Why isn't tuition part of a school's U.S. News Ranking?

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farewelltoarms

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Why isn't tuition part of a school's U.S. News Ranking?

Postby farewelltoarms » Fri Jul 09, 2010 12:18 am

If it is, then I'll just delete this topic. But if it isn't, then why not?

I've heard an interesting idea that US News Rankings are partly responsible for increases in law school tuition. The rhetoric is along the lines of, schools have increased incentive to spend as much as possible per student and to attract the best students. The only way to attract the best students is to offer them scholarships, otherwise they would just attend other schools. However, the cost of these scholarships have to come from somewhere, and that somewhere is tuition. So, in these two ways, money per student and median lsat scores (best student proxy) the rankings cause tuition to rise.

If tuition was included in the rankings though, and negatively impacted the school's ranking, then wouldn't this counterbalance the aforementioned?

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Re: Why isn't tuition part of a school's U.S. News Ranking?

Postby bows_and_toes » Fri Jul 09, 2010 12:40 am

Isnt it included in the rankings though?

http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandr ... s/rankings

Or do you mean price being factored into the rankings themselves?

farewelltoarms

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Re: Why isn't tuition part of a school's U.S. News Ranking?

Postby farewelltoarms » Fri Jul 09, 2010 12:49 am

bows_and_toes wrote:Isnt it included in the rankings though?

http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandr ... s/rankings

Or do you mean price being factored into the rankings themselves?


The latter.

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ResolutePear

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Re: Why isn't tuition part of a school's U.S. News Ranking?

Postby ResolutePear » Fri Jul 09, 2010 12:52 am

farewelltoarms wrote:
bows_and_toes wrote:Isnt it included in the rankings though?

http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandr ... s/rankings

Or do you mean price being factored into the rankings themselves?


The latter.


One could only hope that the best schools would also have to be the best bang for the buck.

That'd kill most of the private universities. FIU would be like T70.. lol.

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ggocat

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Re: Why isn't tuition part of a school's U.S. News Ranking?

Postby ggocat » Fri Jul 09, 2010 12:56 am

farewelltoarms wrote:If it is, then I'll just delete this topic. But if it isn't, then why not?

I've heard an interesting idea that US News Rankings are partly responsible for increases in law school tuition. The rhetoric is along the lines of, schools have increased incentive to spend as much as possible per student and to attract the best students. The only way to attract the best students is to offer them scholarships, otherwise they would just attend other schools. However, the cost of these scholarships have to come from somewhere, and that somewhere is tuition. So, in these two ways, money per student and median lsat scores (best student proxy) the rankings cause tuition to rise.

If tuition was included in the rankings though, and negatively impacted the school's ranking, then wouldn't this counterbalance the aforementioned?

Expenditures per student (i.e., how much money a school spends divided by the number of students) is also a variable, accounting for about 10% of the methodology. Although the statement about scholarships increasing tuition overall is true, you don't need to make any assumptions to conclude that U.S. News rankings encourage schools to spend more money. Expenditures are directly built into the rankings.

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Re: Why isn't tuition part of a school's U.S. News Ranking?

Postby farewelltoarms » Fri Jul 09, 2010 1:05 am

ggocat wrote:
farewelltoarms wrote:If it is, then I'll just delete this topic. But if it isn't, then why not?

I've heard an interesting idea that US News Rankings are partly responsible for increases in law school tuition. The rhetoric is along the lines of, schools have increased incentive to spend as much as possible per student and to attract the best students. The only way to attract the best students is to offer them scholarships, otherwise they would just attend other schools. However, the cost of these scholarships have to come from somewhere, and that somewhere is tuition. So, in these two ways, money per student and median lsat scores (best student proxy) the rankings cause tuition to rise.

If tuition was included in the rankings though, and negatively impacted the school's ranking, then wouldn't this counterbalance the aforementioned?

Expenditures per student (i.e., how much money a school spends divided by the number of students) is also a variable, accounting for about 10% of the methodology. Although the statement about scholarships increasing tuition overall is true, you don't need to make any assumptions to conclude that U.S. News rankings encourage schools to spend more money. Expenditures are directly built into the rankings.


I'm having trouble understanding. Higher expenditures per student = More tuition or less students right? And higher expenditures per student = better rating? If so, then it does seem like us news rankings is influencing the schools to charge higher tuition. Assuming they want a better ranking

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Re: Why isn't tuition part of a school's U.S. News Ranking?

Postby GettingReady2010 » Fri Jul 09, 2010 1:08 am

Something that I never understood is why everyone (including me) started paying so much attention to US News rankings. I mean it seems like they published them, and then all of a sudden everyone hopped on board. If you think about it, the methodology of rankings is pretty arbitrary - How did they decide what value to assign to the various variables (i.e. peer assessment, LSAT, GPA, etc.). Also, I have to question the science behind the rankings if schools are constantly jumping and dropping 10-15 spots.

rant/

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Re: Why isn't tuition part of a school's U.S. News Ranking?

Postby drdolittle » Fri Jul 09, 2010 1:18 am

I guess the short answer might be that US News' goal is not necessarily to generate the fairest ranking methodology. A similar issue is the way they factor in self-reported post grad employment claims, a stat ripe for manipulation by schools yet seemingly taken at face value by US News.

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ggocat

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Re: Why isn't tuition part of a school's U.S. News Ranking?

Postby ggocat » Fri Jul 09, 2010 1:18 am

farewelltoarms wrote:Higher expenditures per student = More tuition or less students right?

Correct. Think about why Yale is #1.

Anyone interested in U.S. News rankings should read Seto's article: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm? ... _id=937017

From the article: "I discovered that even if Harvard had reported a perfect median LSAT of 180, it still would have been ranked third. And even if Yale had reported a median LSAT of just 153 (placing it in the “fourth tier” of law schools ranked by LSAT), it still would have been ranked first. Indeed, Yale would have been ranked higher than Harvard even if both had been true – if Harvard had reported a perfect median LSAT and Yale a 153."

farewelltoarms wrote:And higher expenditures per student = better rating?

Correct.

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Re: Why isn't tuition part of a school's U.S. News Ranking?

Postby GettingReady2010 » Fri Jul 09, 2010 1:22 am

drdolittle wrote:I guess the short answer might be that US News' goal is not necessarily to generate the fairest ranking methodology. A similar issue is the way they factor in self-reported post grad employment claims, a stat ripe for manipulation by schools yet seemingly taken at face value by US News.


This is a good point, but I would assume that grads from each school game the system in a similar fashion, so I don't don't if any particular school has an edge.

On a related note, I wonder if us news does any type of investigation of students who report some BS (i.e. I'm making 7 figures my first year out of law school).

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Re: Why isn't tuition part of a school's U.S. News Ranking?

Postby GeePee » Fri Jul 09, 2010 1:25 am

Yeah, USNews doesn't really understand economies of scale. There's really nothing else to say about it.

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Re: Why isn't tuition part of a school's U.S. News Ranking?

Postby ggocat » Fri Jul 09, 2010 1:26 am

GettingReady2010 wrote:
drdolittle wrote:I guess the short answer might be that US News' goal is not necessarily to generate the fairest ranking methodology. A similar issue is the way they factor in self-reported post grad employment claims, a stat ripe for manipulation by schools yet seemingly taken at face value by US News.

This is a good point, but I would assume that grads from each school game the system in a similar fashion, so I don't don't if any particular school has an edge.

On a related note, I wonder if us news does any type of investigation of students who report some BS (i.e. I'm making 7 figures my first year out of law school).

You might be overestimating the amount of gaming that goes on at the individual level and underestimating the amount of gaming that goes on at the institutional level. And some of the tactics are done in cooperation at both the individual and institutional levels (e.g., employing students in the library).

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Re: Why isn't tuition part of a school's U.S. News Ranking?

Postby GettingReady2010 » Fri Jul 09, 2010 1:28 am

ggocat wrote:
GettingReady2010 wrote:
drdolittle wrote:I guess the short answer might be that US News' goal is not necessarily to generate the fairest ranking methodology. A similar issue is the way they factor in self-reported post grad employment claims, a stat ripe for manipulation by schools yet seemingly taken at face value by US News.

This is a good point, but I would assume that grads from each school game the system in a similar fashion, so I don't don't if any particular school has an edge.

On a related note, I wonder if us news does any type of investigation of students who report some BS (i.e. I'm making 7 figures my first year out of law school).

You might be overestimating the amount of gaming that goes on at the individual level and underestimating the amount of gaming that goes on at the institutional level. And some of the tactics are done in cooperation at both the individual and institutional levels (e.g., employing students in the library).


I guess, but I still don't understand how everyone has come to consider U.S. News the sole authority on law school quality.

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ggocat

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Re: Why isn't tuition part of a school's U.S. News Ranking?

Postby ggocat » Fri Jul 09, 2010 1:28 am

GettingReady2010 wrote:If you think about it, the methodology of rankings is pretty arbitrary - How did they decide what value to assign to the various variables (i.e. peer assessment, LSAT, GPA, etc.). Also, I have to question the science behind the rankings if schools are constantly jumping and dropping 10-15 spots.

Very true. As Seto concludes, the rankings are neither reliable or valid: two things you would want in a ranking system.

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Re: Why isn't tuition part of a school's U.S. News Ranking?

Postby ggocat » Fri Jul 09, 2010 1:30 am

GettingReady2010 wrote:I guess, but I still don't understand how everyone has come to consider U.S. News the sole authority on law school quality.

A question for the ages...

Websites like this one, though, help dispel the notion that the rankings actually mean something outside of:
1. Super elite schools.
2. "National" schools.
3. Top regional schools.
4. Decent regional schools.
5. Other schools.

or [insert similar ranking system here]

Something that probably helps the U.S. News rankings is the ease of use. People want information without spending much time and energy to get it. So they use U.S. News rankings as a proxy for things they care about.

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Re: Why isn't tuition part of a school's U.S. News Ranking?

Postby drdolittle » Fri Jul 09, 2010 1:51 am

GettingReady2010 wrote:I guess, but I still don't understand how everyone has come to consider U.S. News the sole authority on law school quality.


Not to say they really want to consider US News the sole authority, but I do think schools are partly (largely?) at fault because they themselves take these rankings so seriously, almost to the point of promoting US News into the position of sole authority. In the SLS library (where I'll soon lose my access since I didn't get in) a summary of recent general and specialty US News rankings is bound in the reference section, with Stanford's position highlighted and tracked per year. Any other rankings were difficult to find.

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Re: Why isn't tuition part of a school's U.S. News Ranking?

Postby GettingReady2010 » Fri Jul 09, 2010 1:59 am

drdolittle wrote:
GettingReady2010 wrote:I guess, but I still don't understand how everyone has come to consider U.S. News the sole authority on law school quality.


Not to say they really want to consider US News the sole authority, but I do think schools are partly (largely?) at fault because they themselves take these rankings so seriously, almost to the point of promoting US News into the position of sole authority. In the SLS library (where I'll soon lose my access since I didn't get in) a summary of recent general and specialty US News rankings is bound in the reference section, with Stanford's position highlighted and tracked per year. Any other rankings were difficult to find.


YES! It is ridiculous. You would not believe how obsessed schools are with rankings. It seems like it's their top priority. They literally hold meetings about them.

But this begs the question whether schools care about the rankings because of us or the other way around.

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Re: Why isn't tuition part of a school's U.S. News Ranking?

Postby GettingReady2010 » Fri Jul 09, 2010 2:00 am

ggocat wrote:
GettingReady2010 wrote:I guess, but I still don't understand how everyone has come to consider U.S. News the sole authority on law school quality.

A question for the ages...

Websites like this one, though, help dispel the notion that the rankings actually mean something outside of:
1. Super elite schools.
2. "National" schools.
3. Top regional schools.
4. Decent regional schools.
5. Other schools.

or [insert similar ranking system here]

Something that probably helps the U.S. News rankings is the ease of use. People want information without spending much time and energy to get it. So they use U.S. News rankings as a proxy for things they care about.


Thank god for TLS in this respect. Before I really started researching law schools, I thought that there must be a HUGE difference between T 2/3/4s.



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