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Cheating (and Gaming) U.S. News
The world of higher ed is atwitter over the revelations that an administrator at Claremont-McKenna College gave false information to U.S. News and World Report about the median test scores of the school’s incoming students — in a six-year-long effort to improve his institution’s ranking. The Times then followed up with a story on the many instances of universities either cheating or gaming U.S. News’ ranking system.
One measure of academic quality put forward by U.S. News is “yield,” which the magazine describes as follows: “One of the best indicators of a school’s popularity among students is the school’s yield—the percentage of applicants accepted by a college who end up enrolling at that institution in the fall.” Here is U.S. News’ most recent table of yield figures for the top-scoring schools. Cornell is off the list; it is last among the Ivies at 47.6%; Dartmouth is second to last with a 51.9% yield.
Now if you were a clever admissions director, or perhaps an unscrupulous Trustee — not that I am saying that anyone is, of course — one of the ways to improve your yield would be to increase the number of students in the admitted pool who you know are likely to attend your school if accepted. An example would be legacies, and just by happenstance, I am sure, the number of legacies in recent Dartmouth classes has almost doubled from 81 students in the Class of 2001 (7% of students) to 152 students in the Class of 2015 (14%) (source: The Dartmouth Fact Book):
Another way to increase your yield, given that almost all students in this category matriculate, is to ramp up the number of early admissions students. In Dartmouth’s Class of 2006, a total of 384 students were offered early admission, a number that jumped by almost 30% to 497 early admits for the Class of 2015 (source: The Dartmouth Fact Book — though curiously enough, The D reports that only 444 students were accepted early into the Class of 2015, and 465 were offered early admission for the Class of 2016):
Perhaps the children of alums became far more intelligent beginning with the Class of 2014, when the biggest leap occurred, and perhaps the quality of the people applying early decision to the College in the past few years improved dramatically as well. Or perhaps not. Your call.
October 18, 2009
When Love Beckoned in 52nd Street
We were at San Francisco’s BIX last evening, enjoying prosecco, cheese, and a bit of music. A full year of inhabitation in Northern California has unraveled to me no decent venue for proper lounging, but…
October 9, 2009
D Afraid of a Little Competish
So our colleague and Dartblog writer Joe Asch informed me that the D has rejected our cunning advertising campaign. Uh-oh. The Dartmouth is widely known as a breeding ground for instant New York Times successes,…
September 4, 2009
How Regents Should Reign
As Dartmouth alumni proceed through the legal hoops necessary to defuse a Board-packing plan—which put in unhappy desuetude an historic 1891 Agreement between alumni and the College guaranteeing a half-democratically-elected Board of Trustees—it strikes one…
August 29, 2009
Election Reform Study Committee
If you are an alum of the College on the Hill, you may have received a number of e-mails of late beseeching your input for a new arm of the College’s Alumni Control Apparatus called…
August 23, 2009
Fare Thee Well, Tom Crady
And now Dean Tom Crady has precipitously announced his departure from the College after only 20 months on the job. How to read this? By way of background, prior to coming to Dartmouth, Crady had…
May 31, 2009
Kangaroo Court, Indeed
In an interview with The Dartmouth, alumni-elected trustee T.J. Rodgers ‘70 explained his reasons for declining to participate in future evaluations of trustees up for “re-election,” namely the “kangaroo court” nature of such discussion in…