As reported by the Collegian on Tuesday, CSU currently ranks 73rd on the list of public universities in value by Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine. The initial results were previously commented on, however, we feel that further examination is warranted.
While some administrators at CSU may be pleased with the results, we feel that the ranking, as well as some of the statistics released, leave much to be desired.
It is difficult to compare the situation in Colorado and at CSU with other publicly funded universities across the nation due to differing budgeting constraints. Yet compared to Colorado's other major public four-year college – The University of Colorado, which ranked 26th – CSU obviously has some work to do.
Two items in particular stood out in the rankings: CSU's acceptance rate and its four-year graduation rate. The top school on the list, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has acceptance and four-year graduation rates of 36 and 67 percent, respectively. Compare this to CSU's rates of 83 and 33 percent, and it is easy to see why we fell so low on the rankings.
What these numbers seem to indicate for CSU is that for whatever reason, the university is accepting a high rate of applicants and then keeping them in school for prolonged periods. The reasons behind these numbers are obviously complex and will require more space than a column permits to examine at depth. Common themes of complaint heard by students would revolve around class sizes, transfer difficulties and advising issues. Conversely, administrators would likely point to budget constraints as the primary issue holding back the school's progress.
The students, faculty and alumni involved with CSU all share the common desire for the university to excel. If CSU aims to be ranked among the elite, both as an institution and the individuals it produces, hard decisions will have to be made on who is admitted and the assistance they receive once in school.