A "politifact" article in today's paper analyzes a statement that the HOPE scholarship has made the state university one of the best regional schools. They interpret that in terms of US news ranking. They conclude that the scholarship has indeed attracted more qualified students to the school, but that those same students, in order to hold the scholarship, have taken weaker courses and easier majors, and that funding cuts to the university have simultaneously meant fewer professors to teach them.
They conclude that a situation in which fewer professors teach more students who take increasingly easier classes, has mostly indeed made the university better regarded, apparently because those students had higher incoming test scores, and conclude the statement is mostly true. If student / professor ratios were used as a measure, or numbers of science majors, or job placement success, one may ask whether similar conclusions would have been reached. I do not know the answer.