6 Hidden Secrets Behind College Rankings

Every year colleges and universities await school rankings to see where their schools are placed. Rankings are equally important to students and the general public as it offers them a way to see if their school is a top school and lends assurance to hopeful students that wish to get into good universities while considering their higher learning education options. Rankings have long been either hated or loved and sometimes even questioned, with some often wondering how much consideration should be given when top rankings come out, and the following are some of the reasons why.

  1. Raising tuition costs does not make a university exclusive. Because many rankings are based on wealth and exclusivity, universities trying to raise tuition rates and seeking to increase academic credentials of students applicants may hinder the ratings of schools that actually are prestigious. According to an article posted in The Quick & The ED Clemson University in South Carolina did just that.
  2. Sometimes it is about the money. With the average cost of tuition skyrocketing over the last several years, individuals are still doing what they can do to earn a college education. With availability of federal funds, students can earn their degree but then are slapped with loan debt and interest rates that rise after graduation which may impact higher education rankings.
  3. Different approaches will show different results. Colleges and universities can be ranked through a number of different options, but it’s how rankings are reached that matters. Obviously, outlets that produce rankings will all have their own ways of coming up with their rankings, so it is important to realize that a school may be #1 on someone’s list but due to another outlet’s credentials may be #25 on another list.
  4. Some schools are only interested in applicants. Many colleges have heavy marketing and advertising strategies to attempt to garner as many applications as possible with the intentions of only admitting select individuals. The reason? To have an overload of applicants but only admit those students that have money in hopes that their families will donate money to the school and make their campus more prestigious.
  5. College rankings can just be based on opinion. Some college rankings are based on opinion and polls rather than on actual data. With some media outlets and publishers producing lists of schools with the best programs, professors, or teaching srategies, their method behind finding that information is to ask people of other schools or that do not attend that school what schools they think have the best professors and/or programs.
  6. The rate of acceptance for legacy students. Legacy students, those who attend the same schools as their parents and grandparents, are traditionally accepted at higher rates than their peers. Reports by staff at Dartmouth University admit that legacy students are twice as likely to be admitted over other peers, and that those practices occur at many colleges and universities, according to an article posted on ABC News.

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