Reputation and prestige in American research universities: An exploration of the history of rankings and the increasing importance of student selectivity in perceptions of quality in higher education

Laura Freid, University of Pennsylvania

Abstract

American higher education is a dynamic, competitive, and complex arena, yet the established hierarchy of quality among elite research universities has remained remarkably consistent for a hundred years. This study identifies and traces the key factors that have contributed to reputation and prestige in American higher-education research universities. The account of how American research universities were first evaluated includes a description of the first documented rankings and focuses on the role that faculty scholarship, financial resources, and student quality played in perceptions of excellence at the turn of the 20th century. The study identifies three key pillars of prestige and provides a historical study of one elite research university group. The research focuses on Brown University and is designed to amplify and exemplify how financial resources, student quality, and faculty scholarship influenced the reputation of one of America's premier institutions of higher education whose reputation has changed most dramatically since the early 1900s. ^

Subject Area

Education, History of|Education, Curriculum and Instruction|Education, Higher

Recommended Citation

Laura Freid, "Reputation and prestige in American research universities: An exploration of the history of rankings and the increasing importance of student selectivity in perceptions of quality in higher education" (January 1, 2005). Dissertations available from ProQuest. Paper AAI3168025.
http://repository.upenn.edu/dissertations/AAI3168025

Share

COinS