Opinion

Staff editorial 9/15: Beyond the numbers

Nearly everyone who calls the University of Miami home is immensely proud of their beloved U. Even through tough times, like the NCAA scandal, students proudly wear orange and green and trash talk with the best of them.

So when U.S. News & World Report ranked UM as No. 38 in the country, Twitter and Facebook feeds exploded with Hurricane pride. And it’s no wonder – we finally have something to celebrate.

Now that the rankings are several days old, however, the excitement is wearing off a bit, and we can take a closer look at what it actually means. There’s no doubt that UM is improving. It’s light-years away from the days of “Suntan U.” But while U.S. News & World Report ranks us as No. 38, Forbes.com lists UM at a lowly No. 221 on its 2012 America’s Top Colleges list.

We can blame this extreme disparity on either publication’s rubric. U.S. News & World Report emphasizes on an institution’s reputation and its student and faculty performance. Forbes, on the other hand, puts more stock in buyer satisfaction. In their books, expensive schools rank highly, with high graduation rates, scholarship awards and high-paying careers counteracting tuition costs.

And UM is ranked No. 221. Ouch.

Don’t be so quick to delete those celebratory tweets though. Statistics for the latest incoming freshman class are higher than they’ve ever been, with half of them having graduated in the top five percent of their high school class. Graduation rates are on the rise as well, and the new student center that is currently under construction shows how far we’ve come and how much farther we will continue to go.

But all these rankings should be taken with a grain of salt, including our top spot in  Florida. We need to keep in mind that Forbes ranks UF at No. 137, and FSU at No. 193. While UF’s stats have consistently gone up on Forbes.com, budget cuts have stagnated the colleges’ ranking on the U.S. News & World Report. Public schools just can’t spend as much to keep up with the U.

So which number should we believe, 38 or 221? Probably neither. Let’s stick with No. 1, because everyone knows it’s all about the U.

Editorials represent the majority view of The Miami Hurricane editorial board.

September 14, 2011

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

After this past University of Miami football game, coach Mark Richt said the crowd came alive during ...

The attorneys for University of Miami men’s basketball coach Jim Larrañaga expect indictments to be ...

Few could have imagined this scenario coming into Saturday’s University of Miami football game at ho ...

Alex Cora’s success hasn’t surprised Miami Hurricanes baseball coach Jim Morris. Cora, according to ...

A six-pack of Canes notes on a Thursday: • Defensive coordinator Manny Diaz has an interesting theor ...

Univeristy of Miami’s Wynwood Art Gallery holds its annual faculty exhibition featuring thought-prov ...

From a game simulating how whales navigate to a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, the U showcased some of ...

A new mobile game called Blues and Reds, now available worldwide, aims to help researchers study int ...

A major Lancet Commission report, a three-year project headed by UM’s Professor Felicia Knaul and co ...

With a $6.8 million NIH grant, the UM School of Nursing and Health Studies and FIU Robert Stempel Co ...

Syracuse visits Miami on Saturday, October 21st at Hard Rock Stadium. ...

Thirty years ago, the 1987 Hurricanes achieved perfection. This weekend they are back where it all b ...

As a Hurricane Club member, you are invited to participate in the 25th Annual University of Miami Ha ...

Behind a historic performance from senior Olga Strantzali, the University of Miami volleyball team b ...

The Miami women's tennis team opened play Friday at the ITA Southeast Regional Championships Pr ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.