ERIC Number: ED467769
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002
Reference Count: N/A
The Uses and Abuses of the "U.S. News" Rankings.
Levin, Daniel J.
Priorities, n20 Fall 2002
This 2002 fall issue examines the U.S. News & World Report rankings of undergraduate colleges and universities and looks briefly at some of the assessment efforts that may give institutions, as well as students and their families, an alternative way to gauge institutional quality. The purpose is to help chief executives and trustees better understand how the rankings work so that they can agree on how the institution should consider its placement and conduct its business. U.S. News considers seven broad areas, each further stratified, in its rankings. It assigns roughly 1,400 colleges and universities to 1 of 4 categories based on Carnegie Classification. Weightings and the results of a survey of academic administrators go into the magazines final ranking. The rankings are open to many criticisms that center on validity and the arbitrary nature of ratings. Emerging ways of evaluating institutions, including assessing benchmarks of effective educational practice, are discussed. Higher education executives and trustees should look long and hard at whether competing in the rankings game makes sense financially and in other ways. They should understand who uses the rankings and whether the institution is actually competing for these students. Rankings plainly do interest consumers, but the U.S. News rankings may not be all that interests those considering where to attend college. The report suggests 19 sources for further information. (SLD)
Descriptors: College Applicants, Colleges, Educational Quality, Evaluation Methods, Higher Education, Institutional Characteristics, Periodicals, Rating Scales, Student Recruitment
Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges. 1133 20th Street NW Suite 300, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 800-356-6317; Tel: 202-296-8400; Fax: 202-223-7053; Web site: http://www.agb.org
Publication Type: Collected Works - Serials
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, Washington, DC.