wiz wrote:Hikikomorist wrote:wiz wrote:Hikikomorist wrote:This is probably the most important thing I have going on in my life: making sure people recognize Pomona's rightful place among elite LACs. Test scores and per-student endowment. Maybe not quite there yet in terms of lay prestige, but they deserve it and should get there. See them as the Stanford of LACs.
Per-student endowment has some serious non-prestigious outliers (Berea College, University of Richmond, Washington and Lee University), and I don't think anybody would consider Wellesley/Grinnell more prestigious than Chicago. Test scores still fall into the inputs category, but Pomona doesn't have the prestige of Amherst/Williams/Swathmore, which themselves don't have actual prestige by virtue of being LACs.
Stanford has been in the HYP tier for a while (or at least HYPSM) despite being founded four years after Pomona. Nobody really considers (or at least not many consider) Pomona to be Amherst/Williams level outside of Pomona alums, you, and (I'm guessing) nony's high school.
Agreed about LACs not having lay prestige or any real prestige on the PSYCHM level. Also agreed on there being problematic outliers, which is why per-student endowment is just a minor supplement to median test scores. I do think it's an input variable that's useful for tracking alumni success and available student resources.
I don't think they have prestige in general—not just at the top tier level but even at the Northwestern/Hopkins/Vanderbilt level. They have low acceptance rates and a decent following among people who are really into rankings and LACs and, I'm assuming, strong alumni loyalty, given the endowment, but I would still describe them as more of a cult than a prestigious group.
I agree that there are great student resources and people who attend get a phenomenal education (something something grade deflation and professors who aren't only focused on research), but there's just no way that seeing Swarthmore at the top of a resume (or dropping Pomona in a casual conversation) gets the same reaction as Columbia or Dartmouth.
I guess I just wouldn't conflate inputs like selectivity or even test scores with prestige. I do think it can be a decent prelude for future prestige/rankings, though those things take a while to catch up. When I was applying to college, Chicago's acceptance rate was in the mid 20s, and most people I knew would have taken any Ivy + Stanford/MIT/Caltech/Duke over Chicago. Now it's like Columbia level.
I'd also never compare LACs with national universities using per-student endowments. I'd only use it to compare LACs to other LACs or NUs with other NUs, and even then it would be a supplemental factor only. I disagree, though, in thinking that the very best LACs are on par with third-tier national universities in terms of real (people attending or having graduated from generally reputable colleges) prestige.