Princeton Review College Rankings

Discussion in 'Merchant Marine Academy - USMMA' started by julieannreed, Aug 4, 2011.

  1. julieannreed

    julieannreed mom

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    We all know that the Princeton Review is NOT a scientifically collected ranking of our nation's colleges but this year, the USMMA seems to be hit a bit harder than usual. We usually get zapped for worst food on campus (#3 this year), but have we always had all of the other "worsts"? We were listed in the top (or bottom depending on how you look at it) in 9 categories and 7 of those were reflected negatively on the academy. The one that concerns me most is that we are number one in "Least Accessible Professors". When I asked my DS, he said that he can see his profs and that he gets info about their office hours. What's up with these rankings?
     
  2. KP2010

    KP2010 Member

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    Kings Pointers tend to take pride in complaining about their situation. They send the survey to the mids and most of the time its sent during the dark ages so the mids are pretty annoyed with the school at that point anyway so they give low marks all the time.
     
  3. Kram1

    Kram1 Member

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    Wouldn't read much into the survey. Most knowledgeable folks know them for what they are, and, remember, it's a "tradition" for Kings Pointers to complain loud and long about such things as food, their professors, etc.

    I have heard it said that "Kings Point is a Great Place to be "FROM".

    The proof is in how well Kings Pointers do in their chosen career fields after graduation.
     
  4. kdbax

    kdbax Member

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    I think DS will be disappointed to learn that they didn't take #1 in "Is it Food?" and "Dorms Like Dungeons.":rolleyes: Don't read too much into these rankings. When you read the overall review and see things like 100% employment, I think you see a much more favorable view.
     
  5. MStan

    MStan Member

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    The Forbes list also just came out. USMMA was ranked 158th amound top schools. USMA was no. 3, USAFA No. 10, USNA no. 17 and USGA no. 97. But for best colleges for the money, USMMA ranked 5th. 38% of applicants admitted does not sound right.
     
  6. julieannreed

    julieannreed mom

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    I saw that about the Forbes ranking! I was wondering about accuracy of the 38% admittance rate too! Your right, it doesn't sound correct. They also had our costs above $7000, which is above what we are spending for our DS for the four years. Back to the Princeton Review scores, maybe they should have another ranking called ... "Best Complainers" and we would get that too! Then maybe the other rankings would make sense.
     
  7. cmakin

    cmakin Member

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    Complaints about food are really irrelevant at KP for a few reasons. How many of those better rated schools offer three meals a day, free?

    As for those that have been to sea, there is a habit among merchant seamen to slam the food on their current ship and praise that of the last one they sailed on.
     
  8. TwinsDad

    TwinsDad Member

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    USMMA Rated 3 by US News and World Reports

    News and World Reports in their Regional College North Rankings lists the United States Coast Guard Academy as number one, Cooper Union as number two and the United States merchant Marine Academy is number three.

    http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/rankings/regional-colleges-north

    They list both West Point and Annapolis as number 16 in the category of national liberal arts colleges. The Air Force Academy is listed as number one under the heading regional college West.

    There are numerous studies and rankings of the colleges and after having reviewed a great number of them I have come to the conclusion that the rankings have little to do with any realistic methodologies. I would suggest that any parents of future cadets treat any of these sites as fiction.

    All of the service academies are among the finest schools in the world. They each have their own particular specialties but all offer not only a fantastic education but intense training in leadership which is not offered by most civilian institutes of learning. Just remember that a graduate from the US merchant Marine Academy has the option of accepting a commission in any of the United States services.

    The first year at all of the service academies is by far the toughest. The cadets are pushed to levels beyond what they thought they were capable of. This not only makes them stronger and more efficient with their use of time but also weeds out the few cadets that are there solely for a free education with little or no interest in serving their country.

    I again stress for parents and students alike not to worry about college ratings. While every college has a few less-than-perfect teaches, the quality of the teachers for the vast number of courses is very high. They are dedicated teachers and usually go to great efforts to make themselves available to assist students. They also have programs where students help each other as part of a team effort. The only time a student in need of extra help is not receiving it is one of the student is not asking for help.

    I have two sons, one of which just graduated maritime college this past May and is currently back in school studying nuclear power plants for submarines. Within about a year he will become a teacher. My other son will be graduate United States Coast Guard Academy in May of 2012 as hoping to continue his education in flight school for helicopters.

    Best of luck to new applicants for the class of 2016 and my condolences to their loving parents who are set to begin the roller coaster ride of their life.
     
  9. MStan

    MStan Member

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    Agreed! Regardless of the so-called rank, attending any one of the Academy's is a tremendous honor and a privilege. I am very proud that my son is now attending the USMMA and can only hope my daughter has that same opportunity.
     
  10. LongAgoPlebe

    LongAgoPlebe Member

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    Many of you know I'm now a professor after attending USNA and a lib-arts college (from which I graduated) in the late 80s/early 90s. From a professor's point of view, anecdotally, we (my colleagues and I) are also skeptical about these ratings because admincritters can, and do, game the systems.

    For instance, you would think that if 10,000 students apply and 1,000 are admitted, then the admission rate is 10%, right? Not necessarily. Some admincritters can (and do) weight the numbers differently. They fudge. Perhaps that 1,000 admitted this year includes 100 who were admitted last year and deferred admission. Then only 900/10,000 of this year's matriculants applied this year. Voila! A 9% admission rate, highly selective. But wait! Perhaps in addition to those 10,000 applications there were 2,335 incomplete applications. Now your acceptance rate is 900/12,335, less than 7.5%.

    This gets really messy in cost of attendance. My SLAC, like many LACs, has a relatively high tuition (high $20Ks). However, we are also a need-blind school. Students are admitted based on merit, not ability to pay, and only students from very very well-off families pay sticker price. My SLAC is also great about not saddling students with student loans (we have a cap). So, while my SLAC and others look staggeringly expensive, financial aid is generous and our kids don't have to work 20 hours a week to pay for books and food.

    And speaking of food...at Nearby U, which is trying very hard to move up in the Princeton rankings, there was a minor flap last spring when the food service company (it was revealed) served students a gourmet dinner, asked them to rate the meal, then submitted those ratings as Nearby U's "quality of food" data.

    More and more high-quality colleges are opting out of these kinds of ratings for just these reasons - it's too easy to game the system, and what parents and prospective students see as a result is misleading or untrue information. As with anything you're going to invest 4+ years and tens of thousands of dollars: caveat emptor, both in the choice and in selection methods.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2011
  11. baxted

    baxted Member

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    Gaming the system...

    Amen LongAgoPlebe! At the 4 year private college where I got a degree and taught for the mechanical engineering department, they hired people reporting to the president whose only function was to raise the schools rankings by playing the numbers (think of that wonderful line on lies that Mark Twain was so fond)! Between the agenda of the ranking group and the agenda of the schools, the truth will never truly be found. To wit, US News and World Report has a heavy bias towards research money and how much professors rake in; that puts any school with full time teaching faculty out of the running and gives a huge advantage to schools with graduate programs even if the graduate program is sucking the life out of the undergraduate program.

    As I think I've mentioned before, I am now the one and only professor at a Mechanical Technology AAS (2 year) degree program at a community college. Admissions is the ultimate shell game. Students are admitted, show up, drop out, come back, transfer, come back again, and change their degree program more often than their socks. You really can't tell what the admission rate at any given time, its sort of like quantum mechanics: one of those forest and tree things! Actually, that probably isn't fair, I understood quantum mechanics when I took it, I still don't understand the Admissions Office.

    Given Princeton's heavy weight to a small percentage of student votes, it is, at best, a rough indicator. Sure it means something, but I'm not sure what that "something" is. How many of the graduating students are employed by graduation, 6 months after and what are they doing 5 or 10 years from now? That tells you a lot more. I taught a design course for sophomores that had them tired and grumpy at the end of 15 weeks. Yet every graduate that responded to surveys 2, 5 and 10 years out stated that the said design course was the single most important course they had in college as it was the best preparation they had (outside of a co-op) to the job they got after graduation. Given KP's track record after graduation, I'd hang my hat on that.
     
  12. bugsy

    bugsy Member

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    Foods Good

    My DS wrote in his 1st letter back "The food is good" plus its free and he can have as much as he wants. Iether he has poor taste buds, i fed him crap his whole life and he has a poor frame of reference or the food is good.

    He also was extactic that he got to drive some cool power boats and someone else was paying for the gas. Where does that get quantified in the school rankings.

    After applying (and getting accepted) to numerous academies and ROTC programs, DS and his 26 yr active duty DD (Dear Dad) are convinced KP is the right fit for this future engineer and leader.
     

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