Originally Posted by Alohajrtennis
Pretty straightforward concept here. Input = high school students. Output = college graduate. If you measure a schools solely by what it takes in(SAT,GPA's,ect) you are not really measuring any thing the school does, besides recruit. Kind of like measuring a tennis team based on the stars of its recruits rather than its performance. Of course any UC system school is overrated by measuring the inputs, huge population base to draw from and huge discounts for instate students.
Its obviously much harder to measure this, but many organizations try. See the Shanghai index :
which actually has UW at 16
By the way, that is #16 in the world, not in the U.S.A. So, if we believe those rankings, then UW is ahead of every public university in the country except Cal-Berkeley, as well as being ahead of such private schools as Johns Hopkins, Carnegie-Mellon, Brown, Dartmouth, etc.
Of course, the Shanghai rankings are based almost entirely on the faculty: awards received, research papers published, citation rankings for research papers, and so on. So, like most rankings, these are not measures of output, which was your criticism of other rankings. Undergraduate students at colleges do not get to study at the feet of Nobel prize winners. I got B.S. and M.S. degrees at a school with a Nobel laureate in Physics, but he made no difference to my education in Computer Science. Ranking based on anything besides inputs is very hard. If I get time, I will start a thread about a study that actually measured outputs. The elite colleges were not thrilled with the study, by the way.