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ERIC Number: ED560918
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Apr
Pages: 75
Abstractor: ERIC
Getting What You Pay For? A Look at America's Top-Ranked Public Universities
Poliakoff, Michael; Alacbay, Armand
American Council of Trustees and Alumni
America's great public universities were founded with the highest expectations of academic excellence and service to their states. Overall, these institutions, often called the "flagship universities," do a poor job of ensuring that undergraduate students engage in an intellectually vibrant campus culture and leave with a solid foundation of common skills and knowledge. This report examines 52 top-rated institutions to separate reputation from results. Findings show that too many leading, publicly-funded institutions do not provide students with high academic quality at a reasonable price. Bloated administrative costs, shaky curricula, outsized athletic spending, and misplaced priorities have created a campus environment where too many students graduate ill-prepared, with record debt, and years later than they should--if they graduate at all. Not all schools have succumbed to the disturbing academic trends this report documents, making it clear that America's great public universities can do better. Recommendations include: (1) Understand Your Role in Strengthening Public Higher Education; and (2) Action Steps. The following are appended: (1) Criteria for Evaluating Core Courses; and (2) School Evaluation Notes for Core Courses. [This report was written with the assistance of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE).]
American Council of Trustees and Alumni. 1726 M Street NW Suite 802, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 888-258-6648; Tel: 202-467-6787; Fax: 202-467-6784; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: American Council of Trustees and Alumni