Rankings Shmankings…

I’ve never been a big fan of college rankings. When I directed a couple of college recruiting departments years ago, it seemed I was always pressured by senior management to recruit at a “top-ten school” for no reason other than it was on a business magazine list. I’m not knocking these great schools, simply making the point that rankings shouldn’t be the foundation for a sound college recruiting strategy.  This article in USA Today articulates my point. Money line:

Rankings are not evil. Students and families need information. Four years of undergraduate education is not a trivial commitment. But the rankings game is on the verge of parodying itself. Worse, it threatens to drive strategic decisions on campuses in ways that have little to do with what should be important.

Update

The Chronicle of Higher Education comes out with a similar article on rankings -  along with a detailed graphic. The article’s money line is here and well said:

Much of the emphasis is on “input measures” such as student selectivity, faculty-student ratio, and retention of freshmen. Except for graduation rates, almost no “outcome measures,” such as whether a student comes out prepared to succeed in the work force, are used.