First-year graduate student and Public Insight Network member Ian Yue explains why he thinks why schools affiliated with a religion might suffer a disadvantage in college rankings:
“For example, the undergraduate academic reputation (22.5% of the ranking) of a school may be looked down upon if those providing a judgment have negative opinions of faith-based approaches to teaching.
Freshman retention rate (20% of the ranking) may also be biased against religious-affiliated schools. Having attended such a school, I can attest that some people leave these schools after freshman year because they no longer wish to learn in a religious-based environment. This is not a factor for non-religious schools.
Finally, student selectivity (15% of the ranking) may also weigh against religious-affiliated schools. Some of these schools require that all applicants sign a statement of faith prior to being admitted. This self-selecting criteria could result in higher acceptance rates for these schools compared to schools of similar size and academic reputation.
Furthermore, the U.S. News & World Report would be comparing student selectivity of a self-selecting applicant pool to schools that don’t have such self-selecting pools. This doesn’t seem valid for accurate survey methodology.”
Any representatives from such schools out there? What do you think?