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Old 09-30-2016, 08:31 AM
 
7,278 posts, read 13,529,272 times
Reputation: 3610

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Yes, rankings are flawed. It's a good idea to understand the criteria and evaluate the rankings accordingly.

I will submit that personal experiences usually offer little more than anecdotal evidence, and can be swayed by a wide array of factors. I've known graduates from schools with incredible reputations who seemed less-than-sharp to me, and one of the best direct reports I've ever had was a graduate of a university that was, by most accounts, a half-step above a community college. (Not that there's anything wrong with community colleges.) But I don't feel qualified to make assertions about any of those schools--or even the full knowledge and capability of any of those people--based on my limited interactions. Maybe I just got a bad egg. Or maybe the graduates I interacted with were very capable in other fields, but I wasn't catching them on the right subject. If someone evaluated me based on my knowledge of calculus, for example, I'd be screwed.

Me? I received what I consider to be a top-flight education at what many would consider to be second- or third-tier public universities. But how can I know for sure how my education stacks up against others'? I've done fairly well professionally and have been prepared for lots of the work I've done, but can I attribute that directly to my education? Was I work-ready when I left college? I can't say that I remember, exactly.

Rankings are helpful as they give a variety of metrics that tell you something--not everything--about a college based on common criteria compared as closely as possible by a third party. It's not everything, but it's a better measure of overall educational quality, to me, than a single individual opinion.

Now, having said all that, this thread is ABOUT opinions! So I'm not telling anyone their opinion is or isn't valid. I'm just resisting the idea that rankings are useless. I find them very useful.
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Old 09-30-2016, 09:08 AM
 
29,944 posts, read 27,375,616 times
Reputation: 18517
Duke.
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Old 09-30-2016, 09:15 AM
 
5 posts, read 2,324 times
Reputation: 10
according to the WSJ's assessment in it's paper 2 days ago, it would have to be DUKE
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Old 09-30-2016, 09:21 AM
 
Location: Greenville SC 'Waterfall City'
7,583 posts, read 4,003,555 times
Reputation: 2926
Duke is not even close to being the best if you factor in cost, its tuition is a ripoff. at the undergrad level, small privates like Duke and Wake don't compare to the large state schools. Duke and Wake are really medical, law and other progressional school colleges. the undergrad program is just a feeder school into those professional programs.
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Old 09-30-2016, 10:04 AM
 
345 posts, read 336,237 times
Reputation: 264
Quote:
Originally Posted by Simpsonvilllian View Post
Duke is not even close to being the best if you factor in cost, its tuition is a ripoff. at the undergrad level, small privates like Duke and Wake don't compare to the large state schools. Duke and Wake are really medical, law and other progressional school colleges. the undergrad program is just a feeder school into those professional programs.
so which is the best? vandy?
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Old 09-30-2016, 10:48 AM
 
Location: Greenville SC 'Waterfall City'
7,583 posts, read 4,003,555 times
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i dono't think there is a 'best'. there are a lot of good places for college. Vandy is a ripoff and most kids don't go to private schools. that is for the rich kids. you are not going to get a better education at Vandy than Clemson, Tenn, UGA, etc.
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Old 09-30-2016, 11:02 AM
 
Location: Greenville SC 'Waterfall City'
7,583 posts, read 4,003,555 times
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here is a fantastic analogy from the article i linked upthread about why the US News rankings are silly:

Perhaps an analogy will clarify the point. Suppose that we wanted to know which cars are the safest, and which
the least safe. The way to approach the problem would be to perform tests directly on a sample of each vehicle
to see how well they stand up to crashes.

But what if such direct testing was not allowed or was not feasible. So
we then devise an alternate safety evaluation system that ranked vehicles based on:

1. A questionnaire sent to three executives at each auto manufacturer, asking them to give numerical ratings to
each car made in accordance with their views on the car’s reputation for safety
2. The selectivity of the manufacturer in its hiring of employees
3. Employee satisfaction
4. How much it cost to build the vehicle
5. The percentage of return customers
6. Percentage of management holding MBAs or other advanced degrees

Would the calculations from that system enable us to say with any confidence that the top ranked vehicles were
really the safest and the lowest ranked were really the least safe? Certainly not. Such a system would be so error
prone that it would be worse than having no ranking system at all.
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Old 09-30-2016, 11:08 AM
 
159 posts, read 168,654 times
Reputation: 105
Vanderbilt Georgia Tech or Rice
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Old 09-30-2016, 12:25 PM
 
7,278 posts, read 13,529,272 times
Reputation: 3610
Quote:
Originally Posted by Simpsonvilllian View Post
Duke and Wake are really medical, law and other progressional school colleges. the undergrad program is just a feeder school into those professional programs.
That's just not true. You're not guaranteed admission into graduate or professional programs by virtue of attending the same school for undergrad. The undergraduate programs at those schools function in the same way as undergraduate programs at any school.
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Old 09-30-2016, 12:47 PM
 
Location: Greenville SC 'Waterfall City'
7,583 posts, read 4,003,555 times
Reputation: 2926
i never said anything about guaranteed admissions. i do believe Duke undergrad students who have a good GPA and other things do have an advantage on getting admitted into the medical program.

my point is Duke and Wake's reputation is mostly because of their professional programs. these are really small schools at the undergrad level.

i bet it is pretty rare to find a person who only has an undergraduate degree from Duke. i few their undergrad propram as a feeder program into professional schools at Duke or elsewhere for this reason.
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