I attended the University of Puget Sound for undergraduate studies, and also found myself volunteering as well as working for the Institution as an alumnus. This affinity with my university developed an interest in seeing how it compared to other schools, in particular those that came up in conversation most frequently – member institutions of the Northwest Conference.
To kick off my comparative analysis, I headed to the IPEDS Data Center to snag my data. I chose to look at admission figures, sticker price, and graduation rates from 2011-12. A little old, but interesting nonetheless. I intend to add additional years in the future. Here is my visualization:
So how was Puget Sound performing compared to peer institutions in 2011-12?
The Percentage of applicants admitted (52%) is quite competitive, sitting behind only Whitworth (48%) and Willamette (41%). Maybe the name of the school needs to be changed to start with a “W”.
The Admission Yield (18%) seems like an area for improvement compared to peer institutions from a competitive perspective. With this view, the goal should be to enter the lower right quadrant – where Percent Admitted is low (meaning a highly selective institution) and Admissions Yield is high (students admitted want to attend). In 2011-12, Puget Sound finds itself above the average in regards to Percent Admitted, but below the average in regards to Admissions Yield.
The price to attend for a year (not taking any financial aid data in to account), shows that Puget Sound had the 2nd highest cost for a full year of attendance in 2011-12 among the Northwest Conference of Colleges. Not sure this is something to be proud of by any means, but realistically, it doesn’t provide much insight without knowing what the average financial aid package is as well. It could be that one institution has an extremely high full pay price, and offsets this with plenty of financial aid. Sounds like I’ve identified a future visualization project!
Finally, looking at Graduation Rates – with a full cohort graduation rate of 77%, Puget Sound finds itself in the top rankings of the NW Conference. Whitman’s 87% graduation rate is extremely impressive, standing out by over 10% higher than Puget Sound and Willamette. I think it is the fact that they are wine country.
What are your takeaways from the visualization? What questions does it make you ask that you might be interested in seeing a visualization developed?