Everyone's looking for a great deal nowadays -- something that's worth their hard-earned cash -- and a college degree is no different.
It's not a bad thing to give a ranking some consideration -- especially if it's about its general position rather than its exact number. But if some say to take rankings with a grain of salt, I would recommend giving the salt shaker a few more shakes.
It's become an American pastime: ranking our top colleges and universities. Everyone -- parents, teens and alums -- are drawn to these lists with a curiosity that borders on egocentric.
To all the future college students out there, it's your responsibility to drive your own education and make the most out of whatever school you attend, ranked or unranked. So use these lists as a fun, added bonus to your college search.
Parents often ask, "How can I get my son or daughter into the best, highest ranking college?" From 20 years of working with student applicants, I have learned that this is the wrong question to ask.
Deriding these lists has become something of a pastime both inside and outside the world of higher education. I disagree.
There is really no question that academia has become far more enamored with GPA and a set of extracurricular activities than the actual development of an independent intellect. A system that promotes only the mere semblance of learning has become embedded in our culture.
But for an expense that is among the biggest of a family's lifetime (perhaps second only to the purchase of a home), we should be able to do better than rely on annual rankings from a magazine that doesn't really publish anything beyond rankings anymore.
Students should develop their own lists of college wants, needs, and "must haves," then do the research that leads them to rank that list, and make a strong, personalized college choice.
Rather than comparing HBCUs to majority institutions, the U.S. News and World Report ranks the historic institutions against their peers. This is problematic since these institutions as a group are wonderfully diverse.
This "celebritization" of higher education may have earned U.S. News a handsome profit over the years, but it says little about how well these institutions actually perform their primary charge: educating students.
At the very moment when voices are being raised all across our country to ensure our national competitiveness by educating the broadest, most diverse population we've ever had, U.S. News rewards institutions for the number of students whom they can reject.
The twenty-five programs listed here fully fund a sizable percentage of incoming students, yet still receive less attention from applicants than they deserve.
According to Penn State's Daily Collegian, the university is preparing to cut its creative writing MFA program, which offers concentrations in fiction, poetry and nonfiction.
The college search process should begin with what's important to you. Develop your own set of criteria and use that as a basis to evaluate the relevance of the many college rankings that are out there today.
Ever since novelist Tom Kealey advised MFA applicants to consider a program's online promotional materials, young writers have been comparing notes about which program websites measure up.