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Friday, August 8, 2014

1911 College Rankings (U.S. Government Edition)

Chronicle of Higher Education, How Did the Federal Government Rate Your College a Century Ago?:

1911As Vox’s Libby Nelson notes in a chronicle of the 1911 ratings, the Association of American Universities actually asked the government to devise them. Kendric Charles Babcock, the top higher-education official in the U.S. Bureau of Education, itself a division of the Interior Department, undertook the task. Few were happy with the result. (Anyone surprised?) President William Howard Taft later killed it.

So how did your college stack up more than a century ago? A few things to keep in mind: The four tiers of colleges were based on how prepared their graduates were for graduate school. Also, the asterisks in Class II were used to distinguish its stronger colleges, the equivalent of a “plus” in a paper grade.

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Comments

Of course Taft killed it; his alma mater U Cincy was only ranked in the second tier. Anyways, there is a real interesting study waiting to be written on how much US News rankings *methodology* is designed to reflect this list (and other) long-established notions of prestige-cum-academic-excellence. Mind you, this is back when HYP were steering away from "grade grinds" and "scholars," and were soon to introduce "character" as a cornerstone in their admissions processes for the express purpose of keeping out academically excellent Jews, immigrants, and low-income students. See Jerome Karabel's "The Chosen," for instance.

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Aug 8, 2014 6:28:25 AM