Sunday, April 10, 2016

College rankings seen as key element in higher ed's commodification - Tara García Mathewson, Education Dive

In the third story of a three-part series about elite college admissions in The Atlantic, Alia Wong outlines the history of rankings and their pernicious impact on higher education, forcing colleges to compete in selling their value to students. Among other things, the rankings have encouraged colleges to recruit aggressively to foster an image of selectivity and couple admissions and financial aid in a bid to entice high-performing, wealthy students with “merit” aid. While college leaders have recognized the danger of the rankings since their inception and alternatives to U.S. News & World Report that prioritize different metrics have provided some new direction in the market, the vast majority of students still consider rankings very important to their application decisions — and U.S. News is at the top of their lists.

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