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Friday, January 21, 2011

College Rankings are Misleading and Unhelpful

September 6, 2010, The Provost of Denison University, Bradley Bateman published an editorial at on college rankings.

Many use the US News & World Report's ranking as their Bible for college selection.  However, as Mr. Bateman points out, the bases of these rankings is faulty.  Asking college presidents to take a survey about their school and others when they commonly spend little, if any time, on campus, and rarely, if at all, time with students, is ludicrous.  It is asking the school nurse to do cardiac bypass surgery.  It's akin to asking the manager of a baseball team to play.  He is a businessman, not a ball player.  I belabor the point.

From Mr. Bateman's account: "In order to get a good education, one that prepares graduates to thrive in a a world that seems to change in the blink of an eye, college students must learn this imperative skill of critical thinking...and they need a good advisor who pushes them to try new things and to take risks in what they study...none of the rankings will tell you were you can attend college to find that kind of advice.  Nor ranking will provide a clear picture of the education that any school provides.  And no ranking will tell you which college is the best fit for you."

I could not have said it better.  Look carefully, and closely, at prospective schools before you put them on your final list of schools.

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