Yale Ranks Below Harvard and Princeton Statistically

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Discus: Ivy League Schools: Harvard University: 2004 Archive: Yale Ranks Below Harvard and Princeton Statistically
By Hoopitup (Hoopitup) on Friday, March 26, 2004 - 09:17 pm: Edit

There is a poster named ďBrownalumĒ who has posted messages all over the College Confidential site making the claim that Yale University is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Recently, this individual has posted a series of messages with some obscure statistics that he or she appears to have calculated personally to make the case that Yale is the best college in America. I donít know if this person is an employee of the Yale admissions department, an overzealous alumnus/a, or an obsessed rejectee.

Maybe Iím just the kind of person that if a used car salesman is too aggressive in pushing me to buy a Chevrolet, Iím going to buy a Ford. In any event, Iíve been moved to respond. I would be the first to agree that a compelling QUALITATIVE case can be made that Yale is indeed the best college in these United States. On the other hand, different though equally compelling qualitative arguments could be made for Harvard, Princeton, Stanford or any of several other top tier schools.

But once the debate shifts to QUANTITATIVE criteria, it is virtually impossible for an impartial observer to conclude that Yale surpasses its primary competitors. For example, letís just compare Yale to its most direct peers (HYP) along several common statistical dimensions:

A. Admissions Rate (2002)
1. Harvard 10.5%
2. Princeton 10.9%
3. Yale 13.8%

B. Enrollment Yield Rate (2002)
1. Harvard 78.8%
2. Princeton 73.4%
3. Yale 63.6%

C. Four-Year Graduation Rate (Freshman Class of 1998)
1. Princeton 92%
2. Yale 88%
3. Harvard 86%

D. Six-Year Graduation Rate (Freshman Class of 1996)
1. Harvard 98%
2. Princeton 97%
3. Yale 95%

E. Six-Year Graduation Rate (Freshman Classes of 1992-1996)
1. Harvard and Princeton 97%
2. Yale 95%

F. Freshmen Returning For Sophomore Year (Freshman Class of 2001)
1. Princeton and Yale 98%
2. Harvard 96%

G. 25th-75th Percentile SAT Score (2003)
1. Harvard 1400-1590
2. Princeton 1370-1560
3. Yale 1360-1540

H. Percent of Freshmen in Top 10% of High School Class (2002)
1. Princeton and Yale 95%
2. Harvard 90%

I. Student/Faculty Ratio (2002)
1. Princeton 5/1
2. Yale 7/1
3. Harvard 8/1

J. Percent of Faculty Which Is Full-Time (2002)
1. Princeton 93%
2. Harvard 91%
3. Yale 89%

K. Alumni Giving Rate (2002)
1. Princeton 61%
2. Harvard 49%
3. Yale 44%

L. Cumulative Nobel Prizes Won By Faculty Members (2004)
1. Harvard 28
2. Princeton 10
3. Yale 5

M. US News & World Report Academic Reputation Peer Assessment (2004)
1. Harvard and Princeton 4.9
2. Yale 4.8

N. US News & World Report Number One Rankings (1996-2003, including ties)
1. Princeton 6
2. Harvard 3
3. Yale 2

O. Percent of Students Living On Campus (2002)
1. Princeton 97%
2. Harvard 95%
3. Yale 87%

I donít claim that all of these variables are equally important or relevant. The merits or lack thereof of the US News & World Report rankings have been debated at length elsewhere. Nobel Prizes Won by Faculty Members may seem tangential. I just think itís remarkable Yale has a full-time faculty which is larger than Harvard or Princetonís, yet has accumulated one-fifth and one-half, respectively, the number of Nobel Prizes of those two peers.

The last variable, Percent of Students Living on Campus, is just a personal preference of mine based upon my belief that students choosing to live away from their peers is a troubling situation because students are the single most valuable resource on campus for other students. By the time they are seniors, about 40% of Yale students opt not to live with their colleagues.

As I stated in my preamble, I am not for one moment suggesting that Yale isnít one of the top universities in America. Reasonable qualitative arguments can be made that Yale is in fact the best college in the country, although other schools could make their own valid claims.

But if you want to compare colleges on a quantitative, statistical manner, it is simply impossible not to conclude that Yale ranks below, at a minimum, its most direct competitors Harvard and Princeton.

Like I said before, maybe I just canít resist telling an insistent Chevrolet salesman that Fords are better cars.

By Elzbieta777 (Elzbieta777) on Friday, March 26, 2004 - 10:12 pm: Edit

wow u need a hobby

By Mzhang23 (Mzhang23) on Friday, March 26, 2004 - 11:18 pm: Edit

hear, hear.

I've had enough of Brownalum's one-sided arguments too. Yes, Yale is a good school, but pulling out apps per spot statistics, citing crime reports and claiming that New Haven is the premier college town and that Yale has the best dining hall food are just getting on my nerves. The dining article assessed no more than a handful of schools, and Brownalum uses it like the US News rankings. On another thread, after multiple people refuted Brownalum's argument that Yale had some of the best dorms in the nation, he comes back citing all the advantages of the residential college system which, quite frankly, are mostly present in other forms at a lot of other colleges.

brownalum is a yale troll, and it would do everyone good not to listen to him. Thank goodness NYCFan hasn't migrated over here from the PR boards.

By Chasgoose (Chasgoose) on Saturday, March 27, 2004 - 02:09 am: Edit

"Thank goodness NYCFan hasn't migrated over here from the PR boards"--I give a hearty second to that Mzhang23! I hate the obsessive trolling that goes on over there. Its bad enough that brownalum has migrated here, but at least NYCFan isn't here to wage war with him over the College Confidential boards.

As much as I don't like brownalum's ludicrous posts, I must say that for me, Yale is the best school. It has everything I want (except Boston) and more. When I visited out of all the colleges, Yale felt just right. Stupid Yale feeling "just right" the hardest year ever to gain admission.

By Mzhang23 (Mzhang23) on Saturday, March 27, 2004 - 11:17 am: Edit

I'm all fine with people who love Yale, but excessive trolling by a poster who's never attended Yale and only knows quantitative statistics gets on my nerves. Yale is number 2 for me. I love it just as much as I do Princeton, but everytime I see one of Brownalum's posts, I can't help but feel emnity towards the school. Rather than causing postitive reactions, I'd say most of his posts entice other people to say negative things about Yale.

By Chasgoose (Chasgoose) on Saturday, March 27, 2004 - 12:18 pm: Edit

I agree. Whenever he posts it's like I have to find something wrong with Yale just to disagree with him. Actually that isn't that hard because he tries to claim that New Haven is a better college town than Boston for a number of stupid reasons (my favorite of which is that New Haven is better because it is closer to New York than Boston).

By Mzhang23 (Mzhang23) on Saturday, March 27, 2004 - 12:52 pm: Edit

It's the food article that gets on my nerves the most. I've definitely eaten in Yale dining halls far more than he has (I have numerous family friends and school friends up there), and I can say that the food is only so amazing.

By Brownalum (Brownalum) on Monday, March 29, 2004 - 03:48 am: Edit

Wow, looks like there is a lot of sour grapes with regards to Yale on this thread.

I've replied elsewhere. Unlike the OP, I don't "cut and paste" worthless, outdated and irrelevant propaganda all over the discussion board.


"he tries to claim that New Haven is a better college town than Boston for a number of stupid reasons"

First of all, among people who actually have lived in or extensively visited several of the "top college towns" in recent years, there is a general consensus that in the past few years New Haven has become a better college town than Boston or Cambridge (or just about anywhere else for that matter). And my personal "reasons" for saying this include the fact that there are easily more bars, theaters, nightclubs, stores and restaurants within two blocks of Yale than within two blocks of every single other Ivy League school - COMBINED. As someone who actually went to college, and found that people spend 98% of their time within two blocks of the campus, I don't think these reasons are so stupid.

I'm just here to give the straight, unbiased facts on college - I am not beholden to any special interest or any particular college or university. And to suggest I have some affiliation with Yale is ludicrous.

By Wutdeh (Wutdeh) on Monday, March 29, 2004 - 04:48 am: Edit

Brownalum. I'm curious about what your agenda is in posting on CC is then? Isn't there something better you could be doing?

By Bern700 (Bern700) on Monday, March 29, 2004 - 11:04 pm: Edit

get a job...

By Ambitiousyokel (Ambitiousyokel) on Tuesday, March 30, 2004 - 03:24 pm: Edit

Not easy for Brown alums.

By Brownalum (Brownalum) on Tuesday, March 30, 2004 - 11:03 pm: Edit

I don't have any agenda, Wutdeh, and I spend, on average, about 10-15 minutes a day on this discussion board.

By Wutdeh (Wutdeh) on Wednesday, March 31, 2004 - 02:29 am: Edit

well, it would be nice if you didn't troll threads. kthx.

By Scarletgirl (Scarletgirl) on Wednesday, March 31, 2004 - 11:09 am: Edit

C'mon guys, does it really matter? There are people on every board who spend exorbitant amounts of time lauding a particular school. They are part of what makes collegeconfidential collegeconfidential. Much like the people who are always posting their "stats."

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