Monday, July 16, 2007

Earlham College, we hardly knew ye

I guess there’s controversy about those US News & World Report College Rankings:

The thing is that most of the colleges competing are small, liberal arts colleges. I used the USNAWR rankings in order to find schools that I would probably qualify for and schools that were similar to one another. The rankings also put all of the schools’ info in one place: size, location/ geography, most popular majors, demographic, etc.

You have to take rankings of ANYTHING with a grain of salt. Rankings never take into account personal taste because they cannot.

The fact is that not many kids know immediately where they want to school, and not all have the luxury to go and look at every school that they think they MIGHT want to go to. If these liberal arts refuse to give their numbers, their ranks could slip further. This would not be helpful in the slightest. Kids aren’t just looking for rankings--they’re looking for leads and ideas.

If they wish to have their colleges stricken from the USNAWR rankings, they will become invisible to many prospective students. These colleges need to give college students more credit--well, I guess they don’t need to if they’re accepting the bottom of the bushel, but you get my drift. We’re not stupid: we base it more than just on rankings based on Alumni giving. We just need a push to start looking.

Harvard, Yale, Duke, Rice blah blah are perenially ranked number 1. I never once wanted to apply or attend any of these schools. You have have to assume that kids know what they want --don’t write them off as idiots.

So, go ahead, get off the rankings. It will hurt you a lot more than an arbitrarily low ranking ever will. It will make you invisible.

And bad press is ALWAYS better than no press.