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College Search Websites: Introduction

Man looking at web pagesIf you were to visit the major college search websites, you would conclude that people have just a few considerations when choosing a college. Based on the search options common to eight of the most popular websites, students want to be able to pick a college based on its location, the location’s setting, size, tuition, selectivity, test scores, majors, whether it’s a community college or four-year institution,  and if it’s public or private.

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What Do College Softball Coaches Want?

Question mark in a mazeClick here for the most updated version of this article.
I looked up the college softball recruiting questionnaires for the top 12 rated D1 softball programs in the country. Why 12? It was going to be 10 but apparently the University of Texas and the University of Arizona don’t bother with such things so we don’t know what they want. Talk about “don’t call us, we’ll call you.” Another interesting tidbit is that all of the University of Texas recruiting information (such as is available) is under the department of compliance. Very interesting.

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Top Colleges for Business Majors

College of Business signWhich colleges are graduating the most students with majors in business excluding specialty schools?  I looked at schools with at least a 49% or better four-year graduation rate because “graduating” is an important part of this question. In terms of absolute numbers, the top 15 are pretty much large universities, almost all public universities with two exceptions, Indiana Wesleyan University and Bentley University.

Not surprisingly, these two universities are on the list of the top 15 institutions with the highest percentage of graduates with business majors.  These 15 colleges were all private and tended to be on the small size with Indiana Wesleyan University being the largest at just under 10,000 full-time undergraduates. The percentage of business majors ranged from 41% to 95% at Bentley University.

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States with Highest Representation at Elite Colleges

United States
United States (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It seems to me that one of the appeals of attending a nationally recognized college would be to interact with other students from across the nation. And from a more cynical perspective, it allows that school to be “nationally” recognized.

Out of curiosity, I downloaded the “residence and migration of first-time freshman” from the Integrated Post-Secondary Education Data System (IPEDS) database for a select number of colleges. I picked the colleges based on general prominence and an eye to geographic diversity–no sort of scientific rational involved.

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Are college grad rates “bad data?”

Speadsheet with college data/
What data are you supposed to use?

There is a guest post on College Inc by Patricia McGuire, president of Trinity Washington University, arguing that college graduation rates are bad data.

No, they aren’t.

To crib from the gun rights advocates, the information isn’t bad, it’s how it’s being used that is bad. For some reason, Ms. McGuire seems to think that people are using graduation rates to decide if Harvard or Trinity Washington is a better school.

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