Have you ever consulted rankings of leading colleges and universities? If so, did the list guide choices you created or guidance you gave about a specific college? How do you feel the rankings are calculated?
In the Opinion column “Why College Rankings Are a Joke” Frank Bruni writes:
A single of the main factors in a school’s rank is how highly officials at peer institutions and secondary-school guidance counselors esteem it. But they might not know it properly. They’re going by its reputation, established in no tiny element by earlier U.S. News evaluations. A lofty rank perpetuates itself.
One more primary factor is the percentage of a school’s students who graduate inside six years. But this says as a lot about a school’s selectiveness — the established achievement and discipline of the students it admits — as about its stewardship of them.
Schools attempt to game the technique and score far better on further criteria that go into their rank, even though Robert Morse, the chief data strategist for U.S. News, told me in an e-mail that the methodology had evolved so that “you cannot make a meaningful rise in the rankings by tweaking 1 or two numbers.”
He also noted, rightly, that the copious info that U.S. News collects about the student bodies and academic tracks at hundreds of schools produces a mother lode of useful facts and figures that go far beyond the numerical rankings.
But those rankings are front and center, fostering the concept that schools are brands in competitors with one one more. The rankings elevate clout above studying, which isn’t as simply measured.
Intentionally or not, they fuel a frenzy to get into the most selective schools. They can not adjust for how well particular colleges serve particular ambitions.
Students: Study the whole column, then tell us:
— How significantly of a “frenzy” have college rankings triggered in your life and/or the lives of folks around you?
— Do you feel prior rankings perpetuate future rankings for colleges and universities?
— Do you agree with Mr. Bruni’s assertion that college rankings are a “marketing ploy”? Why or why not?
— How does he use the example of U.S. News’ ranking of prime schools for veterans to illustrate his opinion about the rankings method?
— What alternatives to consulting published lists of leading college and universities can you advise to students starting their college search?
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Published at Mon, 19 Sep 2016 09:03:40 +0000