The Worst Colleges In America
August 27, 2007 2:09 PM   Subscribe

Radar picks the worst colleges in America. At least one of the picks is rather dubious, although I suppose being the "worst" Ivy League is a position of some note, and another one of the picks was where my school's valedictorian went. Either way, it's always nice to see the Moonies somersaulting into otherwise non-Moonie related stories.
posted by Sticherbeast (75 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
The first comment left by the guy from Michigan State is priceless.

Also, why are those chimpanzees so bored? They need more exciting curricula.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:17 PM on August 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


go big red!
posted by Stynxno at 2:17 PM on August 27, 2007


"Unbridled alcohol and drug consumption" counts against colleges?
posted by The Card Cheat at 2:18 PM on August 27, 2007


No mention of Beverly Hills Upstairs Medical College? Feh.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 2:20 PM on August 27, 2007


The first comment left by the guy from Michigan State is priceless.

Holy shit, that's amazing.
posted by COBRA! at 2:25 PM on August 27, 2007


Oh, come on, picking on the Stage Combat class? Any college with a decent theatre or acting major should be offering some stage combat training.

And making fun of a college for non-traditional assessment/grading? The standard letter grade system is a largely meaningless and easily gamed set of statistics. If you're actually interested in learning or teaching, isn't a more lengthy narrative assessment of one's strengths and weaknesses in a given subject a more useful way of becoming better in a subject?

Hey, that particular stage combat class may be crap and that other particular college's assessment system could be our of whack, but that they do these things doesn't serve as evidence on its own that these are lousy colleges.

Clearly, that author went to one of those "I'm better than you are" big name schools or he wouldn't be so reactionary. Probably went to that school on some sort of legacy scholarship too. Just wanted to make sure that I made some fallicious assumptions also.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:26 PM on August 27, 2007


*Hollywood Upstairs Medical College
posted by ORthey at 2:26 PM on August 27, 2007


I understand this list is done in humor, but I don't get the knocks on Michigan State. Last I knew, Michigan high school students didn't take the SAT, they took the ACT. And what theater department doesn't have a course in stage combat? And more importantly, sports riots are a statewide tradition in Michigan, not just a Spartan thing. 1984 Detroit Tigers anyone (yes, that's a copy car behind those douchebags)?
I don't doubt that Michigan State is the worst of the Big Ten, but it's got to be for other reasons.
posted by NoMich at 2:29 PM on August 27, 2007


Damn, that's a [b]cop car[/b], not a "copy car." Duh. Sorry.
posted by NoMich at 2:30 PM on August 27, 2007


I suck at the Internet. Good thing I went to Central Michigan, otherwise I wouldn't have a decent excuse as to why I'm so retarded.
posted by NoMich at 2:31 PM on August 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


Personal evaluations = bad?
posted by divabat at 2:32 PM on August 27, 2007


Heh, didn't realize the University of Bridgeport was Mooney-affiliated. It is in the nice part of Bridgeport, which isn't saying that much.
posted by smackfu at 2:35 PM on August 27, 2007


OK, I give up. I've even googled it. Can someone explain the Moonies reference?
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 2:36 PM on August 27, 2007


on post: Joey Michaels beat me to it!

Also, one of the worst colleges I've been in isn't in America. This college (university now??) is all marketing hype and nothing else. A "compulsory" book to buy is the founder's portfolio - so massive you can't really put it in bookshelves, and no one wants it. Most of the computers don't work. Plagiarize something wholesale from websites (including the formatting) and you pass; miss an in-text citation in 5 pages because you're hashing out your own ideas (even though you've cited everyone plenty at the end) and you're obviously cheating. Also, there's no point being the top student in your class or the most active in uni activities; the only people that get highlighted and featured are the ones with looks. I headed the campus newsletter and I was asked if I would like a pretty face at my stall on Clubs Day to "be more attractive". Never mind that I was the most active person there and everyone pretty much knew who I was anyway!
posted by divabat at 2:37 PM on August 27, 2007


Moonies = The Unification Church, led by Sun Myung Moon. Considered by many to be a cult.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:39 PM on August 27, 2007


@ Joey Michaels - Oh, that part I got. I don't get the connection between the Moonies and Radar, though.
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 2:45 PM on August 27, 2007


It is not considered. It is a cult. Moon owns not just UB, but also the Washington Times, the paper read by American conservative pliticians. alsoowns Insight Magazine. UB get money from the Moon group and pretends it has but a lose connection to the Church, but the campus sometimes used for staging area to send couples to Madison Sq Garden for mass marriages.

One of the odd things: one of the administrators, not very high up, got fired by the school and is now a very likely prospect to be the next mayor of Bridgeport

Little known fact: That school is probably the first college in America to have a faculty strike (they have had three), and to bring in scabs and put them in the classrooms, and then, fire most of them the following year after first making a money settlement with the faculty that were on strike and who were replaced at the school. Over 50 full-time tenured faculty lost their jobs, as planned, when the contract offered was to cut 1/3 of salaries and have administration dictate courses taught, hours taught etc, but that "ffer" which was not negotiatiated was just a ruse to bring about a strike to unload faculty.

What is of some interest is that the school remained accredited, and that tells you something about accredidation in America.
posted by Postroad at 2:48 PM on August 27, 2007


From the aforementioned and indeed magnificent Spartan Pride rant:

Nothing is sexier than a coked up, drunk sorority slut.

See, now if my Latin skills were just a little stronger, I'd be able to translate that into a motto for unfairly maligned MSU. As it is, Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch'intrate will have to do.
posted by gompa at 2:50 PM on August 27, 2007


divabat - which institution are you lambasting?
posted by porpoise at 2:51 PM on August 27, 2007


All the comments on the MSU article are pretty special
I won't say it as colorfully as JMAT, but everyone else really does envy us Spartans. Articles like this strengthen that opinion. MSU has never tried to tout itself as a "upper-tier" 4-year college, so what's the point of writing this? What I do know is I spent the best 5, yes 5, years of my life at MSU, and still make just as much money as my UM/Miami(OH)/Northwestern peers. I wouldn't trade 1 of the hot, dumb chicks I nailed at MSU for 25 of the ogres that trolled around UM's campus all day. PS. A good percentage of the rioters were non-MSU students. Good research. GO STATE!
Yeah.
posted by delmoi at 2:52 PM on August 27, 2007


OK, maybe I should have paid more attention as I RTFA'd.
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 2:52 PM on August 27, 2007


When I read about all the kids arrested for alcohol or drugs, or the debate team trip canceled for doing coke, all I could think about was how bad these kids are...





...at not getting caught. Seriously, WTF, America? In my college handbook they pointed out how the kids with alcohol violations on their record in the dorms were much more likely to be on academic probation as an example of how bad alcohol is for you, but everyone knew it was just that the dumb kids were more likely both to be on probation and to get caught.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 2:53 PM on August 27, 2007


Last I knew, Michigan high school students didn't take the SAT, they took the ACT.

When I was in school there, we had to take both. mutter, mutter
posted by nebulawindphone at 2:54 PM on August 27, 2007


Heh. I'm glad to see Liberty get targeted.

Though, I always felt bad for the kids that got sent there against their will by nutbag parents.
posted by BobFrapples at 2:56 PM on August 27, 2007


Most of this list, but not all, is total bullshit. Besides the stage combat bullshit, I thought Ithaca was a perfectly fine town when I visited there. Also good to see that it wasn't my college that ended up as the worst military academy. (Though we did send them a batch of female cadets to help them learn to integrate after that court order)
posted by absalom at 2:58 PM on August 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


I like how Spartans used to have sex with young boys. They make a great mascot for idiot drunkards and Catholic priests alike!
posted by chlorus at 2:59 PM on August 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


On Texas Woman's College:
Raw Data: Here's one student's take on Pilates 101: "It was a Pilates class (kind of like yoga). We are a primarily women's university and therefore we have a high population of lesbians, including the professors. The professor in this Pilates class was lesbian or bi or something. Pilates is really a class about personal stretching and space; well, she kept having us touching each other and breathing close to each other, etc. It was like we were her little sex dolls and she was arranging us; really creepy. I think like half the girls in class dropped."
posted by delmoi at 3:01 PM on August 27, 2007



This writer wants to have it both ways: drugs and alcohol are a campus terror, and campuses without drugs and alcohol are a student nightmare.

Of course, this could be a plea for moderation, but come on, college is not exactly a time when moderation figures as a big virtue.
posted by Maias at 3:03 PM on August 27, 2007


It's pretty well known that when someone tells you they went to an Ivy-League school or really even mentions the phrase "Ivy League" its almost a certainty they went to Cornell, or perhaps Penn. Nobody that went to Yale, Princeton or Harvard uses that term, as the other colleges in that League are like a big albatross to them. Naturally, since they suffer from the association whereas people that went to Cornell gain from it.
posted by vacapinta at 3:11 PM on August 27, 2007


They forgot:

Yale: Gave GW Bush a degree
posted by mrnutty at 3:20 PM on August 27, 2007


Whew. GO SLUGS!
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 3:26 PM on August 27, 2007


Peripheral to the article though it is, framing Ann Coulter as a "right-wing performance artist" is pretty genius.
posted by moonlet at 3:35 PM on August 27, 2007 [3 favorites]


moonlet writes "framing Ann Coulter as a 'right-wing performance artist' is pretty genius."

I thought so too.
posted by Bugbread at 3:37 PM on August 27, 2007


On the plus side, UB is home to (but unaffiliated with) Connecticut's best radio station, WPKN
posted by horsemuth at 3:49 PM on August 27, 2007


How about the Maharishi University of Management?

The strangest course at my alma mater (Oregon State) was "Agricultural Uses of Dynamite". It was a laboratory course. (No, I didn't take it; it was for ag majors only.)
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 3:51 PM on August 27, 2007


vacapinta writes "It's pretty well known that when someone tells you they went to an Ivy-League school or really even mentions the phrase 'Ivy League' its almost a certainty they went to Cornell, or perhaps Penn. "

Brown.
posted by mr_roboto at 3:55 PM on August 27, 2007


Steve C. Den Beste: The strangest course at my alma mater (Oregon State) was "Agricultural Uses of Dynamite". It was a laboratory course. (No, I didn't take it; it was for ag majors only.)

That has shot to the top of my list of "Reasons to Encourage Kids to Be Ag Majors." Outstanding course name.

At Bates, I took "Philosophy and Star Trek." I also skipped that occasionally to play intramural baseball. Yeah, I rocked.
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:02 PM on August 27, 2007


Muppet Magic? Understanding Drugs? Insults? Hey, I took Technothrillers. Film courses are always oddball.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 4:07 PM on August 27, 2007


porpoise: Limkokwing in Malaysia. Even the marketing is suspect. On the website they have "testimonials" from past students, and one of the students had actually left the place because of its shoddiness and never said anything they quoted.

vacapinta: Funny, all the Princeton and Harvard (Harvard especially) folk in Malaysia make SUCH a big deal about going to an Ivy. There's such a stigma here against non-Ivys (or rather, anything that's not Harvard/Princeton/MIT/Oxford/Cambridge) - apparently if you dare say other universities are just as good, or if you don't buy into the hype, you're stupid and not worthy of an education because you don't value education. Or at least that's what's been told to me.
posted by divabat at 4:08 PM on August 27, 2007


I'm not too sure about these ranking but its great to hear Gary Burgoff is still getting work.
posted by damn dirty ape at 4:13 PM on August 27, 2007


demographics! more and more kids are now wanting more and more schools and schools don't get built from scratch so even shithouses are now getting tough to get into
posted by Postroad at 4:22 PM on August 27, 2007


Brown.

What can Brown do for you?
posted by smackfu at 4:50 PM on August 27, 2007


Heh. As a Chico State alum, I thought it was a pretty glowing review. Why anyone would want to graduate from college in 4 years is beyond me (and apparently 85% of my classmates).
posted by Big_B at 5:15 PM on August 27, 2007


At Florida International I took a course on Sci-Fi movies. We started with the director's cut of Blade Runner. Awesome.
posted by oddman at 5:15 PM on August 27, 2007


Postroad: demographics! more and more kids are now wanting more and more schools and schools don't get built from scratch so even shithouses are now getting tough to get into.

Funny you should mention that. There are some rumors going around the college counseling circuit that the high school class of 2011 is likely to be the largest applicant pool in history. Apparently, Antioch picked the wrong time to close it doors.

And speaking of worst colleges, how is that? Enter as a freshman and have the college close down before you're a sophomore. That's got to suck a whole lot more than living in boring old Ithica.
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:16 PM on August 27, 2007


In the back of mind I was like c'mon, Dartmouth!
posted by four panels at 5:20 PM on August 27, 2007


It's pretty well known that when someone tells you they went to an Ivy-League school or really even mentions the phrase "Ivy League" its almost a certainty they went to Cornell, or perhaps Penn.

Uh... no? Citation? I identify myself as a Penn grad, only talking about the Ivy League when it's something I have in common with another Ivy school. And I don't think Harvard, Yale, and Princeton grads avoid Ivy Clubs around the country, or have any hesitation about identifying themselves as "the best ___ in the Ivy League". (Penn rounds out the top half of the Ivies; I don't know why anyone would drop that name, unless one hasn't heard anything about Penn since the seventies.)

Sorry... as a recent grad I have defend my sheepskin...
posted by supercres at 5:36 PM on August 27, 2007


University of Bridgeport? My birthplace? My mom taught an ESL class there for a while. That silly cokehead resort Bennington has to be worse than that.
posted by jonmc at 5:58 PM on August 27, 2007


The first comment left by the guy from Michigan State is priceless.
"Furthermore the arrest statistics should take into effect the size of MSU (45,000 students), but that doesn't matter. Know why? SPARTANS LIKE TO GET ARRESTED!!!! It is a rite of passage! The 3rd best Halloween party at MSU every year is in the East Lansing Jail. As for drugs? This is fucking college! I did enough drugs to kill an entire tribal island during college. Screw you! Bitches like fucking on ecstasy, and we help them do that. And I don't care what you say..... Nothing is sexier than a coked up, drunk sorority slut. So who is the best? Michigan? Michigan girls drive to State to get fucked in the ass on a daily basis. Oh and by the way.... I have been to jail, for a while. So when I find who you I am going to fuck you in the ass. I hope you are a guy."
Wow, oh, wow!
posted by ericb at 6:00 PM on August 27, 2007


I think it's the third Michigan comment that really shines:

i hope michigan state ain't the worst school in tha big ten an it aint cause msu got tha bull bone an nobudy else do cuz bull bone 9 inchr.
posted by cmonkey at 6:08 PM on August 27, 2007


"Nothing is sexier than a coked up, drunk sorority slut."

As long as she's QUIET during....
posted by davy at 6:25 PM on August 27, 2007


"University of Bridgeport? My birthplace? My mom taught an ESL class there for a while. "

It's obviously gone way downhill since your mom taught there, jonmc. How else could the Moonies have taken it over?
posted by davy at 6:27 PM on August 27, 2007


Actually, davy, the Moonies were already there when mom was teaching. Several of her Asian students started their 'biography' papers with 'I am so happy to be here at Reverend Moon University...'
posted by jonmc at 6:30 PM on August 27, 2007


Ahhhh SDSU. I'm so proud! /tears up
posted by fillsthepews at 6:47 PM on August 27, 2007


Shame on Radaronline.com: this is a total retread of the feature they did last year. No, really: the pages are the exact same as the "2006 edition" except the order is different, and they changed the first paragraph.

Proof (They could at least have adjusted the "starting tuition" or something...)
posted by drmarcj at 6:50 PM on August 27, 2007


Oh crap I posted the wrong link. Here it is.
(I'm still outraged though.)
posted by drmarcj at 6:52 PM on August 27, 2007


UB is a hellhole, and should be firebombed with the rest of the city, as long as it's not when I'm working there. One of the deans at the local community college (a fantastic place, IMO) is a UB alumni and discourages anyone from transferring to the university.
posted by QuarterlyProphet at 7:08 PM on August 27, 2007


I've always liked Ithaca, which is positively metropolitan next to my cute little college town village. But I can see that students might find the place unexciting, especially since Ithaca is not near much of anything.

Agree that singling out the Stage Combat course is just bizarre (it's a drama department, it had better have a Stage Combat course...what's next, complaints about Movement for Actors?), and Arabic Poetry looked fine to me, too.
posted by thomas j wise at 7:19 PM on August 27, 2007


In related news: 17 Weird College Classes You Can Actually Take, including The Phallus (Occidental), American Degenerates (Brown), and Maple Syrup (Alfred University).
posted by lukemeister at 7:52 PM on August 27, 2007


No Hyles-Anderson for worst Christian college?
posted by SisterHavana at 8:29 PM on August 27, 2007


Well, the Limkokwing web site hired John Woo to make their flash logo animation banner thing. That's good enough for me.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 8:43 PM on August 27, 2007


The strangest course at my alma mater (Oregon State)

....Hick!.... (says the Duck ;-)

But seriously, I got 5 credits for skiing. I miss the Northwest.
posted by jalexei at 9:01 PM on August 27, 2007


I spent the spring '90 semester at Bridgeport (before the moonies took over) and could not wait to get out...the only good thing was my once a week meeting with the poet Dick Allen. I transferred to Emerson and wish I'd been there all four years.
posted by brujita at 9:05 PM on August 27, 2007


No Hyles-Anderson for worst Christian college?
I've clearly been on the internet too long, because I snickered at their slogan: "Training you to do the hard thing."

The fifth news story is entitled "The sailor ministry — a place to be used."

And I laughed out loud at their special announcement:
The college administration is excited to announce that Dr. Bob Hooker and his wife Jo Beth have enthusiastically accepted the oversight of the girls’ dormitories.
That's it, I'm not reading Fark any more.
posted by JDHarper at 10:01 PM on August 27, 2007


I'd have to do actual research in order to make an informed post, but I'm pretty sure that some of the comments in that "article" about Cornell are factually incorrect. If the Newsweek college rankings are considered valuable, I'm certain that CU ranked higher than several other Ivies. I guess admit rate isn't the only important measure.
posted by pkingdesign at 11:40 PM on August 27, 2007


That's more likely John Woo the underpaid student worker :P
posted by divabat at 12:11 AM on August 28, 2007


I'm surprised that Marlboro College didn't win for most bullshit academic politics and crappy educational resources. All of the worst aspects of trust-fund baby colleges, with none of the social cachet.
posted by Snyder at 1:48 AM on August 28, 2007


I think the writer went to Notre Dame the way he slashed Michigan State.
posted by Cyclopsis Raptor at 4:01 AM on August 28, 2007


When I went to Michigan State, I spent most of my days utterly ashamed of the place, and feeling like the only rational thinking person on the entire campus. Attempting to actually accomplish anything of value was an exercise in futility, with barriers built of pure stupidity at every turn. At the time, I couldn't fathom how a place that was supposed to be about higher learning could possibly revel so joyfully in rejecting it.

Little did I know they were actually preparing me to deal with how I'd feel every day in my 21st century world! The place is twisted genius, I tell you.
posted by Pufferish at 7:27 AM on August 28, 2007


I understand the intent of the article was to be funny, to bash a few places, and all that. Really. Having said that, I'm not exactly sure why Michigan State is on the list here. "Worst of the Big 10" is the excuse. Oh, really; so where's the Worst of the Pac 10? SEC? Any other athletic conference? How about "Worst of the state colleges" even? No? Right.

Please note that the article starts with a jab at the football team, then proceeds to knock the U for basketball riots. Sure, the football team has had some shitty coaches lately. No argument. But the article also ignores the success of other teams on campus - the hard work put in by the men's and women's basketball team and coaching staff, the NCAA championship runs for these and the men's hockey teams, and the recent NCAA championship victories for men's basketball and hockey. Ignore all that, folks, because the football team is in the dumps.

The research into the riots is weak at best and lazy at worst. The issue in question included the arrest of a very small number of students and a large number of non-students. During the same general time frame, well, to name just a few issues: University of Colorado, $300,000 in riot damages. Washington State U, 23 officers injured by student rioters. Are these universities mentioned? No? Oh, of course not.

You want something more recent? How about Illinois State? 2005. Video. Students, drunk, breaking things. Does this put Illinois on the list? Why not? Oh, I get it. Because Michigan State had more than one incident. What if I add Illinois State, 2003? Again, video. Still not on the list though, is it?

Christ, any moron with five minutes to hit google could find as many references to sports riots at universities as he or she wants. More recent ones, too, like the riots at U Maryland following basketball games against Duke - one of which caused about half a million dollar's worth of damage to fiber-optic lines on campus. For the record, that single incident is about 4 times the total damage done during the 1999 riot at Michigan State.

Yes, MSU is just a depraved party school. That's why I can't find it listed on any of the "top party schools" search results, compiled lists, etc. Oh, and the "Student Reviews" site they claim is bashing MSU? The reviews give the university an A- rank. That sure is a bad score. Hell, it's better than any other university listed in the damn report. It's actually a better ranking than Harvard (B) or U Michigan (B+) was given by former students. (In comparison: Other schools touted as "Worst in the US" rank: Bennington, B; Cornell, B+; Liberty, B-; CSU-Chico, B; SDSU, B; VMI, B-; TWU, B; U Bridgeport, C-.)

The crime rate stats are pretty off-base too. Near as I can tell, the city of East Lansing is at or below national averages, which isn't bad for a city in which there are as many students as residents.

So, fine, go ahead and denigrate a university for an incident that happened about 8 years ago, largely involved non-students, is deeply embarrassing to the University community, students and alumni, and continue your lazy writing. Ignore everything good about Michigan State while you're at it.

I'm a proud graduate of that "worst of the Big 10" school. I earned my BS and my PhD there. My wife earned her BA at State. My older brother picked up his BS there. My parents (also alumni) met at MSU. But it isn't just my family and me that makes me bristle at the lazy "reporting" here. I taught at MSU for 6 years. I know the caliber of the students that come through the U. I know what they are capable of. I've seen it first-hand, and I'd say that any person who wants to knock that university should come spend some time there first and learn for him or herself what the U is all about.

There's even a damn good school of journalism there. If the windbag author of the current smear piece wants to pick up some tips on ethics and investigative reporting, I'm sure some of the "drunk, stupid, criminal" students at MSU would be happy to give the guy some pointers.
posted by caution live frogs at 7:36 AM on August 28, 2007


The Cornell writeup is a tiny bit deceptive. They're talking about Cornell University -- not the State University of New York At Cornell (a.k.a. "The Ag School", "Upper Campus", or "the Statutory School"), which actually has fairly high average SAT scores and graduates a sizeable percentage of this country's veterinarians.

The rest of it is spot-on. When I worked at Cornell many moons ago, we relied on student labor to run our department. We always tried to hire Ag School kids whenever possible, because they were much more likely to actually be able to think.

Once my girlfriend of the time (who was a serial undergrad, late 20s, on what turned out to be her final and successful run at the gown) was sitting near a couple of "Lower Campus" tarts on the patio behind Willard Straight. They were complaining about the fact that Ag School kids got to say they graduated from Cornell. "They get to use the name, but it's not as if they really went here!" We had a good laugh about that.

Good hockey school, though. And Yo-Yo Ma's wife went there.
posted by lodurr at 8:05 AM on August 28, 2007


clf: Having said that, I'm not exactly sure why Michigan State is on the list here. "Worst of the Big 10" is the excuse. Oh, really; so where's the Worst of the Pac 10?

Oh, well, come on, you know why it's there: Someone on the staff has a grudge against MSU. There's no serious research on an article like this, just as you said.

For that matter, why did I just bother to defend Cornell? I hated those snotty SOBs. My brother's Cornell Ag pigskin is tainted by its association with the Lower Campus.
posted by lodurr at 8:08 AM on August 28, 2007


caution live frogs doth protest too much, methinks.
posted by Durin's Bane at 9:21 AM on August 28, 2007


You want something more recent? How about Illinois State? 2005. Video. Students, drunk, breaking things. Does this put Illinois on the list? Why not?

Maybe because Illinois State University and the University of Illinois are two different schools, and that Illinois State isn't in the Big 10?
posted by gyc at 9:53 AM on August 28, 2007


"pigskin" --> "sheepskin"
posted by lodurr at 11:14 AM on August 28, 2007


« Older The Manhattan of the Desert   |   Everyone's a winner at Nixon Peabody! Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments