Why USAFA College Ranking lower than WP and USNA?

didlidog

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Why is USAFA consistently ranked lower on many sites such as Forbes and Usnews? Also, why is the acceptance rate for USAFA always higher than WP and USNA? Is it because USAFA is a newer academy and is not as widely known?

I view the three academies equally prestigious and equally difficult but from all rankings that I see, USAFA is always ranked lower than USNA and West Point.
 

didlidog

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Just another question that I have. Why the average salary for USAFA graduates lower than that of USNA and WP?
 

Capt MJ

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Can't answer your ranking question, but their salaries are identical.

I was spending some time thinking about this, wondering about the statistical approach; I read the post as being about "graduates'" salaries in the civilian work world. Certainly agree they are the same in uniform.
 

Capt MJ

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I went to the Forbes 2016 article, and the link below describes their methodology and ranking factors.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/carolin...nking-2016-the-full-methodology/#3177a16359a8

A stray thought - if graduate pay scale is a key factor at "x" point after graduation, are fewer USAFA grads getting out at the 5-year point (more with pilot commitment??) and have a lag time getting momentum on civilian career salaries? That's just a PITS (pie in the sky) thought.

I would love to see the actual scores in each of the listed categories, drill down and see if the difference is real-world valid or simply an awkward result of the ranking algorithm. I suspect USAFA staff has done some picking at it.

Here's the US News methodology:
http://www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/articles/how-us-news-calculated-the-rankings

I was surprised to see alumni giving as a rated factor; rationale is it indirectly reflects student satisfaction.

Great analysis project for cadets....
 
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Capt MJ

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I admit to snooping about my own undergraduate college, to see it was ranked by US News #5 in national universities in "Best Undergraduate Teaching." Princeton was #1. That is one of the main reasons I went there, because that felt right to me, small classes, full profs with phenomenal culture of engagement with students, seminar style (Dr. Maya Angelou for an elective poetry class with just 10 students!). That paid off for me in so many ways. It's the main reason I give money now, thus making sense of the ranking point I mentioned above, about indirect reflection of student satisfaction.
 

repatriot

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I view the three academies equally prestigious and equally difficult but from all rankings that I see,USAFA is always ranked lower than USNA and West Point .
I agree with you and would add that many of these rankings are subjective and biased, and USNews is the worst. Unfortunately, a large group still thinks USNews is reliable. This is unfortunate because Forbes has a much more accurate ranking system. Unlike USNews, Forbes does hold schools accountable for what they report. In 2013, Forbes published this article: www.forbes.com/sites/abrambrown/2013/07/24/why-forbes-removed-4-schools-from-its-americas-best-colleges-rankings/#586f99865029 and removed 4 colleges from their list for lying: Claremont McKenna, Bucknell University, Emory University, and Iona College. Here's another example: until this past year, USNews allowed a military college (unnamed for fairness) to report only the information from the Corps of Cadets portion of the school (which accounts for just 60% of the student body). The college "selectively reported," omitting nearly half the school's enrollment figures for decades in order to attain better rankings... and it worked, for a while. Interesting, especially when you consider the USNews editor's son went to this school for one year before transferring into West Point... As if this isn't bad enough, when you look at USNews' specific college ranking categories, it gets even worse: For example, USNews allows the ranking of certain categories such as business programs, engineering programs, law programs, etc. based SOLELY on the opinions of professors and staff members at other institutions. In other words, a WestPoint professor can rank USAFA's engineering programs and a Naval Academy professor can rank West Point's programs, and so on... With this methodology USNews infuses bias and innuendo into their rankings from the start. In the future, it may be impossible to completely eliminate subjectivity and biases, but today it's good to see that other sources such as Forbes, Kiplingers, and Money (and others) are publishing much more accurate rankings of colleges, AND holding colleges accountable when they lie.
 
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Capt MJ

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Exactly why there are so many pithy sayings about statistics...
"There are lies, damn lies - and statistics." Benjamin Disraeli
 

brovol

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As much as I am biased in favor of West Point, all of the academies are equally outstanding. The rankings are too much based on subjective information. But I think that one reason USMA is rated higher than USAFA is name recognition. West Point being around since the early 1800's , and having distinguished alumni from that period forward, and being located at such a historical site helps, even if perhaps it shouldn't. Those rankings also typically consider things like Rhodes Scholarship award winners, and other awards, which USMA does well with, likely because of name recognition.

Generally all of the academies are regarded amongst he best colleges in the world. There are no other schools where I would prefer for my son. And I would rather have a degree from the academies than an ivy league school any day of the week, and twice on Sunday.
 

cb7893

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Why is USAFA consistently ranked lower on many sites such as Forbes and Usnews? Also, why is the acceptance rate for USAFA always higher than WP and USNA? Is it because USAFA is a newer academy and is not as widely known?

College Rankings don't mean didli to anyone other than Admission Departments and insecure parents.

I realized this when I saw Ga Tech listed at fortysometheength.

Don't waste your time.
 

didlidog

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So then where would the primary disparity of the salary differences on Forbes come from? If I remember correctly, It states that the mid-career salary for USAFA graduates is 115k while for USNA it is 126K, an 11k difference.

Unfortunately, a large group still thinks USNews is reliable. This is unfortunate because Forbes has a much more accurate ranking system. Unlike USNews, Forbes does hold schools accountable for what they report. In 2013,

Thanks for the analysis and factual evidence to help explain the phenomena. But even for Forbes, USAFA is still ranked lower than the other two academies. Would you say this is because the other two academies have been around for much longer and are therefore more widely known?

As much as I am biased in favor of West Point, all of the academies are equally outstanding. The rankings are too much based on subjective information. But I think that one reason USMA is rated higher than USAFA is name recognition. West Point being around since the early 1800's , and having distinguished alumni from that period forward, and being located at such a historical site helps, even if perhaps it shouldn't. Those rankings also typically consider things like Rhodes Scholarship award winners, and other awards, which USMA does well with, likely because of name recognition.

This is a very interesting idea. I know that the ranking sites definitely use acceptance rate and such forth for ranking but just curious, do you know how much of ranking from, say, Forbes, is based on recognition?
 

time2

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College Rankings don't mean didli to anyone other than Admission Departments....

I agree, rankings are virtually worthless as a means of choosing a college and seem more like a prestige/status thing to the colleges and perhaps a way for the media outlet to sell subscriptions. There is no one set of criteria they all use, criteria can be subjective and as mentioned by prior posters, there are ways to 'game' the ranking methodology. I certainly would never use them as a basis for saying college X is 'better' then college Y.
 

didlidog

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I agree, rankings are virtually worthless as a means of choosing a college and seem more like a prestige/status thing to the colleges and perhaps a way for the media outlet to sell subscriptions. There is no one set of criteria they all use, criteria can be subjective and as mentioned by prior posters, there are ways to 'game' the ranking methodology. I certainly would never use them as a basis for saying college X is 'better' then college Y.

You are definitely correct. However, it is still a point of interest for me in how these websites will rank colleges and it the methodologies they use are quite peculiar.
 

cb7893

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So then where would the primary disparity of the salary differences on Forbes come from? If I remember correctly, It states that the mid-career salary for USAFA graduates is 115k while for USNA it is 126K, an 11k difference.

For Pete's sake, didli. Don't waste your time. The disparity is in the sampling. If they both sampled the same people the results would probably be the same, neither of which gives an accurate picture.

Some graduates make a career in the Military or in Government. Some get out ASAP and eventually become 787 Captains flying to Tokyo twice a month. Some grind it out on a regional airline. Some become Orthopedic Surgeons. Some become Family Practitioners. Some take over the family business. Some do their twenty years, cut the soles of their shoes and sit in a tree playing the flute.

Suffice to say that ALL the academies will give you the foundation for a successful and lucrative career in whatever field you choose to apply yourself.
 

flieger83

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Some do their 30...and then keep the uniform on and teach high school!

Steve
USAFA ALO
USAFA '83
 

AROTC-dad

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Rankings are big business, especially for US News and WR.
Pursue the school that feels right for you.
 
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