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ERIC Number: ED470061
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-May-1
Pages: 23
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Reaching for the Brass Ring: How the "U.S. News & World Report" Rankings Shape the Competitive Environment in U.S. Higher Education.
Ehrenberg, Ronald G.
The "U.S. News & World Report" (USNWR) rankings have become the "gold standard" of the college ranking business. College and university presidents proclaim that these rankings are not a measure of the quality of their institutions and that they do not pay attention to the rankings, but, in fact, institutions are very concerned about what the rankings show and changes in rankings are not ignored. Research has shown the importance attached by the public to these rankings. This paper discusses the formula that USNWR used to compute its rankings in its "America's Best Colleges: 2001" issue and shows how the elements that constitute the ranking formula have altered how colleges and universities behave. Sometimes action taken to improve an institution's rankings may also make educational sense, but sometimes, it may not. The final section of the paper considers whether the methodology that USNWR uses to calculate its rankings prevents institutions from collaborating in ways that make sense both educationally and economically. The answer is, to a large extent, no. The rankings may have caused institutions to worry more about the peers with which they compete, but the ranking should not prevent institutions from working productively toward common goals. Institutions should not blame USNWR for their failure to collaborate more. (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A