North Dakota Universities Rank Near The Bottom Nationally In Serving Their Students
The new Forbes ranking of universities nationally is out, and you can see the whole list here. North Dakota readers will note that North Dakota State University and the University of North Dakota, the state’s “flagship” universities, ranked 589th and 519th respectively.
This was out of 650 universities. UND is actually up some in the ranking; they were at 579 last year, but NDSU fell from 577.
Recently North Dakota’s university system got some high praise from the Wall Street Journal which noted that UND and NDSU ranked 143rd and 147th, respectively, in the National Science Foundation’s rankings of research institutions. But those rankings are merely based on the amount of federal research dollars the universities get. Having a well-connected congressional delegation that can bring in a gravy train of federal dollars to the universities does not necessarily mean the universities are performing well.
Forbes bases its rankings on much more important factors. Such as whether or not the students are getting value out of their education. Here’s their methodology:
The rankings are based on five general categories: Post Graduate success (30%), which evaluates alumni pay and prominence, Student Satisfaction (27.5%), which includes professor evaluations and freshman to sophomore year retention rates, Debt (17.5%), which penalizes schools for high student debt loads and default rates, Four Year Graduation Rate (17.5%) and Competitive Awards (7.5%), which rewards schools whose students win prestigious scholarships and fellowships like the Rhodes, the Marshall and the Fulbright.
In other words, when North Dakota’s universities are ranked based on the amount of federal pork they get they do well. When they’re ranked on how well they serve students they rank near the bottom.
Something to keep in mind when considering this cart from the North Dakota Policy Council: