Mack.Hambleton wrote:Uchicago undergrad is majorly overrated by US NEWS in recent years imo, before like the last five years it was always around fifteen, but then they gamed the rankings hard and are pretending they're on the same level as HYPSM now
okay, why though? maybe its the echo chamber effect of rankings, but chicago can afford to be nearly as selective as harvard, columbia, yale, MIT. Moreover, its an incredibly well respected school with prolific faculty, global recognition and great grad school/career results for its graduates. Few institutions can claim their own self-styled intellectual moments in political economy or literature the way Chicago can. What makes a school "overrated"? because some people haven't heard of it? Most people don't know Bernardaud porcelain either, but that sure as shit doesn't make it overrated compared to target's Threshold brand Dinnerware set.
I haven't really followed UChicago's moves through the USNWR undergraduate college rankings over the years, but I do remember when I was in high school looking at college rankings like a decade ago (wow, I'm old) and developed my sense of school preftige that it was essentially NU and UChicago were peer schools. When I look at the rankings today, it looks like UChicago undergrad is a notch above Northwestern and closer to HYPSM. It is difficult for me to attribut this to anything other than year-over-year fluctuations in the USNWR rankings and it is a very limited perspective, but it does seem that UChicago has focused on ensuring that their undergrad moved up in the USNWR rankings.
The drastic decline in admissions rate at UChicago is a relatively recent trend (http://chicagomaroon.com/2011/04/05/adm ... ate-falls/
). Even when the admissions rate was "high" at UChicago it was still an incredibly prestigious school with renowned academics but of course they for whatever reason have more "lay prestige" now and are able to drop the admissions rate as more applicants apply. Either way I'm not saying that UChicago undergrad is overrated or underrated by USNWR, I'm just saying that I think that it's very likely that they definitely decided to focus their efforts on making sure that they were addressing all of the metrics to ensure that they could move up in the USNWR rankings.
An interesting link I came across: http://web.archive.org/web/200709081424 ... ts/usnews/
Looking at that link, it looks like UChi was ranked quite high in the initial USNWR surveys and then around the late 90s-mid 00s begin to slip to the mid-teens. So when looking at it this way, you could say that UChi decided to likely refocus on the USNWR metrics and "correct" their rankings moreso than actually them ever moving up.
Looking at the link, it looks like most schools have remained relatively stagnant in the USNWR rankings (through 2007 at least, couldn't find a more up to date link). There are some notable exceptions though where schools have really moved up a lot. Penn, WUSTL, and USC it seems are the schools that would likely be the most guilty of trying to "game" the USNWR rankings just looking at their rather sudden rises in the rankings.