We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
All recent Caltech undergraduates have scored 700 or above on the math SAT, and far from being a bunch of inarticulate science and math geeks, the vast majority have scored over 700 on the English verbal SAT as well.
Caltech is interested in enrolling only the academically most accomplished and advanced students, who have a genuine passion for the STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, mathematics), and virtually all of its entering students have achieved at the 98th or 99th percentile in terms of their scores on competitive national exams.
What this means is that at Caltech, there are no dumb jocks, dumb legacies, or dumb affirmative action students. It is clear from its published statistics that the non-academic criteria that preoccupy admissions committees at all other elite universities count for little at this beacon of pure meritocracy.
And yet at the top 25 engineering schools in the United States, all but one have a full slate of college atheletics - and that school would be Cal Tech.
And Cal Tech is ranked seventh in the country behind MIT, Stanford, UC - Bizzerkly, Georgia Tech, University of Illinois, and Carnegie Mellon. And as you can see, a bunch of Division I schools in the mix of the Top 25.
Kind of blows holes in the whole "pure meritocracy" thing huh?
Agreed, but the point wasn't top anything other than the top engineering schools - that list never really changes.
Unless you get the lists where schools like Cooper-Union or Rose-Hulman or Wake Forest which, while great undergrad engineering schools, are really schools to produce great graduate engineers who can move on to post-grad schools and PhDs.
Actually hired a Rose-Hulman engineer once - smartest guy I ever met. Unfortunately, I had to let him go because his idea of a 40 hour work week was to work for 40 hours straight. Couldn't convince him otherwise. :>)
Actually, a few years back Caltech was at the top of the same U.S.News list you reference. It does change. Maybe the criteria shift around a bit also, "The weights applied to the indicators reflect our judgement about their relative importance, as determined in consultation with experts in each field." (Heh, judgement was mispelled). But in the end, I suppose what matters is how successful the students are. Even the top ten universities can hardly accommodate all the bright students, and of the bright students some will succeed where others fail for all sorts of reasons unrelated to native intelligence. And sometimes synergies develop for reasons no one can predict. For example, the years when sleeping with each others wives became a competitive sport at the Champaign-Urbana physics department.
Barrister ... Another fairly little known college in Pennsylvania, Grove City College, also concentrates on academic achievements, rather than sports achievements. My brother was a professor of Political Science there for many years until he died last year. Grove City College is able to ignore the orders given by our government because it accepts no governmental money for assistance. No dumb legacies, no dumb jocks, no affirmative action students to drag the others down.
Many times my brother said that if you don't accept monetary help, you can preserve your independence of thought. Sort of a stuffy way to put it, but he was right.
Grove City was on my list for many of the reasons you stated, but didn't have any opening when I was in the job market. Ended up at a small, private school with less of the PC nonsense, but still enough of it to be an annoyance.
I went to a private boarding high school and the director & owner said the only college he would recommend was Hillsdale Col. because they refuse to accept federal money. A bunch of people I went school with graduating from Hillsdale. My parents (they hated the high school; 'rent were libtard, my grandmother payed for it). I graduated from UM (GO BLUE!) major in engineering and minor in mathematics.
It would be interesting to know the criteria of these rankings as several are not those that practicing Engineers would rank that highly.
Certainly Rose-Hulman should be much higher as should Rensselaer and Duke. Princeton, Columbia, Harvard, and U Penn are not known for their UG engineering schools. Removing them would move Ohio State and Va Tech up to a more reasonable level and Case-Western probably belongs in the Top so many as well.
I'm amazed to see an article praising Bill Bowen mentioned with anything like approval here at Maggies, considering his repeated efforts to redefine college admission in his own vision of PC based "merit" over the years. The presumption that athletes undermine the pure shining quality of academic standards that lies at the condescending heart of this rotting corpus of the Bowen campaign to end college athletics is especially idiotic. It is also hypocritical since he seeks only to substitute other, less appealing, preferences. And, it should be remembered, only the (retired) president of an institution that has raised so much money from it's alumni for as many years as there are zero's in it's bank balance (all without paying a nickel of property taxes to Princeton Borough on Bowen's former home), as Princeton has, can shamelessly afford to also campaign against any and all legacy considerations in admissions.
As the father of two recruited athletes, one with a 2230 and one with a 2200 SAT (both graduating in the top decile of their respective high school classes), I can say with the experience of a parent in mind that these kids are only successful in school because of their athletic success- they love school because that's where the sports are- and it is presumptuous in the extreme for these uncoordinated pomposities to sneer at people like my children, simply because they have different interests than those interests Bill Bowen would like to see.
Cal Tech is a great institution, but so is Stanford. Toby Gerhard, a 2010 engineering graduate from Stanford and rookie Minnesota Viking, is to be praised for his accomplishments, as are all the many recruited athletes at American universities. Bowen has made some progress in this campaign to end the recognition of those accomplishments, and I am sorry to see that progress extend here to one of my favorite blogs.
PS: Please forgive both my excessive length and misspellings. I am typing this on my phone and can't figure out how to conveniently edit or correct for fat fingered typing errors.