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Created: Oct 13, 2014
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US News National University Rankings: Private versus Public
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We all know how ridiculously hard (and expensive) it is to even get into the top 200 private and public schools in the country, but we should ask: how well do freshmen do after they get in? From these series of graphs (and just from general speculation,) we can conclude that: MOST ALL schools are AMAZINGLY EXCLUSIVE and PRESTIGIOUS and accept gifted high school graduates that are almost guaranteed to become college graduates within six years or less.

Data set 1. US News National University Rankings   [Info]
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But these are not true without difference between the two types of universities in ranking, in-state versus out-of-state tuitions, acceptance and graduation rates, and the like, shown in the following graphs:

 

Result 1: Histogram: Private vs Public ranks   [Info]
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Result 2: Summary Stats: rank Private vs Public   [Info]
Summary statistics for Rank:
Group by: Type
TypeMeanStd. dev.MedianRangeMinMaxQ1Q3IQR
Private75.36904857.88579960188118923118.595.5
Public116.9830551.36013121181202017616185

In this first graph, both private and public educational systems are being compared by how many of their respective schools are ranked from 1-201, with few uncategorized towards the bottom of the data set. Sifting through this data, we find that private colleges frequent the top ranks with over 35 of 84 schools being within the top 50, which is 41.6% of all private colleges, skewing it right. Its counterpart, however, has a little fewer than half of that 35. In addition, public schools range from the top 10 to the bottom 10, having much more spread than private schools. We can speculate that from its spread it is also more centered, according to the closer mean summary statistic of 116.98 when there are 201 schools, rather than the 75.37 of the private. We can then conclude the rank of public schools is approximately symmetrical. In short, private schools are more likely to rank higher than public schools, but public schools can be found at the top, the middle, and the bottom ranks, making them more widespread.

 

 

Result 3: Dotplot: In-State vs. Out-of-State tuitions by type   [Info]
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Result 4: Summary Stats: Tuition in-state vs. Out-of-state   [Info]
Summary statistics for Tuition in-state:
Group by: Type
TypeMeanStd. dev.MedianRangeMinMaxQ1Q3IQR
Private36639.11411305.5854056646008500051008295504594016390
Public9783.04052798.48819427131264646177727508114603952

Summary statistics for Tuiition out-of-state:
Group by: Type
TypeMeanStd. dev.MedianRangeMinMaxQ1Q3IQR
Private36639.11411305.5854056646008500051008295504594016390
Public24009.4686203.2456226413238997954218419560283908830

 This set of graphs illustrates the relationships between in-state and out-of-state students' (unsavory) tuition fees. Paying for a public university is vastly cheaper than many private ones, judging from the tuition average of $9783.04 versus the whopping $36639.11, respectively. Due to its varying prices (from approximately $5000 to $51008, minimum and maximum) and its large mean, the skew of private in-state tuition is to the left and is spread more. In contrast, the public schools' tuitions are skewed slightly to the right and more centered, in which the graph's peaks frequent the middle from approximately $5000-12000.

Out-of-state tuitions for private schools are consistent with in-state tuitions, but public schools differ almost completely. Fewer out-of-state students have the luxury of paying an average of $10000 and more pay almost double. In this graph, the skew is still to the right, but it also gains more spread because the tuition ranges from $9795 to $42184. It also is less centered in comparison to in-state tuitions, because of its range.

Still cheaper to pay public than private (in this data set)! Either way, you'll be neck-deep in student debt. Yaaaaaay. (Unless you're a scholarship student or just really really rich.)

 

Result 5: Boxplot: Acceptance rates vs. Freshman retention rate   [Info]
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Result 6: Summary Stats: Acceptance rates vs. Freshman retention rate   [Info]
Summary statistics for Acceptance rate (2013):
Group by: Type
TypeMeanStd. dev.MedianRangeMinMaxQ1Q3IQR
Private47.00309325.54863247.493.85.799.526.467.340.9
Public66.69649116.9081767.482.117.799.855.779.924.2

Summary statistics for Freshman retention rate:
Group by: Type
TypeMeanStd. dev.MedianRangeMinMaxQ1Q3IQR
Private87.0515469.824895289396099829513
Public80.8488379.235093881385997748814

Here, it is shown that private universities accept less freshmen but have a higher frequency of retention. This contrasts with public universities that accept more freshmen but have a lower retention rate.

Starting with acceptance rates, private universities are more centered judging from its IQR of 40.9%, which is closer to the 50% mark. The general rate that private schools accept is from about 26.4% (Q1) to about 67.3%(Q3), which has more spread than the public schools' acceptance rate of 55.7% (Q1) to 79.9% (Q3) or IQR of 24.2%. The former is also roughly symmetrical while the latter is skewed to the left. The public system is more likely to accept freshmen, but this difference is also in accordance with rank where higher ranked schools are more selective. Surprise, surprise

Now keeping the freshmen that are accepted is a different story. Private colleges retain their freshmen at a rate of 82% to 95% to the public's 74% to 88%. This means a higher part of the percentage of students are holding up their bootstraps higher more than public schools.

(Any outlier in both graphs is only a couple percentages short of the minimum)                                                                                  


Result 7: Boxplot: Freshman retention rate vs. 6yr Grad rate   [Info]
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Result 8: Summary Stats: Freshman Retention vs 6yr Grad Rate   [Info]
Summary statistics for Freshman retention rate:
Group by: Type
TypeMeanStd. dev.MedianRangeMinMaxQ1Q3IQR
Private87.0515469.824895289396099829513
Public80.8488379.235093881385997748814

Summary statistics for 6yr Grad rate:
Group by: Type
TypeMeanStd. dev.MedianRangeMinMaxQ1Q3IQR
Private71.06862720.7389537693598578932
Public59.07514516.58873758771693467024

The number of students that are retained as freshman in both public and private schools are more than likely to graduate within 6 years, especially in private schools. (The jealousy is real.) From the freshmen retained in the private unis, most graduate at a higher frequency/mean of 71%. Congruently, freshmen at public universities are less likely to graduate (but are still on the high percentile) with a mean percentage of 59%. In both graphs, private schools show a skew to the left while public schools show approximate symmetry. Continuing with public schools, they also are more centered than public schools, as shown through their whiskers. In the retention graph, both boxes have around the same amount of spread. The grad rate graph shows private schools have more spread.

 

In conclusion, there are some differences between private and public college institutions like tuition and acceptance rates, but all high-aiming high school seniors know that both have the selectivity of a teenage girl picking out her dress for prom, with all the expenses included.

 

Pam Hermosilla

Period 2

HTML link:
<A href="https://www.statcrunch.com/5.0/viewreport.php?reportid=44047">US News National University Rankings: Private versus Public</A>

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