck. In comparison, quite a few USC admins are USC alums (maybe the pay is better?).
socaliganbear
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FWIW according to this same publication, our programs are still ranked much higher than those at USC and UCLA. And our alumni make more money than either.

So...... this isn't about Cal slipping, because given the rise of Silicon Valley, the quality of our grads is as good if not better than it was before. It's about gaming the new metrics. Of course, if we started taking as many pell grant students and taking in more lower income students (LIKE UCLA DOES) we'd have the same group of people crying. The demographics of the bay vs LA will change the makeup of Cal vs UCLA.


BTW Stanford also dropped 2 spots.
BearBoarBlarney
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@socaliganbear Where do you see that Cal's programs are still rated much higher than those of UCLA or USC? I only see that UCLA is No. 19, and Cal and USC are tied at No. 22 with Georgetown Do you see something else?

On a side note, the UC system makes admissions-related decisions that make sense for the UC system as a whole but which completely ignore the impact of those decisions on UC's performance on national rankings.

For example, just about every highly selective private and public school in this country super-scores the SAT and more and more are now superscoring the ACT as well (Johns Hopkins, Duke, etc.). This metric influences the selectivity metric in many national rankings, with middle-50% test scores accounting for 7.75% of the US News scoring. For ease, convenience, and because it's always been done this way, UC requires the highest single test score from 1 sitting of either the SAT or ACT. Right off the bat, every UC school would get a slight uptick in their US News ranking if the UC system simply moved to super-scored testing. But the rankings don't seem to matter on policy decisions like this.
socaliganbear
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BearBoarBlarney said:

@socaliganbear Where do you see that Cal's programs are still rated much higher than those of UCLA or USC? I only see that UCLA is No. 19, and Cal and USC are tied at No. 22 with Georgetown Do you see something else?

On a side note, the UC system makes admissions-related decisions that make sense for the UC system as a whole but which completely ignore the impact of those decisions on UC's performance on national rankings.

For example, just about every highly selective private and public school in this country super-scores the SAT and more and more are now superscoring the ACT as well (Johns Hopkins, Duke, etc.). This metric influences the selectivity metric in many national rankings, with middle-50% test scores accounting for 7.75% of the US News scoring. For ease, convenience, and because it's always been done this way, UC requires the highest single test score from 1 sitting of either the SAT or ACT. Right off the bat, every UC school would get a slight uptick in their US News ranking if the UC system simply moved to super-scored testing. But the rankings don't seem to matter on policy decisions like this.


Keep clicking.
Sebastabear
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These rankings have just completely jumped the rails. We've now moved from USN&WR evaluating the best schools to them nakedly using their power to force schools to behave in certain ways. I don't need USN&WR to tell me what social goals should be promoted.
calumnus
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Sebastabear said:

These rankings have just completely jumped the rails. We've now moved from USN&WR evaluating the best schools to them nakedly using their power to force schools to behave in certain ways. I don't need USN&WR to tell me what social goals should be promoted.


I think the social metrics are important, but they should be reported seperately as "Top Transformative School." Similarly, the cost of attending should be used to determine "Best Value."

The top school rankings originally were based on peer review by deans of other schools. Cal always came out #1 or #2. USN&WR did not like that so they started adding "Alumni giving/endowment" etc to favor the privates.
TandemBear
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On a related note...

Did you hear the news about the CRISPR patent lawsuit?

It wasn't good.
goldenblue_Cal
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Of course Forbes, which is more focused on competence, still places Call as #1 and UCLA as #14.I say let UCLA have all the students who prefer the US N&WR criteria over Forbes' (sniff)
socaliganbear
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goldenblue_Cal said:

Of course Forbes, which is more focused on competence, still places Call as #1 and UCLA as #14.I say let UCLA have all the students who prefer the US N&WR criteria over Forbes' (sniff)
Forbes is very much output focused i.e. what are your alumni doing after graduating. US N&WR was pressured to change its formula after a negative Politico article, which should tell you something...
ajm9191
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Quote:

Sebastabear said:

These rankings have just completely jumped the rails. We've now moved from USN&WR evaluating the best schools to them nakedly using their power to force schools to behave in certain ways. I don't need USN&WR to tell me what social goals should be promoted.

Whatever power USN&WR has to force schools to behave in certain ways is almost non-existent when it comes to the UC system. That power currently lies with Sacramento, which as of late could not give a damn about rankings and whether USC, let alone UCLA, is ranked above Cal. The legislature and Governor's office have become increasingly intent on withholding additional funding from the system if it doesn't increase access among the state's low-income and minority populations. At least now Cal isn't being penalized by US News for meeting Brown's mandate to enroll more in-state students and might wind up being rewarded for enrolling more of these students.

Ultimately, these rankings are largely measures of a school's financial resources than anything else. The one way I do see this getting worse for Cal is further declines in our underrepresented, first-gen, and low-income student populations. They'll continue to get lured away by the likes of Stanford, USC, and Yale offering them grant packages we can't compete with and being able to do so without having to worry about Prop 209 or recruiting out-of-state students.
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