This week the 2017 US World & News Report college rankings will be announced. I reached out to Ohio University’s Associate Provost in the Office of Institutional Research Barbara Wharton to get her thoughts about the University’s approach to rankings and their importance overall.
With regards to the US World & News Report rankings, it is one of the best known among college rankings but what I discovered from Barb is that for OHIO, certain components of the rankings are more meaningful than others. “About 35 percent of the ranking is based on a formula that is weighted toward selectivity — 12.5% directly on selectivity and 22.5% on graduation and retention rates, which closely correlate to selectivity,” she said. And while a high overall ranking is worth having, “our desire to balance our level of selectivity with our mission to provide access to the region and state” is also very important.
US News & World Report has a formula to predict our graduation rate based on our selectivity level and we have a much higher graduation rate than predicted based on incoming student characteristics. This ranking, according to Barb, is one in which the University consistently receives high marks and is proud to attain because it addresses student success. Barb says that OHIO ranked 9th overall on this measure in last year’s rankings.
According to Barb, OHIO is also pleased with high rankings in such opinion polls such as “1st in the nation for overall student satisfaction,” based on myplan.com and “14th among college and university best buys,” according to Fiske Guide to Colleges (2015).