Mind Matters Natural and Artificial Intelligence News and Analysis

TagAcademic influence

college application
Young man writing college or university application form with pen and paper. Student applying or filling document. Scholarship, grant or admission. School website in laptop.

The Scandal of US News College Rankings

The rankings are very important to many students’ futures — but that makes them easy subjects of manipulation

At Academic Influence, we learn: The U.S. News rankings are flawed. But are they better than nothing? True, they’ve led to a standardization of how certain college data are presented. Moreover, they are useful to high school students whose college counselors are absent or unavailable — if only to get some broad sense of which schools are good and which are better. But on balance, the U.S. News rankings make higher education worse. Schools are motivated to “game” the U.S. News rankings, introducing superficial and even counterproductive changes that raise their ranking but do nothing to provide a better education for students or a more productive environment for faculty. Worse yet, some schools will simply lie to U.S. News to…

we-studied-together-now-were-graduating-together-portrait-of-a-group-of-students-taking-selfies-on-graduation-day-stockpack-adobe-stock
We studied together now were graduating together. Portrait of a group of students taking selfies on graduation day.

Historically Black Colleges/Universities Crush School Rankings

According to a new metric that rewards per-dollar effectiveness as opposed to the benefits of lavish endowments, they took three spots out of the top five

While popular rankings of colleges and universities — like that of U.S. News and World Report — have always been top secret, journalist Malcolm Gladwell, working with a team of Reed College researchers, managed to “crack the code.” And, as Academic Influence tells it, an unhappy truth emerged: What troubled Gladwell is that schools like Dillard University and Reed College could never, given the way college rankings were set up, receive the recognition they deserved. The whole ranking system was rigged against them. Gladwell focused especially on Dillard University, an HBCU [historically Black college or university] in New Orleans. By making its mission to serve underserved populations, Dillard was, in effect, getting penalized by U.S. News & World Report, which puts a premium in its…

backside-graduation-hats-during-commencement-success-graduates-of-the-university-concept-education-congratulation-graduation-ceremony-congratulated-the-graduates-in-university-during-commencement-stockpack-adobe-stock.jpg
backside graduation hats during commencement success graduates of the university, Concept education congratulation. Graduation Ceremony ,Congratulated the graduates in University during commencement.

Will Machine Learning Disrupt Academic Rankings?

A case study in the best computer science and artificial intelligence programs

Note: Our author, Ross Gulik, an educational consultant who closely follows the academic ranking industry, offers us a look at how such rankings are created and how they might be improved. 1 Introduction to AcademicInfluence.com AcademicInfluence.com is a new website that claims to do academic rankings right. Getting academic rankings right has become a pressing concern for higher education. As AcademicInfluence.com correctly observes on its methodology page, schools face enormous pressure to perform well in the big annual rankings. The big academic ranking organizations (such as US News and Times Higher Education) carry enormous weight. If a school slips in these annual rankings, it can affect student enrolments, the bottom line, and the prestige of the institution. This pressure leads…