Sigh. Virginia is also a large public university. So is UCLA, so is UNC. So is Cal. Michigan is about the 26th overall school because it's LSA program is not highly rated. That and it's admissions standards are well below Stanford, Duke, and other Top 15 universities.
OT: Unfair knock on Michigan academics...
you're right - but I think UVA, Cal and Michigan get really screwed for that reason, and others to a lesser degree.
The admissions standard for Michigan is 50% most public colleges are at like 35% and everyone else is like 20-something. I know that is a huge factor in their equation.
No, on average those schools are worse. It's just a fact. When your average SAT is 1450+ vs 1250, regardless of how you feel about standardized tests, we're talking about a different caliber of student here.
Actually, our "academic reputation score" (or whatever it's called now) ranks in the teens. Our biggest "problem" in the rankings is our alumni giving rate, which, like that of most public universities, isn't very high (not in the top 100). That, more than any other factor, drags us down quite a bit. Conversely, Notre Dame's academic score isn't great, but it usually ranks #1 in the country in alumni giving, which allows it to sneak into the top 20.
Because the average LSA grad makes substantially less with a UM degree than with a Ivy Degree. Thanks for playing.
That is a one hell of a leap in reasoning you're making there. There are any number of reasons why public universities don't get as much in donations as private ones. The most-cited one is that since they get taxpayer money, a lot of people don't feel like giving "twice".
That makes no sense in terms of Alumni giving. Only a very small portion of your taxes go to the school you went too, and in addition, people that went to private schools pay the same taxes.
Whether we actually pay a lot or a little, the perception is that the schools are getting a lot from the state, so that donating on top of that is a waste of time and money. This is consistently the most-cited reason why alumni of public schools in general (not just U-M) don't give at a high rate. Of the forty schools with the highest giving rates (per U.S. News), NONE is public. Are you going to argue that no public university in the country produces highly-paid graduates? (Some of the schools in that top 40 are small liberal arts schools, not necessarily big names.)
The average public school tuition is like $10k a year. The average private school tuition is like $30k a year. I think it has much more to do with the people that can afford private school than what they pay in taxes.
The USNews ranking system is biased against public schools; that's not a new idea.
Look at their ranking methodology:
As college football fans, we all know about the problems with rankings. That being said, the quality of education at Michigan is definitely what you make of it.
It's not biased against public schools just because public schools don't excel in the rankings. No rankings can be unbiased be removing areas places don't excel at, because then all you have is a mass of everyone ranked the same. Then they wouldn't be rankings. Everyone's not a winner.
... sometimes these kids just echo the selling points that are used by the coaches that recruit them. It's no secret Harbaugh has thrown his alma mater under the bus wrt academics.
He's right, a Michigan degree is worthless for most football players.
The Michigan of the (far) West. (had to do it.)
I love Michigan, love my degree and think it's a top notch school... but this idea that it's one of the best in the nation really needs to die. It's very high on the list, maybe top 25... but the LSA program is seriously not up to par.
Stanford is a significantly better academic institution than Michigan. They also graduate over 95% of their football and basketball players (Michigan is around 65%). If he wasn't a football player, it would be a better choice purely from an academic standpoint, and, as a football player, it is a better school from an academic standpoint.
i completely agree with you and Brodie who posted before you. I never said that Michigan should be compared with the likes of Stanford. My point was why this recruit had to cite us as an example rather than like LSU
I think the OP's point wasn't that Stanford isn't a better school than Michigan. No one with a brain would claim that. The point is Skov saying that somehow Michigan is worse than a Notre Dame, USC, or Virginia, because that's just plain false. And one only needs to look at the number of Michigan players who have found success after school besides those going into the NFL. You really aren't "just another graduate" at Michigan when you played football.
And I say this as someone who didn't go to Michigan for undergrad, so the value of my Michigan degree doesn't really have anything to do with what people think of the undergrad programs. Skov is just plain wrong.
University of Michigan is in the top 25 in almost every category as a University from Academics to Sports. We are very well diversity, IMO. There are not many schools that can say that.
And forcing diversity through an affirmative action program that you maintain after the state that funds you bans it... not really something to brag about.
to quote my reply to an earlier reply,
"i completely agree with you and Brodie who posted before you. I never said that Michigan should be compared with the likes of Stanford. My point was why this recruit had to cite us as an example rather than like LSU"
You completely missed what he meant by diverse. Diversity here was not in reference to the number of students of under-represented race, but in reference to how we are diverse in terms of academics and sports. Michigan is an academically sound public university with quality sports programs, and there are few others that can say that.
edit: on a completely related note, as a half-black student at the University, it's really not that diverse. I'd say over 80% of the students here are white.
Unless you're on North Campus, where 50% are Asian.
The irony of this is that I'm making my post from a CAEN lab, where a good 50% of the people in here are of some brand of Asian/Middle Eastern descent. I had to base my broad generalizations on my memories of Central Campus (being a CS major, I haven't been down there lately for class!).
Harbaugh seems to be continuing to burn the bridge he already ignited with his earlier comments about UM.
I always thought he would want to go back to Ann Arbor someday. Apparently, somebody there profoundly offended him.
What's really funny is that his original comments were that he wasn't allowed to major in what he wanted to, but he has chosen coaching for a profession.
Harbaugh currently makes more money as a coach with his UM degree than he would with the average degree from Stanford, but he still whines about UM.
What a spiteful asshole.
What, exactly, did Harbaugh do now? I see no proof that Harbaugh did ANYTHING wrong or that he even said anything negative about Michigan to any of his '09 recruits.
1. Come on, how much of his salary does he owe to his Michigan degree? $.50? He has the job because he was a famous football player who got a job at a tiny school, succeeded, and moved up. That's on him, not his fucking degree.
2. Harbaugh is not quoted in that article once. The only mention is that Skov thinks Harbaugh is an up-and-comer.
Exactly, but, unfortunately, it doesn't stop some people from making up shit about Harbaugh and trashing his character.
Stanford is obviously a much better academic institution than Michigan. However, when adding football into the equation Michigan is probably the best balance of a strong football program as well as having a great academic program
That would be true if Michigan's football players actually participated in the same academic program as the general student population. They don't. The vast majority get Bachelor's of General Studies and are carefully guided through the least rigorous classes. As a friend of a former scholarship football player from Stanford, I can assure you, they don't do that.
Also, Stanford has, bar none, the most successful Athletic Department in the Country. They've won the Chairman's award around 75 billion times.
Actually, the large majority are in Kinesiology. Generally, only the better students coming in get admitted to LSA. BGS is not the blow-off you make it sound like. The main advantage is that there is no foreign language requirement and that (and this can be crucial for athletes) there is more flexibility in scheduling classes. When you have 20 hours a week of practice, that can require you to be creative in your scheduling.
BGS isn't neccesarily "easy", but it can easily be made so.
I was a BGS and albeit I declared really late, but believe me, my curriculum was NOT easy.
But interesting this topic came up... I came across this NYTimes article recently. It questions academics at Michigan.
Stanford football players find the easiest majors and classes all on their own.
What was the name of that Stanford major that is, in essence, their own version of General Studies? I'm too lazy to look it up, but Stanford's program was discussed in this forum not too long ago.
UM was second only to Cal w.r.t. public universities in the ratings. That's about as high as we'll ever get unless we "go private."
However, I'm not sure I get it when some of these football players pick one school over another when both schools are in the top 30 schools in the nation. The fundamentals that score Stanford higher than UM are pretty slight when you're talking about the top 25-30 schools in the nation. These differences might make a difference to someone on an academic scholarship, but not so much for the average athlete. It's like a type II skiier getting worked up about the small differences between two models of racing ski... for his level of skill, either one is going to put him on his ass.
Behind Berkley, UVA, UCLA, and tied with UNC.
We've certainly slipped in the last couple of years. Cal I can deal with. UVA and UCLA is hard to accept; especially UCLA. How can California have TWO state schools above us?
3 times the people in the state?
That might explain quantity of schools, but not quality. Otherwise, Ohio would have better schools than just about any state in New England.
California is much wealthier and more progressive than Ohio. And there are 36 million people here. New England is different because of how old the universities are there, but few of them are big. If you think of California as 2 different states (north and south) as many of us do, it's pretty proportional. Norcal has a great private and a great public, as does SoCal. It makes sense.
We are a few spots ahead of UNC, and one spot behind UCLA and one spot ahead of USC. That still amazes me that the state of California has so many top schools.
USC is a private school.
How meaningful are the US and World News rankings anyway? I remember when I was looking at schools I was told to ignore them, because there is a lot of weird stuff in the formula for them. Anyone know if that's a widely held opinion among experts?
It is the most widely recognized ranking of colleges, but that doesn't necessarily mean a lot of people care what a college is ranked, only that if you do, you probably prefer this list.
A faculty member at Michigan is one of the members of the board that does the selection for the US News rankings, and he said he is the only member representing a public school, and that the criteria in place make it difficult for a public school to be ranked highly. One criterion he mentioned was the alumni giving rate, which looked at what percentage of alumni donate. Whereas Michigan has an alum who gave 100 million (Ross) the list would rather see 100,000 alums give a thousand each. Even though the result is the same.
Some publication in London ranks the top Universities in the world, and UM is something like 18th. On Earth.
I was at UM from 1996 - 2000. When I applied, Michigan was about 5 to 6 spots below UVA and a little ahead of Cal. When I graduated, UM was 10 spots below UVA, and tied with Cal.
I'm not bent out of shape by Skov's comments; he also mentioned Penn State. If others across the country want to draw the silly inference that Michigan is a substandard institution, that's their problem. There's no doubt that Stanford is a tremendous institution, and Skov will get a fantastic education there. It's also a private institution, so for an apples-to-apples comparison, US News & World Report ranks the public universities. Cal is #1, UVA is #2, UCLA is #3, and we're in the 4 spot. They assign points to the schools, and one point each separates UM, UVA, and UCLA. Hardly a huge difference, IMHO.
Heck, I've got two degrees from UM, and if a kid of mine was accepted to Stanford I'd encourage it if I thought it was the right fit. That being said, the notion that a football player can't get a great education at Michigan or Michigan State or Florida State is silly. It's up to the individual first and foremost, and is also greatly influenced by the athletic department's goals and standards. I'm under no illusion about the UM athletic dept's policies on accepting and shepherding some players through UM; anyone who thinks that a certain percentage of kids aren't in UM literally only because how well they play ball or hockey or run track is naive.
Back when I was in school I had the occasional athlete in a class that didn't seem too interested, but I also had fellow students in UM's architecture school back in the '70s who were damn smart and hardworking guys.
i guess i didn't make this clear, because guys like chitown blue continue misinterpret me, but the point of my post was frustration NOT that Skov thinks Stanford is better than Michigan (which they are) or that ESPN thinks UVA, ND, etc are better (disagree but obviously debatable) but with the fact that he mentioned Michigan as an example of a worthless degree for football players rather than say, ALMOST every other school in the country(like why couldn't he have said Oklahoma or Florida State)?
lets not get into this debate whether football players get held to a different standard here. it's obvious they do. and of course stanford does holds that double standard to a much lesser degree than Michigan. debating academics of a school is OF COURSE meaningless when it comes to football players. It's that the perceived reputation of their degrees differ depending on the school.
most of us GOT the point of the original post.
I can't say I was surprised to see who responded to it, and where the thread went.
Also, I'm sure it was coincidence that he mentioned Michigan.
I got your post, I just took issue with the large public school being what keeps Michigan down.
My point is that you can't HAVE the debate without mentioning that U of M football players, the 60% who graduate, DO get largely useless degrees. What he said is, basically, true. I guess that's what I mean. Are there schools that are even more embarassing? Yes. With that, I agree.
Isn't that on the players themselves as well though? I mean, if a player wants to get a real degree, they can give it a shot. Or make themselves a real general studies interdisciplinary program. I realize it's probably tough to do some of the majors due to the football time commitment, but it's possible.
The problem is that in some of the majors, especially in engineering, most of the football players just aren't of the same intellectual caliber as the rest of those in the major, and I'm sure the academic advisors are well aware of it, so they get steered away from those into something where they at least have a chance of succeeding. And for these guys who just qualify under Big Ten standards and wouldn't get into the university otherwise, it's a pretty limited set.
And anyone from Stanford, Northwestern or Notre Dame that tries to tell you that they don't let in players that are well below the caliber of the general student population at large is a liar. They wouldn't be able to compete if their players had to even come close to the academic standards of those schools. And, yep, those players by and large end up in an easy major at those schools too.
And that easy degree from Stanford or Michigan is still worth plenty compared to many of the football schools.
This leads me to think you've never been on Stanford's campus.
Those campuses are nice, but immediately off-campus is dullsville. While Ann Arbor is no Austin, TX, it is still a cool college town. Westwood or Palo Alto would never be considered "college towns" by most observers.
So have I. Did you know that their dorms are infinitely nicer than ours, because they weren't all built in the 1930s? Did you know they actually have parking options? And not all students live in the dorms every year, they have the option of moving off campus, its just not as easy as it is here.
Your main issues seem to deal purely with their off campus areas, which to me, is not the same as "campus". I chose Michigan over Stanford for lots of reasons, but the niceness of the on campus areas was not one of them.
Ur UCLA's? It's really nice.
I'd take Stanford's campus over Michigan's.
I love how you say that about LSA like you have any fucking idea what you're talking about.
That LSA is subpar? This is common knowledge.
I'm sure everyone has some fucking idea what they're talking about. A good deal of us went to U-M and even those of us that were not LSA have some inkling of what it's all about.
I'm not knocking LSA, a Michigan LSA degree is still a good thing to have, it's just that a lot of us know what we're talking about when we argue for or against any Michigan related thing.
What exactly is LSA "all about," then? I don't understand how all of you can come in here and say things like "LSA is subpar, it's common knowledge." Subpar by whose standards? Common knowledge to whom? Can you provide actual EVIDENCE of LSA being subpar, or are you guys just going to expect us to believe your spewing?
Do you all hold LSA degrees that didn't get you jobs out of college? If not, how can you trash a school that you were not a part of? Just because you took engineering and science classes that kicked your ass doesn't mean that those who don't are dumber than you, or are any less qualified to enter the working world upon graduation.
This is your own university you're taking about. Why tear it down for no reason?
Almost everyone who goes on to med school or law school has an undergrad degree in LSA. Are those people unintelligent?
LSA is a big school, and saying that it isn't a difficult school is ignorant.
Which was the point. LSA at Michigan prepares you for grad school. Whether or not other schools are like that, Michigan LSA is not highly rated. I'm not saying those people are dumb or it's not difficult, I'm just saying it's rated subpar compared to other LSA programs.
Do you have any evidence of this?
Business, law, med, engin, education, some others are top 10 if not top 5. What does that leave to NOT be highly ranked? LSA. Alternatively, I'm way, way off, and the only thing that matters is selectivity, incoming student test scores, and alumni giving that's why Michigan is ranked lower than people think it should be. In either case, I'm done with this argument.
So because you saw other schools highly ranked means that LSA must not be? I've never seen a ranking service rank "catch-all schools with a university" that the school of LSA would fit on. Many of the programs within LSA are highly ranked, for example both the PoliSci program and the Sociology program are ranked second in the nation. They are both with LSA.
I still haven't seen you put any substance behind this assertion, and I may be wrong if you have something you're going on. But I've never seen or heard of anything saying LSA was rated at all below the rest of the undergraduate colleges.
You can look this up for yourself if you want, but the overall admissions standards for LSA is statistically lower than Engineering. BBA standards and Engineering standards are also much higher than LSA.
You can also argue that Kines, Nursing, Art, and Music are all less stringent than LSA, but those populations combined are smaller than Engineering, and don't affect our final ranking as much as LSA.
Is a school's ranking based on the difficulty of admissions? If so, UM needs to be dropped a long ways in the rankings. It is significantly harder to get into a lot of the schools ranked below Michigan, namely USC and NYU.
Yes, a school's ranking is partially based on the quality of the "Average Admit". U-M is also held back a bit in the rankings because our admittance percentage is higher (40% range now) than a 10% Ivy League, but our programs (and diversity of highly ranked programs), campus experience, etc are higher than USC or NYU.
LSA's test scores simply aren't as high as Engineering's. LSA is also held back because a large portion of their students don't end up with an LSA degree, they get into Education/Pharm/Dent/Business. This ends up bringing them (and the University as a whole) down a few pegs.
I'm not being critical of an LSA degree, I'm just stating what I know. For example, being a public school and having to maintain a roughly 65-35 breakdown of in-state/out-of-state undergrad student body means that overall, the quality of out of state students is higher. After all, you can't really argue that the state of Michigan has roughly 2x the amount of intelligent, qualified candidates than the rest of the world. For the record, I am an in-stater.
A lot goes into these rankings, and whether its fair or not, these rankings are generally accepted by almost everybody, especially high school seniors who don't know everything there is to know about all of the 4 year programs. Is there much of a difference between #20 Cal, #23 UVA, #24 UCLA, and #27 UNC and UM? No. Is there a large difference between #71 Tier 1 Michigan State and #27 Tier 1 Michigan? In most programs, yes.
And I ask, why on Earth do the rankings matter? I might be mistaken since I'm still a student, but I don't think employers are foaming at the mouth each year readily anticipating the release of the US News rankings. Another recent ranking said that Michigan was the 18th best school in the world and the best public school in the United States. Does this ranking mean any less or more than the US News rankings? No, I don't think either really means anything
Lower admissions standards really don't mean anything, either. Low standards compared to the engineering school is still very high in comparison to other schools we compete with. I'm happy as long as the faculty I'm learning from is exceptional and the employers I hope to work for are impressed by my accomplishments. It's too early to judge the second qualification, but the first has absolutely been met by all of my professors with the exception of my current Econ 102 lecturer. He is a totally incompetent lecturer. Yet, he has a degree from Harvard...go figure...
Is that Dierdorf?
The professor? I don't want to say who it is because I don't want to say bad things about him on the internet. It's not Dierdorf, though
"I don't understand how all of you can come in here and say things like "LSA is subpar, it's common knowledge." Subpar by whose standards? Common knowledge to whom? Can you provide actual EVIDENCE of LSA being subpar, or are you guys just going to expect us to believe your spewing?"
And I provided you evidence of LSA admits, on average, testing lower than engineering admits. Whether that actually means something can be argued. The point is that it is an indicator that is used by US News and World report in their rankings.
As for employer's perceptions, think about your own perceptions of UM vs MSU, or UM vs. OSU. Most people think they're not as strong academically. Where do you think they got that opinion?
My reply was in response to the post claiming that someone commenting on LSA had no idea what they were talking about. Without even letting my opinion on this circular LSA argument be known, I simply stated that most, if not every poster on this board has some vested interest in Michigan as an academic institution whether they went to U-M or not. To say that someone has no clue what they are talking about in reference to this university is extremely shortsighted.
Don't lump me in with the opinion that LSA is sub-par. Everyone has their own opinion on the matter, and my point is that most of those opinions are founded at least somewhat on personal experiences and fact. We know what the fuck we're talking about.
Until Michigan stops funneling the lionshare of football players into pre-unemployment degrees based upon the easiest course load available through general studies, this debate is lost.
The later years of the Carr regime put academics on the back burner. Let's not turn our heads and deny that.
And there is little purpose in splitting hairs between the ranking of UNC, UVa, Cal, UCLA and Michigan. All are large state universities, which generally fall between 20 and 27 in the US News rankings, and are widely viewed as the best public universities in the country.
I am sorry to ask this and make fun of me if you want but is LSA the same thing as a liberal arts and science major.
LS&A = Literature, Science & Arts. It encompasses the greatest number of undergrad students on campus, if I'm not mistaken.
Michigan is a tremendous, but Stanford is in a different league as an undergraduate institution. The teacher to student ratio is much better, and you are much more likely to have classes with professors (instead of TAs there) as an undergraduate. When comparing most schools in the business of big college football it is hard to beat the UofM, but I think we would be looking through maize&blue colored glasses if we did not see this. I think that the aforementioned recruit goes a little overboard here (It is pretty hard for Michigan fans to nail someone for being elitist!), but I think that he is generally right.
If I were a big-time recruit, which this kid is, and I wanted to get the best degree I could without going to the Ivy League, Stanford would be my choice. Given the ephemeral nature of this game, I think that he is right to go there.
You realize Michigan doesn't have TA's, right? I assume you went elsewhere.
TA, GSI, what's the difference?
A TA is an undergrad who has already taken the class, and fared well. Basically just a drone. A GSI is someone currently pursuing a graduate degree in that field of study. Not only were they smart enough to be accepted into M's grad school (difficult) but they are currently taking grad level courses in that same discipline. Big difference than a junior in college who got an A in the class a semester or 2 ago. I had classes that I got A's in that I couldn't pass a year later, let alone teach to someone else.
GSI's also get paid quite well, so the selection process for them is very strict. They know that if they do a poor job, they won't get the gig next year. So they make sure to be very accessible and up to snuff on the material, unlike a TA.
The key point here is that whether it's a TA or GSI, it's NOT A PROFESSOR. The previous guy's post was just that more professors than TAs teach courses. The point still holds if you change TAs to GSIs.
Not really. He didn't say there were none at all. I think if you have fewer TA's, but they are all worthless might be worse than more GSI's, who are very competent, and maybe not as published as a prof, but more accessible and able to assist you. I've had classes where the GSI was a better asset than the prof. I don't think having them impedes learning at all.
You've clearly never had GSIs that barely speak English then.
I have, but I've had as many professors who barely speak English. It could also depend on the discipline, but I had very few of both.
I'm sure Stanford has that problem, no one in California speaks English well.
GSI's are a subset of TA's. At a lot of schools, such as Michigan, GSI = TA.
Also a bunch of courses have undergrad GSI (USI's - whatever)
However, I agree its a moot point. The guy's point was they are not professors.
Individual rankings of graduate school programs show that the various fields of study in LS&A are all ranked very high; why would this not be a reasonable (albeit imperfect) proxy for rating the undergraduate majors? I think the general sentiment against LS&A stems from a point-of-view that looks down on the subjects taught rather than truly finding flaws in the college itself.