Lists That Rank Colleges’ Value Are On The Rise
Career College Central summary:
The Washington Monthly is now compiling a list of colleges that offer the "best bang for the buck." Purists might regard such bottom-line calculations as an insult to the intellectual, social and civic value of education. But dollars-and-cents tabulations are the fastest-growing sector of the college rankings industry, with more analyses vying for the attention of high school students and their parents who are anxious about finances.
President Obama sharply raised the ante in August with a plan to rate colleges on their value and affordability and to tie those ratings to the $150 billion in financial aid that the federal government supplies each year. But there is no agreement on how to measure the value of a college, and there is no agreement, or anything even close, on what value is in the first place.
U.S. News and World Report, whose academic rankings have long been derided — and obsessively followed — by college presidents, now publishes “best value” lists as well.
Princeton Review, which has advised decades of prospective students on the best party schools, more recently began listing the best value schools, too.
Forbes Magazine got in the is-it-worth-the-money game too, as did, among others, The Wall Street Journal, The Alumni Factor, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance and Payscale, a company that gathers data about the job market. These widely divergent definitions and rankings produce wildly divergent results.
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THE NEW YORK TIMES