Measures of Successful Universities in American Education System

Robert McGrath; Prashant Mittal

Department of Health Management and Policy at University of New Hampshire

There are over seven thousand colleges and universities in the education system. While the top universities are ranked high universally by major sources like Newsweek, Forbes etc., there is quite a large disagreement amongst moderate to low performing universities. The primary reason behind such discrepancy is the performance measures that are used by these sources. This presentation is a deeper dive in the treasure trove of freely available and most current multidimensional data on IPEDS website.This study uses machine learning algorithms to uncover similarities between institutions that have not been traditionally deemed comparable. Imagine a jig-saw puzzle made up of seven thousand pieces, each representing a college or university in the country, rearranged not based on geography but based on the quality of education and value for money spent, the American map will look quite different. The findings from this study could further be used by policy makers to appropriately allocate resources and by high school students while making decisions on where to apply.