Rating President Obama’s College Ratings

Career College Central summary:

  • In an article penned for Forbes magazine, Glenn Altschuler and David Skorton assert that President Barack Obama's plan to rank colleges is missing some important criteria.
  • They write "The plan promises to compare 'colleges with similar missions,' and we agree that that’s essential. The wide variety of institutions is a strength of U.S. higher education, and the differences are significant, ranging from agile community colleges that are critical to workforce training to advanced research universities, whose mission is as much about discovery and innovation as about undergraduate education."
  • They continue: "'Access' is an important factor to consider, but the percentage of students receiving Pell grants does not tell the whole story. Other types of aid, including aid from the institution itself, may also be crucial in enabling low-income students to attend.
  • “'Average tuition' provides limited information; a student’s actual cost of attendance varies with family income and the cost of living in the college location. Taking average tuition as a metric can also create curious dilemmas: if a state cuts funding to its public university, as so many have done in recent years, forcing a hike in tuition, is it fair then to make less aid available to those students?
  • "The outcomes metrics are even more problematic. Let’s take graduation rates. Currently available federal data on this point include only first-time, full-time students. Until we have more inclusive data (which are being developed, but slowly), colleges that serve many part-time and transfer students are going to look bad through no fault of their own."

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FORBES

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