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  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by HokieDevil View Post
    If VT wants to get up to W&M/UVa level the easy step is to reduce the size of incoming classes and drop certain programs. Steger commissioned a study a few years back as to why we are consistently behind those other 2 state schools. Our top 1,000 incoming students every year are on par or better than those other 2. It's the fact that as a larger school, our bottom cut off is lower which hurts us.

    And if you look at how many of those rankings are done, having a large Ag school and large Edu school are hurting us. In general they don't bring in the students with SAT/ACT, grades, class rank, etc. like future doctors, lawyers, engineers, etc. And they don't bring in the research money like those other high profile programs which also affects the ratings.

    Don't misunderstand me. I love having the Ag and Edu programs and would not advocate reducing our university's size. I think we can continue to improve however the increases will be incremental not big jumps.

    I think being an AAU school is more important than these magazine rankings. And we are ranked above some AAU schools according to these ratings.
    USN&WR changed their methodology this year. Instead of emphasizing selectivity and the characteristics of incoming students, they chose to focus on graduation rates. If they continue to do so, we may come to appreciate the easier majors.

    Ag does bring in the research money -- which is one reason why so many AAU schools are land-grants. But AAU and USN&WR compare apples and oranges (in this case, graduate education & research versus undergraduate education).

  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4x4hokies View Post
    I thought WVU took almost anyone that applied from out of state too so they could collect higher tuition from them.
    THIS. It's at least a third out of state; most public schools target around 25% or eve less. WVU heavily targets out of state valedictorians and merit scholars with all kinds of scholarship money...and it works.

  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by laphroaig View Post
    I was told that WVU accepts a lot of our former US military men and women. In my book, that's a plus. It's the first one I've ever discovered for anything WVU, but it's a big one for me.
    How would one know that kind of detailed info? I know that Maryland heavily targets former military - they have an entire office dedicated to bringing in those that have 3-5 years service...to get them into a B.S. program. It's subsidized by the state and of course GI bill and other funding sources. It works well. I used to work w/someone that went through their program. Her impression to me is that it's pretty widespread, esp amongst large public universities that have evening or parttime programs.

  4. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Perfesser View Post
    USN&WR changed their methodology this year. Instead of emphasizing selectivity and the characteristics of incoming students, they chose to focus on graduation rates. If they continue to do so, we may come to appreciate the easier majors.

    Ag does bring in the research money -- which is one reason why so many AAU schools are land-grants. But AAU and USN&WR compare apples and oranges (in this case, graduate education & research versus undergraduate education).
    Yes Ag does bring in research money. Every college does. My point is that when you compare research dollars per student more technical universities (ex GT, MIT) bring in far more

  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by HokieDevil View Post
    Yes Ag does bring in research money. Every college does. My point is that when you compare research dollars per student more technical universities (ex GT, MIT) bring in far more
    It's medical schools that bring in research dollars. In FY 2011, $37 billion was spent on life science research -- $20 billion alone on medical research. In comparison, engineering research expenditures were $10 billion. That was Nebraska's problem with the AAU -- the Nebraska medical school was considered a separate campus/institution, thereby dropping their research expenditures.

    FYI, ag spending is a significant element of VT's research expenditures. Using the 2013 figures, ag-related research (Ag & Life Sciences, Natural Resources, and Vet School), VT spent $85.2 million on ag-related sponsored research. Engineering spent $132.2 million, and the university as a whole spent $286.5 million. To put that in perspective, at VT, engineering is about 46% of the research budget. At A&M, engineering is about 37% of the research budget ($264 million out of $706 million total) while life sciences (ag, med, etc.) account for just over 26% ($187 million).

    What hurts Tech vis a vis the AAU isn't the ag programs. It's the lack of a dedicated medical research institution to generate research dollars and the lack of significant grad programs outside the STEM fields. AAU looks at both elements of research production: grants and graduates (i.e., PhDs).

  6. #16
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    One ACC school that has consistently gotten better in the rankings over the years has been Clemson. This year they are at #62 and tied with Maryland, whom I am pretty sure they have always been behind. I remember there was a time in the not-too-distant past where both VT and NC State were ranked higher than Clemson. What has the key to success has been for Clemson?

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by I85Hokie View Post
    One ACC school that has consistently gotten better in the rankings over the years has been Clemson. This year they are at #62 and tied with Maryland, whom I am pretty sure they have always been behind. I remember there was a time in the not-too-distant past where both VT and NC State were ranked higher than Clemson. What has the key to success has been for Clemson?
    Had heard they decided to "game the system" to improve their ranking. They looked at how USN&WR scored universities, then tailored their system where they would score higher. Think of it as having a teacher only covering the SOL topics.
    "You start a conversation you can't even finish it
    You're talkin' a lot, but you're not sayin' anything
    When I have nothing to say, my lips are sealed
    Say something once, why say it again?"
    - David Byrne

  8. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Perfesser View Post
    It's medical schools that bring in research dollars. In FY 2011, $37 billion was spent on life science research -- $20 billion alone on medical research. In comparison, engineering research expenditures were $10 billion. That was Nebraska's problem with the AAU -- the Nebraska medical school was considered a separate campus/institution, thereby dropping their research expenditures.

    FYI, ag spending is a significant element of VT's research expenditures. Using the 2013 figures, ag-related research (Ag & Life Sciences, Natural Resources, and Vet School), VT spent $85.2 million on ag-related sponsored research. Engineering spent $132.2 million, and the university as a whole spent $286.5 million. To put that in perspective, at VT, engineering is about 46% of the research budget. At A&M, engineering is about 37% of the research budget ($264 million out of $706 million total) while life sciences (ag, med, etc.) account for just over 26% ($187 million).

    What hurts Tech vis a vis the AAU isn't the ag programs. It's the lack of a dedicated medical research institution to generate research dollars and the lack of significant grad programs outside the STEM fields. AAU looks at both elements of research production: grants and graduates (i.e., PhDs).
    With the growth of The Med school and the growth of the ties with Wake Forrest through BioMed Engineering there has been a continued increase in outside research funding for med research. In the past 13 years we've seen outside research money grow from $97.3m to $286.5m. But you don't need a med school to bring in top research dollars. Schools like MIT and GT don't have a med school and still bring in high research dollars. And there a plenty of AAU members that don't have med schools

    I went and looked up VT's research funding and yes Ag was higher than I thought, #2 with $56.1m. I wouldn't automatically lump Ag with Nat Res and VetMed. I've known some research projects in those colleges I wouldn't call Ag based. I'm sure there is some crossover, but not everything

  9. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by jesuisvtguy View Post
    I'm all for ranking colleges into tiers, but to rank one college 55 and another 62 is extremely subjective. I think it does a disservice to the real purpose of education and provides incentives for universities to focus on manipulating the statistics. We all get suckered into the US News rankings and they developed a great branding strategy. What do exact rankings mean in the end? Nada.
    For the school, who ends up ranked #1, it means that the admissions board can hang a National Champion Recruiting banner in the office for the year and each member of the staff receives a championship ring.

  10. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Truthahn View Post
    US News 2014 ranking for U of L is 161, down from 160. I guess it was too much to expect them to move up any time soon.

    WVU dropped as well. IIRC they were 161 last year, just one spot behind Louisville. They are now 170.
    Isn't this poll kind of bogus? It's a popularity contest, yes? Seems like their cred is blown when one reads the survey method.
    I will never understand people.
    They're the worst!

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