- For many years, ranking ruled the education world, in the U.S. and everywhere. To get a better spot in existing ranking systems run mainly by private entities, colleges would invest into infrastructure, construct posh athletic and student centers, misrepresent the numbers “by twisting the meanings of rules, cherry-picking data or just lying”:
- In an attempt to shake up this system, in 2013 President Obama requested to create a government rating system which would rate all 7,000 colleges and universities on metrics like graduation rate, amount of debt accumulated by students and earnings after graduating, among other data. These ratings would be used to allocate the federal grants and loans ($150 billion each year). The college presidents bitterly opposed it: “wrongheaded”, radical, “uncharacteristically clueless”, etc.
- With this initiative still in works, last Saturday, Sept.11, the White House abandoned this two-year plan and released a huge new federal database, with raw data instead of explicit rating: a new College Scorecard. This is a revamped tool which links a huge database of the receivers of Pell Grants or loans since 1996 and their income tax records and gives a clear picture of earnings progress: (see this part of data in a simple graph):
Is college worth it? A huge new federal database reveals the answer depends on the college – Vox
With Website to Research College, Obama Abandons Ranking System – The New York Times
Obama’s New College Scorecard Flop the Focus Rankings – The Atlantic