Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Who Does Your College Think Its Peers Are? An Interactive Guide From the Chronicle. And a Way to Spend Your Afternoon.

Colleges selected by institutions as peers show the power players in the world of higher education. Those choices also reveal sometimes surprising connections. Explore the 1,595 colleges in this network to find out more, or read our article to learn about the trends.

Click here for the interactive experience.


  1. My favorite feature is in the right sidebar of the interactive tool. You can see what schools your school thinks of as peers, and which OTHER schools thinks of your school as a peer. It's often a very different list.

  2. Berkeley believes it has no peers.

  3. My campus thinks of nobody as its peer either, apparently. But WTF are 8 branches of the University of Phoenix doing selecting a public R1 as their peer?

  4. Shoot. I just found out that our graduation rate is just 28%. Let me count the ways we suck...

  5. The peers are who your school wants to be. Schools that select you as a peer want to be like you. If two schools have an inferiority complex, they choose each other, each thinking the other is better.

  6. I'm thinking that the schools with "no peers" may simply not have filled out the questionnaire (and the question of exactly who filled out the questionnaire is significant; I assume that's covered in the less-entertaining part of the report, which, no, I didn't read either). All the other info could be obtained from other sources.

    Whoever filled out the questionnaire at my school picked some schools that sound about right to me, and some that are clearly aspirational (though not quite rolling-on-the-floor funny/horrifying, as in the U Phoenix aspirational choices; it's pretty clear that someone in marketing filled out theirs). There are fewer schools that want to believe they're like us than there are schools we want to believe we're like. I suspect that that might be the actual measure of reputation (which may or may not, of course, have much, or anything, to do with quality): whether there are more schools that aspire to be peers to an institution than there are schools that institution considers its peer.

    1. Harvard has selected three "peers", but 16 colleges have selected Harvard as their "peer". /snarf

  7. How about the University of Pheonix Jersey City that selected among others... Harvard, Yale and Princton?

  8. Carleton College is the top school in these rankings, so take that however you like.

    This is the prestige game the admin flakes play all laid out in computerized perfection....but still it's what each college thinks of itself and who they want to be.


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