Rankings? It’s the People Part!

With the start of a new school year comes the new “rankings” for US colleges and universities. The rankings can be a bit of a mixed bag, both a boon and a burden, depending on where your school falls. If you rank well, you’re more likely to promote the ranking. If you rank poorly, you’re more likely to downplay the ranking.

Luckily for us, however, there are all sorts of rankings for all sorts of factors, allowing everyone to have a ranking they can be proud of.

Most of us have heard of the US News & World Reports Rankings. Many readers have probably see the Syracuse iSchool’s #1 ranking in Information Systems, even. But how many of us have heard of the Academic Ranking of World Universities? Or the Washington Monthly’s College Guide?

Each guide uses different metrics for their evaluation, and some of these metrics can be really insightful.

Perhaps my favorite ranking comes from the Washington Monthly’s publication, where Syracuse was ranked #1 in the United States for “Service staff,courses and financial aid support.” This speaks volumes to the emphasis Syracuse has placed on putting their people first – students, faculty, and staff.

It was fitting, then, to get an email from SU Chancellor Nancy Cantor this morning with the details of the incoming class:

  • 23,000 applications, the most ever received.
  • 3,450 incoming Freshmen (a 150 student increase over the target of 3,300).
  • Higher SAT scores.
  • Higher average GPAs.
  • More diverse geographically.
  • More diverse socio-economically.

These are the sorts of things rankings can’t quite quantify – across the board improvement. Better students, from more places, and differing backgrounds.

These are the sorts of things that make for great college experiences, and as a new staff member, I’m looking forward to contributing to growing Syracuse University’s greatest strength: its people.

Shay Colson

A 2010 iSchool graduate, Shay Colson lives and works in Seattle, Washington. He uses technology to solve problems for government, organizations, and also real, actual people. You can find him on Twitter @shaycolson.

More Posts - Website - Twitter - LinkedIn