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I'm thinking I should not go to a school with a PR of only 8... I should stick with the PR9's...
Is that crazy? Or is PR a good indication of brand/quality? How about Alexa rank?
Essay Question: "What else would you like our admissions officer to know about you?"
Brief but concise answer: "In deciding whether to apply here or not, your web site's Page Rank played the deciding role...because I think on that level"
We have a winner here. Call him up and rush the acceptance package via FedEx same day delivery.
And the fact is that big state schools naturally get more inbounds because they have larger populations of students and former students - we need an index that goes beyond page rank, one that measures page rank achievement as a function of the size of the school.
I smell a thesis in this! Get started now - it will free up time when you get into the program.
I suppose I should be using PR of the internal business school page, but the trouble is those can be re-organized from time to time, whereas the school's main landing page will always be at the same URL. I worry that PR is less useful for comparing reputations on pages whose URLs can change.
The size of school issue is interesting, but, isn't it also true that the bigger schools are better known precisely for this reason? If I want to go to a well known school, the number of graduates out there touting it might be the reason that it is so well known?
At the end of the day most of the good schools are PR9 or in one case PR10. Using PR isn't a fine distinction between schools but rather a big blocky method of eliminating a set from consideration (the PR8's). I am pretty comfortable eliminating the PR8's from consideration. That still leaves a long list of schools to choose between along more conventional lines.
Using the Alexa ranking is more problematic for the school size reason--a big school has more current students and therefore more visitors from its own ranks, really the Alexa traffic number should be divided by the size of the school or something. I'm less sure that the Alexa rank is useful.
In fact, based on your superhuman commitment to staying in character no matter what, I'm guessing you're Stephen Colbert. Am I right?
Since you're already entrusting your decision on the brand to Google...
Do this for me.
ENTER BUSINESS SCHOOL INTO THE D@MN SEARCH BOX!
Uh-oh, then comes the brainstorming:
Let's see... Harvard, we skip London... Michigan, Stanford. Hmm interesting... PR 8... 7... 8?!? There's Business Week's recommendations / articles on Business schools which is PR 7, but it's irrelevant to the quest so let's SKIP that... next on Columbia with PR 7... but WAIT! There's a REDIRECT TO A PR 8 page! What now?!?
[edited by: Miamacs at 6:32 pm (utc) on Mar. 17, 2007]
Someone beat me to this idea. If you search for "G-Factor school rankings" you will find several pages using Google to rank schools. The top twenty by G-Factor are:
1 Massachusetts Inst Tech (MIT)
2 Harvard Univ
3 Univ California - Berkeley
4 Stanford Univ
5 Princeton Univ
6 Univ Pennsylvania
7 Univ Washington - Seattle
8 Univ Illinois - Urbana Champaign
9 Carnegie Mellon Univ
10 Rutgers State Univ - New Brunswick
11 Univ Cambridge
12 Univ Michigan - Ann Arbor
13 Univ Wisconsin - Madison
14 Cornell Univ
15 Univ Arizona
16 California Inst Tech
17 Swiss Fed Inst Tech - Zurich
18 Univ California - Los Angeles
19 Univ Minnesota - Twin Cities
20 Univ Oxford
There's a second effort, "webometrics", that ranks Universities based on the amount of "rich content" on their websites (interpreted as the output of academic work). It appears to be an automatic process given that it ranks 3000 schools worldwide. The top twenty via webometrics are:
1 MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
2 STANFORD UNIVERSITY
3 HARVARD UNIVERSITY
4 UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA BERKELEY
5 PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY
6 UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
7 CORNELL UNIVERSITY
7 UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS URBANA CHAMPAIGN
9 UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN MADISON
9 UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AUSTIN
11 UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON
12 CARNEGIE MELLON UNIVERSITY
12 UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA
14 COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY NEW YORK
15 UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA
16 UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO
17 TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY
18 UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA LOS ANGELES
19 UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE
20 UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA
don't lose hope, something tells me you'll come up with plenty more, like how to convince your employer that a degree from Rutgers is better than one from Cambridge.
1. University of Texas at Austin
2. Penn State University
3. West Virginia University
4. University of Wisconsin-Madison
5. University of Mississippi
6. Ohio University
7. University of Massachusetts-Amherst
8. Louisiana State University
9. University of Iowa
10. University of California, Santa Barbara
So Wisconsin-Madison made both the G-Factor list (as #13) and the Playboy list (as #4) but none of the other top ten Playboy schools appear in the G-Factor top 20. On the other hand, of USNews top ten b-school, seven (Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, MIT, Berkeley, Dartmouth, and UCLA) made both lists while only three (Chicago, Columbia, and Dartmouth) fail to appear on the G-Factor top 20, though the ordering is different.
I'd conclude G-Factor is pretty good. I'd conclude that Dartmouth, Columbia, and Chicago have a branding problem and should be avoided by b-school students who can get into the other schools and who are concerned that their MBA be from a widely recognized school.
I'd also conclude that Princeton, U Washington, U Illinois, and Rutgers, which made the top-ten G-Factor list but not the USNews list, punch above their weight in terms of brand recognition despite being not as widely respected among "in the know" types who compile ranking lists.
Just a note: I personally attended a "PR9 school" and I don't flaunt it, nor do I even talk about it anymore. Further, I didn't graduate that long ago!
The fact that you're considering the possibility of eliminating schools based on a low PR is silly. You don't want a school solely based on reputation. You want it based on it fulfilling the needs of your particular goals as a student.
At the end of the day, future employers hardly care about your education beyond perhaps your first 2-3 employers. But among those who care, you grades will also be a factor. It's better to get a 4.0 GPA at a "PR8 or lower" school than a lower GPA at a "PR9" school.
Considering my own history, would I have been happier if I chose a different school? Probably. Reputation is not the only thing that you need to acknowledge, and I certainly would never eliminate a school simply because it was lesser-known.
What are you ultimately trying to achieve? Do you have the goal to wow your employer with a "brand name" school? Really, they don't care!