US News and World Report College Rankings Released

NC State is ranked #83. For the record, I think these rankings are incredibly biased against land grant universities, especially those that place heavy emphasis on science and engineering.

That said, NC State is more than 10 slots behind #71 Virginia Tech, and more than 20 slots lower than #61 Clemson. I consider these schools very comparable in geography and mission.

Duke: Score 90, Tier 1, Overall #8
UVA: Score 74, Tier 1, Overall #23
Wake Forest: Score 70, Tier 1, Overall #28
UNC: Score 69, Tier 1, Overall #30
Boston College: Score 63, Tier 1, Overall #34
Ga Tech: Score 62, Tier 1, Overall #35
Miami: Score 54, Tier 1, Overall #51
Maryland: Score 53, Tier 1, Overall #53
Clemson: Score 49, Tier 1, Overall 61
Va Tech: Score 46, Tier 1, Overall #71
FSU: Score 49, Tier 1, Overall #102

Others of Note:
Wisconsin (land grant): #35
Penn State (land grant): #47
Texas: 47
Florida: #49
Ohio State: #56
UGA: #58
Purdue: #66
UCONN: #66
Indiana: #71
Michigan State: #71
Alabama: #83
Kansas: #89
Nebraska: #89
Auburn: #96
South Carolina: #108
Tennessee: #108
Kentucky: #116
Arizona State: #121

Tier 3 schools of note: Mississippi State, Oklahoma State, Oregon State, Rutgers, Seton Hall, St Johns, Texas Tech, Central Florida, Cincinnati, Louisville, Mississippi, UNC-Charlotte, UNC-Greensboro, South Florida, West Virginia

Tier 4 schools of note: ECU, NC A&T, Memphis, UNLV, UTEP,

About BJD95

1995 NC State graduate, sufferer of Les and MOC during my entire student tenure. An equal-opportunity objective critic and analyst of Wolfpack sports.

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24 Responses to US News and World Report College Rankings Released

  1. choppack1 08/22/2008 at 9:49 AM #

    Do we have info on where we’ve ranked the last couple of years and what our trend looks like – especially vs. VaTech and Clemson?

  2. packalum44 08/22/2008 at 10:23 AM #

    We need to build our endowment to be able to pay and attract the best talent. It is around a measly $600 million last time I checked. I hope Goodnight quadruples that before all is said and done…

  3. newt 08/22/2008 at 10:44 AM #

    25% of the ranking (the #1 criteria) is a subjective peer assessment by pointy headed academics.

    So these rankings are primarily a matter of opinion.

    SFN: Opinion matters. I want the best and the brightest high school students to have a high OPINION of NC State.

  4. backinpack 08/22/2008 at 10:56 AM #

    I’ve always had a problem with the subjectivity of these ratings as well. The ratings seem to be more heavily based on how happy professors are at their institution than much of anything else.

    When comparing NCSU and UNC-CH, I love that we admit more freshman than UNC-CH, yet incoming freshman have a higher GPA at NCSU (4.1 vs 4.0). UNC-CH may be considered more selective than NCSU, but it sounds like they just have a bigger pool of lazy/dumb-asses that apply.

  5. harrisek 08/22/2008 at 10:58 AM #

    I agree that these and any college rankings are biased. I also agree with the statement about pointy-headed academics. As with sports, rankings on paper means nothing, prove it on the field. It this case, the field is the job market. In my decades since graduating from NC State, I’ve yet to work with any grads from any other schools that are clearly better than our grads.

    It’s late-August and school is on the minds of peoples around the country and these types of articles sell magazines. That’s all this is, sales bait.

  6. McPete 08/22/2008 at 11:01 AM #

    Objectivity issues aside, 83rd out of the thousands of colleges and universities in the US is pretty damn good if you ask me. this list also highlights the academic standing of all our acc member schools. half of our conference is in the top 35. can the sec claim anything close to that?

    SFN: Why do you choose to compare NC State to thousands of colleges as opposed to a subset of peer institutions of similar size, stature and resources?

  7. packalum44 08/22/2008 at 11:05 AM #

    i don’t see how any faculty member could judge more than a handful of schools. nevertheless, as much foolishness as these rankings are, they are important and we must strive to better our ranking. kids look at these.

    and i will reiterate what I said earlier…little tidbit of what I learned at NC State in Industrial/Organizational psychology. What is the #1 variable that makes a person happy at work? Compensation. Who are ranking these schools? Faculty. When do faculty perform their best? When they get paid. Who gets the best faculty? The wealthier schools. Who can pay faculty? Highly endowed schools. If you donate towards academics, donate to the endowment!

  8. whitefang 08/22/2008 at 11:51 AM #

    I agree that on the surface these rankings are highly subjective. At the same time, I assure you high school kids and their parents pay close attention to this. I raised kids on State red and my oldest (who I lost and has been mentioned here before) was a HUGE State fan growing up. But neither he nor his brother who so far are my only kids thru high school (1 to go) even applied to State because they were for some reason (must be their mother) top ranked students.
    Having said that, ATHLETIC programs were high on their list of attributes for a college. My oldest turned down academic scholarships from UNC and Vanderbilt to attend UVa. UNC because he couldn’t stand the thought of being a Tar Baby (thank God!), and Vanderbilt because their football sucked and he wanted to be in the ACC for basketball season.
    AND most importantly to the points made about donations to the endowment, NOTHING loosens up the purse strings for all college giving like ATHLETIC success IMO.

  9. Trout 08/22/2008 at 11:53 AM #

    I look at this:

    And I dont see how we can be ranked so far below Clemson.

    One of the metrics is giving – heck, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at NC State raised more money this year than the entire Clemson University fund-raising groups – academics + IPTAY.

  10. choppack1 08/22/2008 at 12:52 PM #

    whitefang – UVA is very appealing. However, there b’ball is worse than Vandy’s significantly so, and football – while having a better record – is probably on par’s w/ Vandy’s as well. However, if you have the chance to go to Vandy or UVa – it’s probably a no-brainer…Oblinger – are you listening – make NC State as much of a “campus” and “community” as possible.

  11. packalum44 08/22/2008 at 1:46 PM #

    Oblinger is trying. I spoke to him this past spring about ideas on how to make NC State better. He just isn’t the dynamic leader that will shake things up and create change. We need an outsider to come in. However, the new Greek Village will help significantly improve the aesthetics of the entire campus. They will be actual Greek style houses with white pillars and the works. The court is being modeled after South Carolina’s. It will bridge the gap between Centennial and main campus. You can literally see Centennial now from fraternity court. That will help get good blue blood kids in. I know lots of kids choose a school based on Greek Life, especially the blue bloods who in turn give lots of their grandparent’s hard earned money back when they inherit their trust funds.

    I think one of NC State’s biggest problems locally is the negative perception of the campus. I suggested to Oblinger that NC State invest resources into an intense marketing campaign. NC State needs a brand, an identity. Right now, its identity is some old ugly brick infested campus. That is all kids know. Luckily though, kids are impressionable and can be easily influenced. Why can’t NC State be a “hip urban campus”? Why not? Why can’t kids hear how urbanized and hip NC State is instead of ugly? I never was impressed with UNC’s campus but as a kid, I thought it was the best campus ever b/c that is all I heard. I also thought NC State was ugly b/c that is what I heard. If I would have seen commercials growing up of NC State being a “cool” place then I would have at least had a contradicting perception of it. Oh, and adults are easily influenced as well. Half the people in the state have never stepped foot on our campus. Centennial Campus is beautiful. Why not fly a helicopter over that campus and put it in a commercial…”NC State, where the future meets starts today!” I can see it now, the new golf course, Lake Raleigh, all the high-tech buildings, new Chancellor residence, views of downtown Raleigh….kids will be impressed.

    NC State also has a real crappy out-of-state tuition price. Its too high. We don’t get top tier kids from local states because we are too expensive. In turn, we lose out top talent. This is because the stupid legislature labeled us as a state school that is supposed to serve the kids of NC. Ironically we are doing the state of NC an injustice. Could you imagine if athletics only recruited from one state? Doesn’t make sense.

    And why don’t we have a law school? Can land grant university’s not have law schools? Is that a special rule? Law schools bring instant prestige to a university, especially with silly kids who hold lawyers and doctors in such high esteem and want to be one themselves. Med school would be nice too but law school first.

    Sorry for all the gripping. I feel better now.

  12. Ed89 08/22/2008 at 1:46 PM #

    I’m surprised we’re behind Clemson, period….unless you take into account that Clemson is a nicer university town than Raleigh. I’m really surprised that Georgia Tech is THAT much higher than us, too. Va. Tech seems about right.

  13. whitefang 08/22/2008 at 3:07 PM #

    You are right about UVa football now, but this was several years ago when they thought Groh was going to be the next George Welsh.
    BUT the best thing about your kids going to another school – especially with scenery like UVa – is that you can go to the game, imbibe at the tailgate, and since I really don’t give a damn if the Wahoos win or not (unless they are playing UNC) I don’t actually have to go in the game if the party is good. Last season I never made it in before late in the 2nd quarter. And din’t get upset a single time. Now when I had State tickets……

  14. john of sparta 08/22/2008 at 4:20 PM #

    NCSU is a commuter college.
    and if nothing changes, a
    100% online college.
    “where’s Reynolds?”
    “dunno, never been there.”

  15. VaWolf82 08/22/2008 at 5:44 PM #

    Does anyone have the link to salaries that made the rounds a couple of weeks ago?

  16. DuPack 08/22/2008 at 7:40 PM #

    I hope not too many applicants were dealt with like my daughter. She was #9 in her HS class with a GPA of just over 4.3. She recieved a letter and a series of emails requesting we submit a form to verify her NC residency (she attended 1 semester of her freshman year in PA) so they could determine tuition rate so they could determine her financial aid package. After a number of emails and phone calls about where this form was (she was told at least once in my presence it was in the mail) she gave up and accepted a full scholarship to a private college. I was really disheartened by this because she really wanted to go to State.

  17. Wulfpack 08/22/2008 at 8:11 PM #

    “And why don’t we have a law school?”

    Very good question. Are we too “techy” for legal education?

    It seems to be the case to me that our state is saturated with law schools (Duke, Wake, UNC, Campbell, NC Central, Elon, and now Charlotte School of Law). The vast majority of states have one or two at the most (for example, South Carolina has USC and Charleston).

  18. smile102 08/23/2008 at 12:39 PM #

    “25% of the ranking (the #1 criteria) is a subjective peer assessment by pointy headed academics.
    So these rankings are primarily a matter of opinion.”

    Um, NEWT, “primarily” is > 25%; let’s say, 51%.

  19. smile102 08/23/2008 at 1:19 PM #

    “I’ve always had a problem with the subjectivity of these ratings as well. The ratings seem to be more heavily based on how happy professors are at their institution than much of anything else.

    When comparing NCSU and UNC-CH, I love that we admit more freshman than UNC-CH, yet incoming freshman have a higher GPA at NCSU (4.1 vs 4.0). UNC-CH may be considered more selective than NCSU, but it sounds like they just have a bigger pool of lazy/dumb-asses that apply.”

    I’ve thought state schools admitted more kids than a private might, being that it has some obligation to give people a shot, since it is supported by taxes. I don’t have anything to back this up thou.

    backinpack, I don’t see in the ratings criteria where “happiness” plays a significant role; it is others faculty doing the ratings.

    As to the comparative quality of incoming freshmen,
    SAT mid 50% Scores: NCSU 1070-1270 UNC 1210-1400
    % in top 10% of class: NCSU 34% UNC 76%
    so I don’t believe your GPA example accurately documents the point you were trying to make.

    NCSU is a fine school w/ an excellent reputation in many disciplines. It does not aim to serve the breadth of offerings of a UNC, or many others listed, and will suffer for that in these rankings.

  20. WolftownVA81 08/23/2008 at 9:06 PM #

    The campus is ugly and Hillsborough Street is dead. Honestly, I don’t know why a prospective student would choose State except for the education and according to this article we aren’t doing so well on that front. Sports and the other intangibles certain don’t add to our appeal in my opinion. We have a severe image problem. It’s not only sports marketing that sucks at State.

  21. GoldenChain 08/24/2008 at 8:21 PM #

    I just got back tonight from taking my son to The University of Chicago (checking in at #8; but #1 in damn money!)

  22. Octavian 08/24/2008 at 8:38 PM #

    Excellent points Packalum44…couldn’t agree more with your comments

  23. GoldenChain 08/25/2008 at 3:07 PM #

    Packalum44, NCCU has our law school and ECTC has our medical school.

    Look at what that med school has done for ECU’s immage in the last 25 years, it should have been in Raleigh.

    If you want to feel even better, take a look at the Forbes list released Monday, NCSU #462!

    unx you ask? #66


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