Penn State #15 Public, #47 Overall
Last week, U.S. News & World Report released its 2009 batch of college rankings. Penn State was ranked as the #15 best public university and #47 best university of any type. We didn’t make the top #50 values category.
The Big Ten schools that beat us in the public school rankings are:
4. University of Michigan
7. University of Wisconsin
10. University of Illinois
Here’s the breakdown of how U.S. News & World calculated the rankings:
Peer assessment (25%) U.S. News hires a third-party research firm to poll university presidents, administrators, and faculty about their feelings for other universities.
Retention (20%) Composite of six-year graduation rate and freshmen retention rate, though the former is weighted much more than the latter.
Faculty resources (20%) A very broad amalgam of the professorial resources available to students and the quality of life for the professors themselves.
Student selectivity (15%) By looking at average SAT scores, number of top 10% high school students, and acceptance rate, the student selectivity score tries to quantify how competent a school’s student body is.
Financial resources (10%) This ones pretty self-explanatory. Basically, U.S. News & World Report looks at per student spending on items directly related to student education. Interestingly, it doesn’t seem to explicitly account for a school’s ability to provide financial aid.
Graduation rate performance (5%) I don’t really get this one. Here’s what U.S. News says:
We measure the difference between a school’s six-year graduation rate for the class that entered in 2001 and the rate we predicted for the class. If the actual graduation rate is higher than the predicted rate, the college is enhancing achievement.
Alumni giving rate (5%) The averaged percentage of how many alumni give back to the school
Cool stuff… solid showing yall.