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umass76


Jan 16, 2007, 12:17 PM

Post #326 of 764 (8866 views)
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Re: [hamholio] Don't yell at me, but... [In reply to] Can't Post

Ham,
He's at a school I want to go to, too--but not at the expense of speaking my mind on this forum. If I can't speak my mind here without someone enacting personal revenge on me via his school's Admissions Committee, the school they go to isn't one I want to attend, anyway.
S.


(This post was edited by umass76 on Jan 16, 2007, 12:18 PM)


bighark


Jan 16, 2007, 12:42 PM

Post #327 of 764 (8856 views)
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Re: [umass76] Don't yell at me, but... [In reply to] Can't Post

Umass,

Grow up, man. Seriously. You're embarrassing yourself.

bighark


BridgetB


Jan 16, 2007, 1:04 PM

Post #328 of 764 (8842 views)
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Re: [umass76] Don't yell at me, but... [In reply to] Can't Post

Umass,

I'm mostly not paying attention to this thread, so I'll apologize in advance if this is already answered somewhere.

How many applicants is Hopkins' 5.5% acceptance rate based upon, and what is the source of that data?

Thanks,
Bridget


kevin82


Jan 16, 2007, 1:11 PM

Post #329 of 764 (8836 views)
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Re: [umass76] Don't yell at me, but... [In reply to] Can't Post

Umass, are you completely insane?


In Reply To
Ham,
He's at a school I want to go to, too--but not at the expense of speaking my mind on this forum. If I can't speak my mind here without someone enacting personal revenge on me via his school's Admissions Committee, the school they go to isn't one I want to attend, anyway.
S.



hamholio


Jan 16, 2007, 1:17 PM

Post #330 of 764 (8828 views)
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Re: [BridgetB] Don't yell at me, but... [In reply to] Can't Post

I remember Franz posting in the Johns Hopkins thread about there being 200 applicants last year -- or something along those lines.

I don't know that umass saw that post, since he states the number as being an apporixmation based on what he feels is the bare min. number of applicants that "top mfa programs" receive -- in other words, he pulled it out of thin air. In this case, the truth seems to match up with his guess.


umass76


Jan 16, 2007, 2:21 PM

Post #331 of 764 (8803 views)
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Re: [bighark] Don't yell at me, but... [In reply to] Can't Post

Hark,
Eh, I'm a lawyer. No one likes lawyers anyway. Just trying my hardest not to break the mold.
S.


umass76


Jan 16, 2007, 2:23 PM

Post #332 of 764 (8800 views)
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Re: [kevin82] Don't yell at me, but... [In reply to] Can't Post

Kevin,
It depends: are you on an admissions committee? No, seriously though, I just love lively, even aggressive debate (it reminds me of law school) and I happen to write very, very fast--most long posts take me just a few minutes, it's a freakish thing I'm not necessarily proud of.
S.


umass76


Jan 16, 2007, 2:26 PM

Post #333 of 764 (8797 views)
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Re: [hamholio] Don't yell at me, but... [In reply to] Can't Post

Ham,
Thanks for the lead on JHU (which, it's true, is presently based on the "standard minimum APP" I used). I'm going to be constantly updating the Indexes (as I have the LJPW; 10 new responses since it first came out) so hopefully, in time, it'll be a pretty solid archive of data overall. I do promise that if anyone can give me reliable data for any school, I'll add that school to the index. Just e-mail me through the Speakeasy mail or via the e-mail address on my blog. Cheers,
S.

[ON EDIT: Ham, looks like Franz was only referring to the number of fiction applications JHU got last year. If trends at a couple other schools were applicable to JHU--and I by no means am saying they are--JHU would have had about half as many poetry applications as fiction applications, i.e. maybe 100. For a total of 300 applications. That said, the data's not there yet to add anything substantive to the Indexes (e.g., for JHU's acceptance rate to go from MAX to EXAT), except to change JHU's "minimum APP" to 250, instead of 200, as it's a safe bet there were at least 50 poetry applications last year at JHU. And, not to beat the drum too hard here--probably too late for that--I'll just mention that JHU's likely 300+ application base would be consistent with the other data already out there. I realize I'm getting hyper-technical here, but hey, I'm on a brief writing sabbatical, so a man's got to do something obliquely connected to poetry, right?].


(This post was edited by umass76 on Jan 16, 2007, 2:35 PM)


ecphraticknolls


Jan 16, 2007, 4:12 PM

Post #334 of 764 (8744 views)
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Re: [umass76] Don't yell at me, but... [In reply to] Can't Post

I’m becoming more and more interested in the poetry vs. fiction aspect of rankings. So, if Iowa gets 750 fiction applicants… does that make their poetry acceptance rate something more like 10%? Is this a general pattern among most of the schools?


augustmaria


Jan 16, 2007, 9:09 PM

Post #335 of 764 (8687 views)
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Re: [ecphraticknolls] Don't yell at me, but... [In reply to] Can't Post

I was just told last week that here at Indiana fiction gets a significant amount more applicants than poetry--I'm not sure if that's what you're curious about, I'm getting lost in the ranking mudslinging, but I'll just put that out there, anyway. Also, I know last year IU got over 300 applications, not 200. I think it might have been something lik 365? It was on a letter, but I can't remember exactly.


(This post was edited by augustmaria on Jan 16, 2007, 9:09 PM)


Clench Million
Charles

Jan 16, 2007, 9:18 PM

Post #336 of 764 (8686 views)
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Re: [umass76] Don't yell at me, but... [In reply to] Can't Post

  

======Edited by Motet======






Quote

One thing I found, in doing these Indexes, was that a school we've all been talking about quite a bit--Columbia University--fared incredibly poorly, which might help to explain why it was #4 in 1997 but (depending upon which if any of the new rankings you acknowledge as having any validity) is now #13 (TSE), #15 (LJPW), or #16 (TKS)


"if any" is the key word here. The Kealey Scale is totally subjective (ie distorted towards the subjective preferences and weighting of criteria that Kealey and yourself prefer) and thus doesn't have any validity to anyone who doesn't share your subjective opinions of those critieria. Nothing wrong with making your ranking like that, most rankings work like that, but you are kidding yourself when you pretend that adding vague language about methodology and math makes your rankings more "valid" than USNWR or anyone elses. Valid in what context? Its empty language.

The LJPW was an interesting exercise, but I can't fathom how you think it proves anything "mathematically." It is completely unscientific and badly formed as a statistical analysis. The sample is too small, not random and not representative. But the biggest flaw, which I dont' think I've seen you address, is that the statistical flaws are DOUBLED on that list, because the LJ/PW community overlaps and thus you are counting people's preferences twice or more. When I applied last year almost everyone I noticed on LJ ended up posting on PW, most of them with different names.

Let me say again that ranking Columbia around 15 does not bother me. I disagree, I think it is at least in the top 10, but having it a few places lower than I'd rank it does not bother me. I'd have the same problems with your arguments whether or not Columbia was being discussed.

That said, your above quote means nothing without any data on Columbia's acceptance rates in 1997. I see no reason to believe they have had a drop in applications (in fact I know its the oppisite, every top school has increased their applications, as far more people apply now) and Columbia, to my knowledge, has always been a larger program. It is quite possible Columbia has gotten more selective (again, due to the overall increase in applications to all MFA programs) in the past decade.


Quote

Now, I can hear folks saying that "Columbia accepts more people than other schools, and shouldn't be punished for that," but remember, these are simply Selectivity Indexes. It's not necessarily any sort of judgment on the school. But that said, I'll also point out that Columbia isn't necessarily to be given a pass for accepting more people than other schools do and consequently giving their accepted students (or many of them, at least) less funding than they need.


Your arguments on this subject are a classic case of missing the forest for the trees.

Selectivity is not MERELY a matter of how many people apply versus get accepted. Selectivity, in this context, is normally an issue of how HARD it is for someone to get into a program.

Large programs like Iowa and Columbia accept a lot of people, but being top programs they get amongst the best applications. As such, they get their pick of the best students, more or less. A program like Iowa or Columbia might get 600 applications, but immediately 400 of them are tossed out after reading the work. Adding a bad writer to make the application total 601 would not make Iowa or Columbia in more selective in any substantial sense. OTOH, there are programs who only get a handful of applications. Programs with no reputation, but who get applications from people who want to live in that area because their spouse is working there or they grew up there or what not. Such a program might get only 70 applications and accept only 6 students (call this program X). 10%. But since it doesn't have a good reputation, very few of those applications will be from the cream of the crop, and thus several of the spots will be filled with weaker students.

Bottom line, an okay writer who wanted to apply to Program X and Columbia would have an easier time getting into X than Columbia in reality, despite your math calling the program less selective.


Quote

I don't know, maybe "incredibly poor" isn't the right adjective. It just struck me that Columbia, relatively speaking, fared poorly against schools (e.g. Brown) with more applications per year but an acceptance rate one-fifth as low (or Iowa, which Columbia [I think] sees as a natural rival, but which gets 66% more applications and accepts at a 40% lower rate).


As Hopper pointed out, your problem is that you are trying to make hard statistical claims based on vague, general numbers which are
a) not accurate and
b) in flux.

Smaller programs like Cornell or Johns Hopkins often have a fixed amount of students they bring in. But larger programs like Iowa and Columbia do not. Iowa will accept more people one year if they have more qualified applications and less people the next if they have less qualified (to their mind) applicants.

Most of the numbers you have there, for all the programs not just Columbia, are just general estimates or out of date and inaccurate. I personally don't trust a single one, especially since you don't source them or give me any reason to trust any of them.


(This post was edited by motet on Jan 17, 2007, 10:08 PM)


Clench Million
Charles

Jan 16, 2007, 9:31 PM

Post #337 of 764 (8675 views)
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Re: [umass76] Don't yell at me, but... [In reply to] Can't Post

A further problem with your list is that you don't use any data on wait lists, which again distorts your data.

For example, I happen to know that UVA went through 18 waiting list spots in fiction alone a few years ago. So while only 12 students might have gone to Uva that year, far more were "admitted" to the program. I'm sure the same is true of Columbia and many other programs as well.

However, I don't think it is equally true of all programs. I doubt Iowa or Cornell have many people decline admission, OTOH it wouldn't surprise me if these not well regarded programs on your ranking have the majority of their best applicants decline and go elsewhere.

But either way, you can't measure accurately measure admissions rate without knowing that. If Iowa only has to accept 60 students out of 1200 to get their class of 50, they are far more selective than a program that has to accept 40 students out of 400 to get their class of 6.


(This post was edited by Clench Million on Jan 16, 2007, 10:04 PM)


umass76


Jan 16, 2007, 10:18 PM

Post #338 of 764 (8657 views)
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Re: [Clench Million] Don't yell at me, but... [In reply to] Can't Post

Clench,

I really appreciate that you are "willing to give me the benefit of the doubt," especially as you call me "delusional" in the same breath. But I won't be baited. The fact is, wrong assertions by you and by others have never been clarified during the course of this discussion, whereas I've been peppered with questions and had clarifications demanded of me--even though I'm the one who's done all the research here, and thus the one who statistically has the best chance of knowing what the heck they're talking about.

For instance, I was told that the "200 standard minimum APP" measure used in the second Selectivity Index (now scrapped in favor of an indexing I find more useful) was insane because tons of schools ranked in the top fifty don't get 200 applications a year. So, I investigated. And I found a proposal from the faculty of the University of New Hampshire to create an MFA at that school which included data unavailable elsewhere (in case you can't read between the lines here, it wasn't available elsewhere because the UNH professors got it directly from their colleagues at the other schools). The proposal was informative in that it gave me a sense of scope in determining how many applications certain schools likely receive (and how many applications a just-born real-life program would expect, come budget/number-crunching time). Here's what I learned from research (NB: Clench, what research have you done, by the way, to have the gall to call me "delusional"? You've no idea what work I've done on this):

* Hollins College had 201 applications during its very first year in operation. I would note that Hollins College is not, generally speaking, an exceedingly well-known college (albeit, regionally it is), so one can only imagine the sort of first-year numbers seen by the several major universities that started MFA programs in the past ten years.

* At Northern Michigan University--another relatively small school--applications increased by 600% in the first three years of the program. Even assuming a pathetic application base in the school's first year (say, 25 students, a random number), that would mean 150 students applying to the school (!) by the end of three years. And again, a) this is only for the first three years of the program, and b) this is a fairly small school (reputation-wise) that we're talking about.

* California's College of the Arts (CCA) MFA program increased in size by 750% over its first four years, going from eight students to sixty.

Again, nothing here suggests that top programs get less than 100 applications a year, but the claim was made, and no one challenged it. Likewise, the claim was once made on Tom Kealey's website that Columbia "probably" was the only school other than Iowa which got more than 1000 applications a year. Not true. There are just so many myths going around. Hopper said Cornell had a lower acceptance rate than Brown "by a fairly large margin"--it turned out to be 0.6% at most, and, if in a given year Cornell had an APP on the low end of its spectrum and Brown had an APP on the high end of its spectrum, the schools would actually have the same acceptance rate if you rounded, as all normal people do, to the nearest percentage point. But hey, who cares, right? Well, I do, because I've been trying to get things right, and have fixed things when they've been wrong (see the second Selectivity Index, now scrapped for better) and still I've got guys like you, Clench, breathing down my neck--largely because you just don't want efforts like these made in the first place. Far better for Columbia to have an unearned excellent reputation than to know that, of the 17 schools in the country whose acceptance rate can be conclusively determined, Columbia ranks 13th. I can't recall how you explained that fact away in your response, Clench, but I'm damn sure it was somewhere in there. It had to be.

The reason you keep harping on TKE, Clench, is because all the stuff I've done since then has been hard data-related, so you've got to go back to the first ranking I did, which I admitted was the work of a single individual--but which I pointed out was worth looking at anyway, because that individual had done more research than anyone in the country on the subject of MFAs (and still holds that honor), and moreover was the first in the country to create a funding-weighted assessment of schools. You keep trying to posture here, trying to convince folks I wasn't honest about what I did with TKE. I'm a little sick of that game, frankly, because you're attempting to implicate my integrity and you've no cause to do that.

You'll also note that I did internal validity checks by comparing TKE to the LJPW. You say the sample size for LJPW was too small, I say that's wrong, because, for instance, the Granite State/UNH Poll (for the state I live in, New Hampshire) routinely only polls 200 people for a state of 1.2 million people, in order to determine "our" political inclinations. While I've admitted we can't know the bias of web-users versus non-web-users, no one yet has made any compelling case for why, say, you'd like Brown if you use the internet, but would like George Mason, instead, if you don't. [NB: A recent national poll shows that the vast majority of high-schoolers use the internet, so given that we're talking here about individuals who self-select for graduate-school work, how many people do you think are in that group that don't use the internet?].

Likewise, I from the outset compared the LJPW to the "coaches' poll" in college football--did you miss that?--because the NCAA coaches' poll is, similar to the LJPW, a) taken from a small sample-size, b) does not include random responders, and c) does not make any effort to ensure that its responders are "representative" of anything. Yet the poll is published in newspapers across the country every day during football season. Of course, now that we're in Clench's territory, only perfection will suffice; I mean, did no one find it odd when Hopper said my rankings weren't useful because they only contained publicly-available information from the internet? Is the new standard for Speakeasy polling that it can, paradoxically, only contain information that is not publicly available? Give me a break here. Some of you are being contrary just to be contrary--it's a very small sub-set of the group, but it's certainly the most vocal.

Your comments about Columbia, Clench, are frankly not worth responding to. They're no more informed than my throw-away comment that Columbia's applications may well have declined in the past decade. Have they? I don't know, and I wasn't claiming to know, I say I "suspected"--in other words, I was guessing. Yet you, again, are doing no research and then peddling your opinions as somehow worthy of discussion here. In contrast, I've presented only a) Tom Kealey's opinions, and then b) hard data--never "my own" opinions--and also have done the necessary research to responsibly catalogue the resultant findings.

You write:

"Large programs like Iowa and Columbia accept a lot of people, but being top programs they get amongst the best applications."

Um, where do you draw this conclusion from? And why wouldn't this also apply to the fifteen other schools which were in the top 25 both in 1997 and now? Why is Columbia special in this sense, such that a rising tide does not lift all boats, only Columbia's and Iowa's?

"A program like Iowa or Columbia might get 600 applications, but immediately 400 of them are tossed out after reading the work."

I'm the editor of a literary journal, Clench. You've just described the submissions process for every even moderately-sized literary journal in America and every MFA program in America. Are you pulling my leg here?

"OTOH, there are programs who only get a handful of applications."

No, there aren't, actually. The lowest application pool I've ever seen (60) is for an MFA program in Alaska, and a) the data's old, and b) the program's small. So what research did you do to draw your conclusions here? Any?

You continue to presume that less well-known programs have fewer qualified candidates applying, yet a) smaller programs offer better funding to qualified candidates than larger, more well-known programs do (I'm sure you remember the two people last year--right here at PW!--who chose Florida State and Brooklyn College over Columbia, don't you?), and b) people often choose where to go based on location and logistics (where the average age of an MFA student is 28, you have to understand family considerations come first). My favorite anecdote from last year is the person who applied to CUNY (Hunter), NYU, The New School, Brooklyn College, and Columbia and only got into the "best" school, Columbia! The data I've collected explains that; your personal speculation on "how things work" doesn't (folks like you always hate rankings, but have discernible ideas on "how things work" which can't ever be tested in the real world; convenient).

You write:

"Smaller programs like Cornell or Johns Hopkins often have a fixed amount of students they bring in. But larger programs like Iowa and Columbia do not."

Yes, and that goes equally for Adelphi University, Georgia State University, and San Francisco State University, all of which have enormous programs. Your point? Or is this another point which somehow "only" applies to large schools when those large schools are named Iowa and (more importantly) Columbia? It's hard not to get frustrated with you, Clench, as much I know you're probably (?) well-meaning.

You write:

"Most of the numbers you have there, for all the programs not just Columbia, are just general estimates or out of date and inaccurate. I personally don't trust a single one, especially since you don't source them or give me any reason to trust any of them."

Well, none of them, at the moment, are estimates. And they're all as accurate as the schools themselves allowed them to be, for that's where I got them.

But that's no matter: the important this is, with the above quote you've finally written something I understand and which actually matters to me. So, in response: Please stop reading the rankings, Clench. They upset you. And moreover you clearly don't get them, or care to, and I don't want to waste more of your time. If you ever decide to change your mind, the few thousand people who've already read the rankings on TSE (hundreds of whom have returned for multiple visits) might be able to explain them to you better than I can.

S.

P.S. As to your repeated protestations (which protesteth a little too much, methinks) that while you go to Columbia you have no bias in favor of Columbia: alright, I get it, you're pure as driven snow! :-) In answer to your question about "yield"--a term you'd know if you knew polling--the Selectivity Indexes explicitly address yield, first of all, and second of all, that's the same problem all rankings have, and it doesn't invalidate them, sorry. [One reason it doesn't invalidate them is that studies on law schools have shown that yields do not actually vary that widely "in-tier"; that is, with the exception of one or two schools in the top tier who have an insane yield (think Princeton, for undergrad), most schools are within 10% or so of one another, making the effect on rankings noticeable but not statistically significant. While I'll concede that the effect is greater for MFA programs, once again, it would only move most schools a few spots in one direction or another, and there's no way to find out yield anyway, so your comment is the same as saying we can never do MFA rankings because there will always be a flaw. Which is a position I don't accept as valid, as there's no reason to support the notion that anything in this world need be flawless].


(This post was edited by umass76 on Jan 16, 2007, 10:24 PM)


hamholio


Jan 16, 2007, 10:55 PM

Post #339 of 764 (8640 views)
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Re: [umass76] Don't yell at me, but... [In reply to] Can't Post

Umass said: "* At Northern Michigan University--another relatively small school--applications increased by 600% in the first three years of the program. Even assuming a pathetic application base in the school's first year (say, 25 students, a random number), that would mean 150 students applying to the school (!) by the end of three years. And again, a) this is only for the first three years of the program, and b) this is a fairly small school (reputation-wise) that we're talking about. "

A clear example how guessing or making up numbers can get you far from the mark:

From that University of New Hampshire document in regards to Northern Michigan University:

Letter from John Smolens, Prof. of English at Northern Michigan, written in 2004:

“The number of applicants: Since we began accepting applications to the MFA program four years ago, we have found that the number of applications to both the MA and MFA program has increased significantly. The first year we advertised our MFA program, we received six applications, all from people in Northern Michigan. In recent years we have received a minimum of 35 applications for the MFA.”


(This post was edited by hamholio on Jan 16, 2007, 11:23 PM)


hamholio


Jan 16, 2007, 11:18 PM

Post #340 of 764 (8632 views)
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Re: [umass76] Don't yell at me, but... [In reply to] Can't Post

Umass wrote: "* Hollins College had 201 applications during its very first year in operation. I would note that Hollins College is not, generally speaking, an exceedingly well-known college (albeit, regionally it is), so one can only imagine the sort of first-year numbers seen by the several major universities that started MFA programs in the past ten years. "


Wikipedia on hollins college:

"The longstanding Hollins M.A. in Creative Writing program underwent upheaval when it was made into an M.F.A. program in February 2003, changing the program from a one-year program to a two-year program and increasing the tuition paid by the students."

"Hollins' creative writing program has been called "the most productive writing program in America" byCreative Writing in America.[6]. The program's alumnae includes Annie Dillard, Lee Smith, Kiran Desai, Madison Smartt Bell, Pulitzer-Prize winning poet Henry S. Taylor, and Margaret Wise Brown. The program has produced “more published writers than any other college its size in the United States” according to the Barron's Best Buy Guide."


So, when it did get those 200 applications in its "first year" (as an MFA program), it was already a well-established (in the top 20 US News rankings), well-published (Annie Dillard!) program! Comments deriding it as a mere "regional program" are a little extreme, and passing it off as a completely new program is misleading.


(This post was edited by hamholio on Jan 16, 2007, 11:22 PM)


Clench Million
Charles

Jan 16, 2007, 11:21 PM

Post #341 of 764 (8628 views)
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Re: [umass76] Don't yell at me, but... [In reply to] Can't Post

(NOTE: Ahh, I totally messed up the HTML or something. Sorry about the edits people)

The fact is, wrong assertions by you and by others have never been clarified during the course of this discussion, whereas I've been peppered with questions and had clarifications demanded of me-

I disagree. The fact is you have largely ignored all the substantial arguments, even ones repeated several times, and instead taken little bits of people's comments out of context and in convoluted ways in an authoritative tone. A tone that doesn't abate even when you are proven wrong, such as your recent tiff with Hopper over Cornell's acceptance rate. As for my opening comment, I was commenting on your self-aggrandizing comments, tone and faulty reasoning. It isn't a matter of your research. It is a matter of those things that many other posters have pointed out here. The fact that you don't seem to recognize any problem in your posting despite so many others here noticing it says it all.

However, I should not have retaliated to your sniping and disses with my own ad hominem. I apologize.

I've got guys like you, Clench, breathing down my neck--largely because you just don't want efforts like these made in the first place.


Yep, you're right, everyone is out to get you and destroy your blog.

Far better for Columbia to have an unearned excellent reputation than to know that, of the 17 schools in the country whose acceptance rate can be conclusively determined, Columbia ranks 13th.

While I wouldn't be surprised, given Columbia's size, if it was 13th or lower in acceptance, I'll point out once again that your are totally wrong that you have "conclusively determined" anthing about any of those schools. You didn't note the acceptance rate of a SINGLE SCHOOL on your list. All your ranked was the ration of (approximate) CLASS SIZE to (approximate) number of applications. You didn't post any data on the number of people admitted (which would include all the people who turned down the admission, which is often more than double the class size).

The reason you keep harping on TKE, Clench, is because all the stuff I've done since then has been hard data-related,


Here is why I said you sound delusional.

a) I haven't been harping on TKE. Indeed, I doubt I even mentioned it since you posted your other rankings... other than once sentence in one post today. One sentence in one post in response to you bringing TKE up is hardly "harping" on something.
b) Neither of your other rankings have been based on "hard data." This has been pointed out to you several times by several posters.
c) Since posting your other rankings, virtually all of my comments have been about them, so claims that I am harping on TKE to avoid talking about the others is pure nonsense.

I'm a little sick of that game, frankly, because you're attempting to implicate my integrity and you've no cause to do that.


And yet you've implicated my integrity, and other posters, for weeks now. One of your first posts was an insinuation that I had a secret agenda behind my disagreements with your rankings and that I thus could be discounted. You've implicated my integrity a half dozen times in this one reply. Your own medicine and all that.

You say the sample size for LJPW was too small, I say that's wrong, because, for instance, the Granite State/UNH Poll (for the state I live in, New Hampshire) routinely only polls 200 people for a state of 1.2 million people, in order to determine "our" political inclinations.

Sigh.
Those 200 people are randomly selected and special tactics are used to make sure they are statistically representative. Your "poll" did no such thing, and thus the sample size was too small for a non-random, non-representative sample filled most likely with duplicates.

And why wouldn't this also apply to the fifteen other schools which were in the top 25 both in 1997 and now?


Of course it would.

So, in response: Please stop reading the rankings, Clench. They upset you. If you ever decide to change your mind, the few thousand people who've already read the rankings on TSE (hundreds of whom have returned for multiple visits) might be able to explain them to you better than I can.


*yawn*
Please, I'm not bombarding your site with comments or filling your email with rants. I promise I'd be more than happy to forget your rankings if only you'd not write a novels worth of defensive and rambling posts on a board I read every single day. Why do you feel the need to constantly brag about how many people have visited your site? You must have mentioned it thirty times. I"m glad you have a lot of visitors, good on you. But keep in mind that every person in this thread who disagrees with yoru rankings has visited yoru site multiple times, so the mere fact that people have seen it doesn't mean they agree or "get it" and everyone who disagrees just "doesnt' get it."

P.S. As to your repeated protestations (which protesteth a little too much, methinks) that while you go to Columbia you have no bias in favor of Columbia: alright, I get it, you're pure as driven snow! :-)


A funny line to reference for someone who has been so verboise and defensive writing giant replies to every poster who makes a comment in this thread. Anyway, I wouldn't feel any need to point out that I don't have a problem with Columbia's ranking if you didn't CONSTANTLY claim that anyone who disagrees with you doesn't have a secret agenda. Constantly insult my integrity and I'll feel obliged to defend it, at least a little.

so your comment is the same as saying we can never do MFA rankings because there will always be a flaw.


Not at all. My comment is saying don't pretend you are rankign something you are not nor pretend that your ranking proves something that it doesn't. If you can't rank yield but can only rank the ratio of class size to applications, fine, just admit it. Don't pretend otherwise.


(This post was edited by Clench Million on Jan 16, 2007, 11:38 PM)


Clench Million
Charles

Jan 16, 2007, 11:35 PM

Post #342 of 764 (8613 views)
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In Reply To
Umass said: "* At Northern Michigan University--another relatively small school--applications increased by 600% in the first three years of the program. Even assuming a pathetic application base in the school's first year (say, 25 students, a random number), that would mean 150 students applying to the school (!) by the end of three years. And again, a) this is only for the first three years of the program, and b) this is a fairly small school (reputation-wise) that we're talking about. "

A clear example how guessing or making up numbers can get you far from the mark:

From that University of New Hampshire document in regards to Northern Michigan University:

Letter from John Smolens, Prof. of English at Northern Michigan, written in 2004:

“The number of applicants: Since we began accepting applications to the MFA program four years ago, we have found that the number of applications to both the MA and MFA program has increased significantly. The first year we advertised our MFA program, we received six applications, all from people in Northern Michigan. In recent years we have received a minimum of 35 applications for the MFA.”


Ah I was going to post about Hollins but hamholio beat me to it.

I hope you can at least understand, umass76, why it is hard to take your claims of rigorous research and "hard-data" seriously when you so constantly been shown wrong. Your assumptions strike me as mostly off base and it doesn't help that so many of them quite clearly are off base, like this example.


umass76


Jan 16, 2007, 11:40 PM

Post #343 of 764 (8607 views)
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Sorry, Clench, it seems your research on the subject of rankings and polling was so extensive you actually described perfectly the concept of "yield" without knowing (apparently) what the hell you were talking about:

"A further problem with your list is that you don't use any data on wait lists, which again distorts your data. For example, I happen to know that UVA went through 18 waiting list spots in fiction alone a few years ago. So while only 12 students might have gone to Uva that year, far more were 'admitted' to the program. I'm sure the same is true of Columbia and many other programs as well. However, I don't think it is equally true of all programs. I doubt Iowa or Cornell have many people decline admission, OTOH it wouldn't surprise me if these not well regarded programs on your ranking have the majority of their best applicants decline and go elsewhere. But either way, you can't measure accurately measure admissions rate without knowing that. If Iowa only has to accept 60 students out of 1200 to get their class of 50, they are far more selective than a program that has to accept 40 students out of 400 to get their class of 6."

That's yield.

Look, I don't know where you get some of your ideas, honestly. You're claiming, now, that I think "you're out to destroy my blog"? Wha...? I really don't know what you're talking about. Point is, you don't have to worry too much about me. I'm so "paranoid" (first time being called everything, I guess) I'm actually counting my detractors on a minute-by-minute basis. Let's see: You. Ham. Hark. Hopper. Maybe a fifth? Dunno. In any event, didn't even have to go to the second hand there, so I think I can unbolt the door now.

Meanwhile, unique visitors to the rankings since they were drawn up just two and a half weeks ago: 4,578. On the other hand, I suppose I agree with you: they're all paranoid-delusional, disingeuous blowhards, too.

I've answered every "substantial" point you've made (the few there were, besides your whining about Columbia-related nonsense) and have admitted my mistakes, Clench. Go back and read the posts and you'll see me admitting mistakes, changing rankings to address the concerns I heard here, and, more broadly, addressing your points again and again and again (your method of argumentation is to consistently say, "You didn't respond to... you didn't answer..." without ever specifying exactly what I didn't respond to or answer). I never claimed to have the NMU numbers, I said that if a program can increase in size by 600% when it's a relatively unknown school (and that's not intended as some kind of "insult"), the same can happen elsewhere. And you can bet that when University of Wisconsin started its program there weren't six applications submitted to it. But I'm sure no one's going to run down those numbers. As to Hollins, I quoted the UNH professors' claims: if they were wrong or misleading when they were submitted to the Trustees of UNH, then I was wrong, too, and I'll own up to that.

S.


umass76


Jan 16, 2007, 11:41 PM

Post #344 of 764 (8604 views)
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P.S. I'll be back if and when I have new rankings. I stand on everything I've said here: where I was wrong, I said I was wrong, where you guys were wrong, I confronted your points. There's nothing left for me (or you guys, though you can take your own counsel on that front) to prove.

The one thing I'd ask you not to do, Clench, which you've been doing all along and I haven't called you on yet, is edit your comments after I've responded to them to make me look like a jackass. That's BS. Fact: you didn't know what the hell "yield" was when I brought it up, no matter how much of a busy beaver you've been editing your posts to suggest otherwise.
S.

[ON EDIT: Hell, I can't resist. Clench, let me get this straight, you read this board--entitled Current MFA Rankings--every single day, yet when someone goes out and tries to actually create "current MFA rankings" you display nothing but hostility? What's your damage, dude? Seriously. I mean, LOL, what the heck were you reading this board for? What did you think was going to happen here? Fruitcake exchanges? And while I'm pointing out things I'd been holding back on, how the hell (!) do you propose "randomly" sampling prospective MFA students? Would you knock door-to-door? Or phone-bank it? Do tell. I kind of thought going where such individuals hang out and taking samples from everyone--i.e., the whole demographic in one of the few available spaces to find same--would be good enough. So, I'm confused. Does this have something to do with some other polling term you don't understand?].


(This post was edited by umass76 on Jan 16, 2007, 11:54 PM)


Clench Million
Charles

Jan 16, 2007, 11:51 PM

Post #345 of 764 (8596 views)
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I don't know what to say umass76, you just so quickly turn around on a dime.

You were the one who said that "I've got guys like you, Clench, breathing down my neck--largely because you just don't want efforts like these made in the first place" but now you are saying it is barely anybody disagreeing and just a few posts on P&W? I don't think anyone is "breathing down your neck" and was just making a sarcastic reply about your hyperbole.

I've answered every "substantial" point you've made

No you haven't, nor for the other posters. For example, my main concern with the originaly Kealey scale, regarding the problems tiered funding brings up, was never once addressed. Whatever, I don't care if you reply to everyone's points or not, but I wish you wouldn't pretend you have been doing intense coherent replies out of the kindness of your heart against angry , dishonest demons breathing down your neck, when its been anything but.

That is it for me on this. Hell I'll even let you win like you want to. You're right. You've been right from the start. Not a single criticism has been valid by any of the people here. We were only acting on dishonest motives anyway. Congrats.







umass76


Jan 16, 2007, 11:55 PM

Post #346 of 764 (8591 views)
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No, Clench, I insist. You win.

S.


Clench Million
Charles

Jan 16, 2007, 11:56 PM

Post #347 of 764 (8588 views)
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Post deleted by Clench Million [In reply to]

 


umass76


Jan 17, 2007, 12:00 AM

Post #348 of 764 (8580 views)
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Re: [Clench Million] Don't yell at me, but... [In reply to] Can't Post

Again, Clench, as you've now revealed that I frequently edit for typos, I must insist you emerge from this debate the victor. Either way, I'm changing all my rankings and putting the Lions back on top across the board. All for you, buddy-- Go Lions!

S.


Clench Million
Charles

Jan 17, 2007, 12:03 AM

Post #349 of 764 (8577 views)
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Re: [umass76] Don't yell at me, but... [In reply to] Can't Post

Seriously dude, look at the times. I edited before you responded. I'm sorry you happened to be in the middle of a reply, but it was just an irrelevant comment that I'd missread.

It wasn't anything maliciously. I promise.


umass76


Jan 17, 2007, 12:07 AM

Post #350 of 764 (8571 views)
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Alright, alright... I'm not that much of an asshole. I believe you.
S.

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