Some schools offer more value to students than others, even when those schools are similar based on traditional rankings standards. The Brookings Institution looked at colleges and universities in Illinois to determine their "value-added" -- how useful it is for a student to attend a particular school over a similar school.
You finally decided to ask for a raise. You have been doing well in your job and your accomplishments over the past 12 months speak for themselves. So, you gather your labor market data, rehearse your talking points, and set up a time to speak with your manager. Everything seems to be going well, until your boss tells you "sorry, that's not possible right now."