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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Dillon, Colorado

    New US News ranking out. We're number 10

    ...ten!

    http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandre...l-universities

    Lots more ties this year than usual. Look on the bright side, you can argue we're fifth.

    1. Harvard/Princeton. Pick one, you wimps.
    3. Yale
    4. Columbia (!?)
    5. Mitcaltechstanfordchicagopenn
    10. us
    11. Dartmouth... I swear they have some rule that Dartmouth must always be either the same as us, or one behind
    12... the rest

    Fun fact about Duke: "The Duke Blue Devils sports teams have a fierce rivalry with the University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill Tar Heels and are best known for their outstanding men's basketball program."

    ACC standings:
    10. us
    25. Wake/UVa
    29. uncch
    31. BC
    36. GIT
    38. UMiami (the "other Miami" is #90)
    55. Maryland
    (58. the reigning national champion, out of the Big East)
    68. Clemson
    71. VPI
    101. FSU/NCSU
    Sometimes I mistake this for a universe that cares. -- xkcd #625

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Charlotte, North Carolina
    Looking at the geography, we're still the Harvard of the South. Well, now we're the Harvard/Princeton of the South.

    We're also the only top 10 school located anywhere I'd want to live for four years. Except for Stanford. I could eat my way through the San Francisco area for four years. And Johnny D is improving the basketball. So maybe Stanford, despite my conservative tendencies, would be OK. (Yes, I saw Chicago, which is a wonderful city with great food, but the school year involves much of the winter months, and dear LORD it's cold up there November-March. The same basically applies to the Boston area schools). So Duke's still the only top 10 rated university that I'd want to go to...maybe excepting Stanford.

    Go us!
    Last edited by davekay1971; 09-13-2011 at 08:13 AM.
    Brian Zoubek on what was going through his mind walking to the free throw line with 3.6 seconds remaining in the 2010 National Championship game and Duke up by 1: "Fifty percent [of me is] thinking, This is what I've been dreaming of doing my entire life. Fifty percent I'm crapping my pants."

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    brooklyn
    i guess i've been disappointed with duke's sluggishness with this poll. i remember being #6 not too long ago. not that there aren't areas for improvement, but i'm surprised at the least to see penn and chicago as ahead of us.

    Quote Originally Posted by davekay1971 View Post
    Looking at the geography, we're still the Harvard of the South. Well, now we're the Harvard/Princeton of the South.

    We're also the only top 10 school located anywhere I'd want to live for four years. Except for Stanford. I could eat my way through the San Francisco area for four years. And Johnny D is improving the basketball. So maybe Stanford, despite my conservative tendencies, would be OK. (Yes, I saw Chicago, which is a wonderful city with great food, but the school year involves much of the winter months, and dear LORD it's cold up there November-March. The same basically applies to the Boston area schools). So Duke's still the only top 10 rated university that I'd want to go to...maybe excepting Stanford.

    Go us!
    i'm a little upset you lumped columbia in with your "boston area schools." new york is the best place on the planet, and home to (among countless other fantastic things) many of the world's great restaurants for you to "eat your way through."
    Excelsior!

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by NovaScotian View Post
    i guess i've been disappointed with duke's sluggishness with this poll. i remember being #6 not too long ago. not that there aren't areas for improvement, but i'm surprised at the least to see penn and chicago as ahead of us.
    Well, Duke's raw rating of 92 is an improvement from the 90 from last year. We just needed one more point to get a 6-way tie for 5th place at 93 points. With rounding, the difference between 92 and 93 could be very small. Harvard and Princeton scored 100, while Yale got a 98 and Columbia was a distant third at 94. Nobody is going to break the top 3 in the near future from HYP (unless there is a large change in the criteria/methodology), but there is a big lump of schools in the 4th to 12th spots so some variability is to be expected. Chicago has skyrocketed in the rankings in the past few years - I recall it was something like 15th not too long ago. Then a UChicago administrator met with U.S. News officials to discuss the reporting of data and UChicago changed how it reported its data, still adhering to US News protocol. UPenn has been in the top 10 for quite some time, making the ascent in the 90s. Duke has been ranked in the top 10 for the past 23 years. At least, Duke beat Dartmouth, heh.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Steamboat Springs, CO

    Talking Hey, Guys! The Methodology Changes Every Year

    Quote Originally Posted by NovaScotian View Post
    i guess i've been disappointed with duke's sluggishness with this poll. i remember being #6 not too long ago. not that there aren't areas for improvement, but i'm surprised at the least to see penn and chicago as ahead of us.
    Quote Originally Posted by davekay1971 View Post
    Looking at the geography, we're still the Harvard of the South. Well, now we're the Harvard/Princeton of the South.

    We're also the only top 10 school located anywhere I'd want to live for four years. Except for Stanford. I could eat my way through the San Francisco area for four years. And Johnny D is improving the basketball. So maybe Stanford, despite my conservative tendencies, would be OK. (Yes, I saw Chicago, which is a wonderful city with great food, but the school year involves much of the winter months, and dear LORD it's cold up there November-March. The same basically applies to the Boston area schools). So Duke's still the only top 10 rated university that I'd want to go to...maybe excepting Stanford.

    Go us!
    Quote Originally Posted by Bluedog View Post
    Well, Duke's raw rating of 92 is an improvement from the 90 from last year. We just needed one more point to get a 6-way tie for 5th place at 93 points. With rounding, the difference between 92 and 93 could be very small. Harvard and Princeton scored 100, while Yale got a 98 and Columbia was a distant third at 94. Nobody is going to break the top 3 in the near future from HYP (unless there is a large change in the criteria/methodology), but there is a big lump of schools in the 4th to 12th spots so some variability is to be expected. Chicago has skyrocketed in the rankings in the past few years - I recall it was something like 15th not too long ago. Then a UChicago administrator met with U.S. News officials to discuss the reporting of data and UChicago changed how it reported its data, still adhering to US News protocol. UPenn has been in the top 10 for quite some time, making the ascent in the 90s. Duke has been ranked in the top 10 for the past 23 years. At least, Duke beat Dartmouth, heh.
    Gee, the USN&WR ratings change every year, while schools change at glacial places in terms of faculty, programs and research. How can that be??? Well, everyone needs to understand that the rankings are a way to sell magazines (actually, advertising), and the only way to do that is to have the rankings change every year. Therefore, the criteria or the specific collected has to change every year. I think the good folks at USN&WR do a bit of both.

    The other factor is the rankings are one-dimensional. Anyone here want to argue that MIT and Caltech are close substitutes for Princeton and Harvard (or Duke and Stanford)? That is ludicrous -- the pressure at Caltech got so high that the school abolished grades for freshman year.

    sagegrouse

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    The City of Brotherly Love
    The higher education ratings game has become quite the industry. We stack up differently in the various rankings although Forbes and Newsweek(Daily Beast) do not separate large research universities from the smaller liberal arts colleges like USNWR does. Can Columbia really be either #4 or 42 notwithstanding the aforementioned aggregation? How is it Duke moved up nearly 20 positions on the Forbes list(# 40 last year IIRC) in one year? I shudder to think how people might be misusing these data.

    http://www.forbes.com/top-colleges/list/

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/newswee...niacs.all.html

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by sagegrouse View Post
    Gee, the USN&WR ratings change every year, while schools change at glacial places in terms of faculty, programs and research. How can that be??? Well, everyone needs to understand that the rankings are a way to sell magazines (actually, advertising), and the only way to do that is to have the rankings change every year. Therefore, the criteria or the specific collected has to change every year. I think the good folks at USN&WR do a bit of both.

    The other factor is the rankings are one-dimensional. Anyone here want to argue that MIT and Caltech are close substitutes for Princeton and Harvard (or Duke and Stanford)? That is ludicrous -- the pressure at Caltech got so high that the school abolished grades for freshman year.

    sagegrouse
    Well said. I've maintained this opinion for years. Ranking colleges and universities has become an industry for the magazine business and I don't believe that any college or university either improves or gets worse in any meaningful way over a short time period. The magazines have to change the rankings to get headlines and sell magazines (i.e. "Princeton ties with Harvard for top spot", etc.). It is really quite a scam and I'm amazed that the schools actually go along with it. And you're right that it is very misleading to try to lump colleges and universities like MIT and CalTech in with the Ivies and Duke and Stanford. It's like comparing the proverbial apples to oranges.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Raleigh
    Quote Originally Posted by 77devil View Post
    The higher education ratings game has become quite the industry. We stack up differently in the various rankings although Forbes and Newsweek(Daily Beast) do not separate large research universities from the smaller liberal arts colleges like USNWR does. Can Columbia really be either #4 or 42 notwithstanding the aforementioned aggregation? How is it Duke moved up nearly 20 positions on the Forbes list(# 40 last year IIRC) in one year? I shudder to think how people might be misusing these data.

    http://www.forbes.com/top-colleges/list/

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/newswee...niacs.all.html
    Quote Originally Posted by duke79 View Post
    Well said. I've maintained this opinion for years. Ranking colleges and universities has become an industry for the magazine business and I don't believe that any college or university either improves or gets worse in any meaningful way over a short time period. The magazines have to change the rankings to get headlines and sell magazines (i.e. "Princeton ties with Harvard for top spot", etc.). It is really quite a scam and I'm amazed that the schools actually go along with it. And you're right that it is very misleading to try to lump colleges and universities like MIT and CalTech in with the Ivies and Duke and Stanford. It's like comparing the proverbial apples to oranges.
    I'd put much more faith in the most recent Director's Cup standings.

    http://thedirectorscup.com/wp-conten...ngs10-11-2.pdf


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Charlotte, North Carolina
    Quote Originally Posted by NovaScotian View Post
    i guess i've been disappointed with duke's sluggishness with this poll. i remember being #6 not too long ago. not that there aren't areas for improvement, but i'm surprised at the least to see penn and chicago as ahead of us.



    i'm a little upset you lumped columbia in with your "boston area schools." new york is the best place on the planet, and home to (among countless other fantastic things) many of the world's great restaurants for you to "eat your way through."
    Didn't mean to imply Columbia was Boston area. Sloppy wording on my part. But, while NYC has some of the best eating on the planet, I've got a little (a lot) too much love of open spaces and moderate winters to live in that fine city. Personal preferences
    Brian Zoubek on what was going through his mind walking to the free throw line with 3.6 seconds remaining in the 2010 National Championship game and Duke up by 1: "Fifty percent [of me is] thinking, This is what I've been dreaming of doing my entire life. Fifty percent I'm crapping my pants."

  10. #10

    We're number 1...er 10

    US News and World Report College Rankings came out. Duke is ranked #10. The rankings are highly questionable but there is no doubt they are highly influential. In the past twenty years Duke has been as high as 3 and as low as this current ranking, 10. I think the most humorous aspect is that they rank Harvard, Yale and Princeton as top values based on the average tuition paid. Talk about a misuse of statistics. HYP does have very generous need based support and for those students I am sure it is a good value, for students paying the full rate it is hard to see the bargain.

    Anyway it is kind of sad that something this flawed has so much power...maybe not to Duke but to schools further on down the list it is very important

  11. #11
    Number 9 for best value. 43% getting need-based grants with average 64% discount in total cost.
    ~rthomas


  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Tennessee
    Quote Originally Posted by tecumseh View Post
    US News and World Report College Rankings came out. Duke is ranked #10. The rankings are highly questionable but there is no doubt they are highly influential. In the past twenty years Duke has been as high as 3 and as low as this current ranking, 10. I think the most humorous aspect is that they rank Harvard, Yale and Princeton as top values based on the average tuition paid. Talk about a misuse of statistics. HYP does have very generous need based support and for those students I am sure it is a good value, for students paying the full rate it is hard to see the bargain.

    Anyway it is kind of sad that something this flawed has so much power...maybe not to Duke but to schools further on down the list it is very important
    IMO the online version isn't worth the paper it's printed on! It's influential, but in a way one could look at it the way Warren Buffett views technical analysis - yes, more than a few people care deeply what technical analysts say, but it doesn't change his behavior one whit. In fact, by introducing noise into the system it may even help him find bargains.

    As for your comments on HYP, my DD has top schools in her sights, and among the things I've learned from her college guides is the fact that every private school costs about the same boatload of money. They're all $40k-50k /yr sticker price. In fact, if anything, the second tier private schools (here I mean other than "Ivies plus") actually are priced at the higher end; if you're in a modest income family, there's probably an even greater discrepancy when you consider "out the door" pricing at HYP type places with lots of endowment $$. So they can be a super bargain for those who can get in, and even for those paying full sticker, many people would rather have HYP on their diploma than say Colgate, Rice, or Vandy, if it was the same price. Even if it just helps early in the career in terms of getting a foot in the door, and means almost nothing in the long run as far as lifetime earnings (one must carefully disentangle correlation and causation on the earnings front).
    Last edited by cspan37421; 09-14-2011 at 03:31 PM.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Tennessee
    Quote Originally Posted by rthomas View Post
    Number 9 for best value. 43% getting need-based grants with average 64% discount in total cost.
    What % get merit grants, and what % discount does that average? I imagine the distribution is highly skewed; a dozen or so ABDukes get 100% discount, I don't know what BN Dukes get but way back I thought it was about 50%, might be more now. But those aren't many and together might be less than 1%. I'd think a large % pay full freight.

    Is it the case that someone looking for merit-based aid is not likely to find a whole lot except in State U systems and maybe some moderately selective LACs?

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by cspan37421 View Post
    What % get merit grants, and what % discount does that average? I imagine the distribution is highly skewed; a dozen or so ABDukes get 100% discount, I don't know what BN Dukes get but way back I thought it was about 50%, might be more now. But those aren't many and together might be less than 1%. I'd think a large % pay full freight.
    The 43% figure does not include merit scholarships such as the AB Duke and BN Duke. By the way, all Duke academic merit scholarships are 100% tuition and room and board now. They changed it a few years back. If you include academic merit and athletic scholarships, 54% of Duke students receive aid according to School Mission on the USN&WR site.

    The average grant is $31,600 (61% of total cost). The average loan is $2,500 (5%), work study $1,500, and the family is expected to contribute on average $17,500 (34%). I'm not clear if these figures include merit based aid or not as it's not clear on the site. In any event, if it did include the 12 ABDukes that get a 100% discount, that shouldn't skew the figures much as that is only 0.3% of all aid recipients.

    http://dukefinancialaid.duke.edu/undergraduate/stats/

    On another note, USN&WR says:

    Duke’s most esteemed undergraduate scholarship, the Robertson Scholars Program,
    What?!? I've always considered the AB Duke to be the most prestigious undergraduate scholarship and I'm sure most people on campus would as well. Obviously, being a Robertson Scholar is still coveted, so I'm certainly not belittling that program. And the three most famous alumni that they mention on the site are Melinda Gates, Carlos Boozer, and Ron Paul? I don't think I'd choose those three personally as the most well-known. Maybe I'd include Melinda Gates...

    Frankly, going to Harvard is a great deal financially and EVERYBODY who gets in should be able to afford it. If your family income is $180,000, the cost is about $18,000 to you. If you can't afford to pay $18k on a $180k salary for your child's education, then something is off. If Harvard comes back and says you can afford full price, that means you have significant income and assets. Duke isn't as generous as Harvard, but still ends up being cheaper than many state schools for a lot of people.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Tennessee
    I thought Harvard had to cut back on those tuition breaks due to the investment environment's effects upon their endowment. Not sure. Not even sure Yale offered those terms before the market decline hit, though I think one other big time school did, maybe Stanford.

    Yeah, I vaguely recalled BND had gone to 100% but that was after my time.

    I too disagree on Robertson Scholars being the most esteemed program. Well, at the very least I should withhold judgment; in my time it was ABD, case closed. Robertson Scholars are offered a nice package of bells and whistles too, but I've never heard of the program being considered more prestigious to Duke students anyway.

    I must concede, I didn't realize Melinda Gates was a Duke undergrad. I knew of her MBA but thought she went elsewhere before that.

  16. #16
    Did we get extra credit for proximity to great bbq?

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Yeah A.B. Duke is definitely the most prestigious scholarship at Duke hands down.

    Duke's need-based financial aid is awesome, something like if your family makes under $70,000 everything is paid for. If it's between 70k and 100k a year, you take out a few grand in loans per year. I think total, I paid 10k for my Duke degree, and this is coming from a middle-class family in Pennsylvania.

    It is really too bad how these rankings are so influential. When admitted HS students are choosing between schools, a good part of their decision is due to the rankings. And also, these rankings are all international students have to go by, so they are then extremely important. When schools drop in the rankings, administrators talk about how inaccurate and imprecise they are, but when schools rise, administrators speak of how useful a metric they are. Unfortunately, Duke's administrators have been speaking about how inaccurate they are.

    Yes, these rankings are inaccurate and imprecise, but that doesn't mean they aren't important. And because no one truly checks the validity of their reported numbers, Duke would be well-served to "massage" their reported numbers and put their best foot forward. Like Columbia, Penn, UChicago, and WashU have all done in recent years to inflate their rankings and by doing so, they've been able to get better students, which is really what it's all about.

    1. The head of the USNWR rankings is a Penn alum. Penn was always in the teens 10-15 years ago before he got there. Now they're in the top 5 on a regular basis. This is truly an unprecedented rocketship rise in the rankings.

    2. Penn and Columbia and many of the "lower-tier" Ivies accept over half their class early decision, allowing them to reject the vast majority of the regular decision pool, decreasing their overall acceptance rate and increasing their yield, thus making them appear more "competitive" and increasing their ranking. Duke fills about 30% of its class through ED - personally I don't believe this is the way to go.

    3. WashU sends info mailings to thousands of HS students and counts every returned request to join the info mailing list as a complete application, thus making them appear more "competitive" and increasing their ranking. This is a dishonest method, and Duke shouldn't do this.

    4. UChicago sent a team of representatives to the USNWR offices a few years ago to find out how to improve their ranking. They were barely top 15 a few years ago, now they're top 5. I think this is something Duke definitely could do and should do.

    Just saying, you're only hurting yourself if you don't try to help your ranking.

    Also, does anyone else think duke might be the victim of big-city bias - we're not in the NorthEast, California, or in a major metropolitan center (Chicago)?

  18. #18
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    Sep 2007
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    Undisclosed
    Quote Originally Posted by weezie View Post
    Did we get extra credit for proximity to great bbq?
    Glad UNC-Lexington didn't pass us!

  19. #19
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Tennessee
    Duke09hms:

    Can you provide a source for the specific claims you made about WashU and UChicago? I'm curious; those are 2 schools on my DD's early interest list.

    I had heard that WashU was known for massively recruiting to goose up their application numbers, recruiting to even those they knew they would reject, so their admit rate would be lower. I had not previously heard specific claims of dishonesty in reporting data, so I'm really curious.

    On UChicago, the scuttlebutt was that they had a relatively high admit rate for a top school because the applicant pool was heavily self-selected. It was claimed by some on collegeconfidential.com that they have in recent years sought to expand their applicant pool and drive the admit rate down; I've also seen info on attempts to drive their yield rate up. Not sure what is going on there, would like to know for sure.

    As for sticker price vs. out the door price, I have mixed feelings about the fact that my family had to pay full freight for me to go to Duke so that others could attend for less. That whole notion is a whole other topic, probably too PPB, so I should leave it there. That said, I'm not sure need based aid was nearly as generous in the mid 1980s ... but we had 3 boys in out of state colleges at the same time for 2 years and 2 overlapping for 4 years.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Steamboat Springs, CO

    Wash U Selectivity Policy??

    Quote Originally Posted by duke09hms View Post
    Yeah A.B. Duke is definitely the most prestigious scholarship at Duke hands down.

    Duke's need-based financial aid is awesome, something like if your family makes under $70,000 everything is paid for. If it's between 70k and 100k a year, you take out a few grand in loans per year. I think total, I paid 10k for my Duke degree, and this is coming from a middle-class family in Pennsylvania.

    It is really too bad how these rankings are so influential. When admitted HS students are choosing between schools, a good part of their decision is due to the rankings. And also, these rankings are all international students have to go by, so they are then extremely important. When schools drop in the rankings, administrators talk about how inaccurate and imprecise they are, but when schools rise, administrators speak of how useful a metric they are. Unfortunately, Duke's administrators have been speaking about how inaccurate they are.

    Yes, these rankings are inaccurate and imprecise, but that doesn't mean they aren't important. And because no one truly checks the validity of their reported numbers, Duke would be well-served to "massage" their reported numbers and put their best foot forward. Like Columbia, Penn, UChicago, and WashU have all done in recent years to inflate their rankings and by doing so, they've been able to get better students, which is really what it's all about.

    1. The head of the USNWR rankings is a Penn alum. Penn was always in the teens 10-15 years ago before he got there. Now they're in the top 5 on a regular basis. This is truly an unprecedented rocketship rise in the rankings.

    2. Penn and Columbia and many of the "lower-tier" Ivies accept over half their class early decision, allowing them to reject the vast majority of the regular decision pool, decreasing their overall acceptance rate and increasing their yield, thus making them appear more "competitive" and increasing their ranking. Duke fills about 30% of its class through ED - personally I don't believe this is the way to go.

    3. WashU sends info mailings to thousands of HS students and counts every returned request to join the info mailing list as a complete application, thus making them appear more "competitive" and increasing their ranking. This is a dishonest method, and Duke shouldn't do this.

    4. UChicago sent a team of representatives to the USNWR offices a few years ago to find out how to improve their ranking. They were barely top 15 a few years ago, now they're top 5. I think this is something Duke definitely could do and should do.

    Just saying, you're only hurting yourself if you don't try to help your ranking.

    Also, does anyone else think duke might be the victim of big-city bias - we're not in the NorthEast, California, or in a major metropolitan center (Chicago)?
    I have some info on Wash U. I can't find the story, but it was clear that Wash U was gaming the system to get a higher percentage of students to accept its offers of admission. It was requesting info on other schools that the applicant had visited and/or applied to, then it was using a "degree of interest" variable to DQ they guys and gals it believed were headed to Harvard or Yale anyway. Total BS and disgraceful. Maybe we should do that too?

    sagegrouse

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