School may not start until Monday, but the country's eyes are on colleges today. The controversial, but highly visible U.S. News & World Report College Rankings hit the news this morning. TCU was ranked 110th, within the top 2 tiers.
The ranking's methodology is based on 15 indicators, from a reputation survey to admission statistics, faculty numbers, financial resources, alumni participation data, giving, graduation and retention rates and others.
"Certainly, TCU has a very positive story to be told," said Chancellor Victor J. Boschini, Jr. "Simply put: We offer a very high quality major university education in a newly revitalized and intellectually stimulating campus environment. For the type of leader-potential student we admit, we believe TCU is the best choice they can make for their own personal development. The university is making significant strides forward, even in these hard economic times."
Recent news stories in Inside Higher Education and The Chronicle of Higher Education have suggested that the primary ranking problem for many institutions is with the peer review portion of the survey. Many opponents of the rankings claim that established institutional CEOs rank their own institution at the very top every year and also tend to list the same other institutions in roughly the same spots as in previous years, thus suggesting that they don't have enough information or time to fairly assess institutions they don't know.
Boschini's response: "Indeed. a very few institutions do seem to break the mold and get recognized each year. Our plan at TCU is to keep on track with our top quality programs and campus experience, and to keep telling our story as aggressively as we can. We believe that over time our story will be heard by those who ranks colleges and universities, just as it is now being heard by our prospective students and other constituents.
(Photo by Jon Uzzel)