Friday, August 17, 2007

Rank Rankings

We are number 11 The US News and World Report college rankings came out today and Grinnell has returned to #11 in a tie with Vassar, Wesleyan, and Clare Mont McKenna. There is a growing criticism of these ranking. A ny times story I read today tells story of college sending students $5 so they can send the money back and increase donations. Or the president of a school who does not answer the reputation question for other schools, but gives his own school an excellent (the ranking are in part determined by college presidents ranking each other.) These methods of gaming the system are not surprising. Perhaps a better system is needed. Several college presidents are no longer participating in the rankings. How would one create a better system? If we use the system to realize there probably is not much difference in terms of reputation between #1 Williams and #20 Oberlin, it probably is not a bad one. Perhaps a system that takes into account alumni and student satisfaction, but are we really going to improve much on a system that basically you can get a general sense of where a college falls.

Of course if you do not like it you could always go to Princeton law school and sue US News.

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