College Ranking Season has Begun
Forbes (America’s Top Colleges 2016) and Money (Money’s Best Colleges) have released their coveted list of best colleges. U.S. News & World Report will release their list on Sept 9.
So, who made the cut?
The top five at Forbes:
2. Williams College
The top five at Money:
Over the years, many have asked my opinion on the college rankings. No matter what I say, I know that both parents and students will pay attention to the rankings. It's essential that students dig deeper and explore the colleges they are applying. Each source uses different criteria to rank to the colleges and most students and parents I talk with have no idea what the ranking criteria consists of. For example, Forbes’ rankings emphasize ROI and factors such as student debt, graduation rates, and retention rates. These ranks favor schools with large endowments and high sticker prices that can attract rich students. Rich students tend to graduate with low student debt thus helping to increase the rank.
Do you know what most colleges do when they drop in rank? They raise their prices! Yes, tuition goes up. This is a common tactic in the luxury goods market. A higher price makes the product appear to be more exclusive. A Casio watch costs $15 and a Rolex costs $50,000 - they both tell the same time!
Higher tuition costs = increased selectivity = higher rankings
Take the rankings with a grain of salt. Do your own research and never rely solely on a number a magazine places next to a college's name to determine where you will spend the next four years of your life.