Every year, U.S. colleges submit a list of other schools they consider to be their peers in terms of finances, enrollment, and other measures to the Department of Education. In exchange, the schools get feedback on their performance relative to their self-reported peer group. The Chronicle of Higher Education took this data from around 1,600 four-year colleges to create a network visualization of these peer groups. Clusters readily emerge in the visualization, including top-tier private universities, liberal arts colleges, and large public universities. The results can be surprising, as some colleges are more ambitious than others in naming peers. For example, 55 colleges outside the Ivy League, including small institutions like Alabama A&M University and Regent University, selected Ivy League schools in their lists.
What Colleges Does Your School Compare Itself To?
Travis Korte is a research analyst at the Center for Data Innovation specializing in data science applications and open data. He has a background in journalism, computer science and statistics. Prior to joining the Center for Data Innovation, he launched the Science vertical of The Huffington Post and served as its Associate Editor, covering a wide range of science and technology topics. He has worked on data science projects with HuffPost and other organizations. Before this, he graduated with highest honors from the University of California, Berkeley, having studied critical theory and completed coursework in computer science and economics. His research interests are in computational social science and using data to engage with complex social systems. You can follow him on Twitter @traviskorte.
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