The DOE and College Rankings

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The DOE and College Rankings

“Designing a new college ratings system is an important step in improving transparency, accountability, and equity in higher education.”

Ted Mitchell, Under Secretary of Education

The Why:

Colleges and Universities can:

Measure and benchmark:

And Outcomes

Families and Students can:

Obtain reliable info about college values.

Policymakers and the Public can:

Manage institutions of higher education ensuring proper use of $150 billion in financial aid.

Education Authorities can:

Use info for proper:
And policy decisions

The How:

Taxonomy of Colleges:

2-year vs. 4-year institution rankings:
(Not: non-degree granting programs or graduate programs)

High-performing schools
Middle-performing schools
Lower-performing schools

According to these measures:

Accessibility metrics:
Percentage of students receiving Pell Grants
Expected family contribution gap
Family income quintiles
First-generation college status

Affordability metrics:
Average Net Price
Net price by quintile

Outcome metrics:
Completion rates
Transfer rates
Labor Market Success
Graduate school attendance

Broad vs. Narrow Rankings

Narrow (example):
1. The Winner
2. Second Place
3. And now Third

Broad (example):
A students: one here, and another, and another
B students: here, and here, and here
C students: me, and me, don’t forget me over here!

Catagorical vs. Aggregate Rankings

Categorical (example):

Academic reputation:
1st place
2nd place
3rd place

Financial aid offerings:
1st place
2nd place
3rd place

Overall Cost:
1st place
2nd place
3rd place

Aggregate Rankings (example):

Academic reputation
Financial aid offerings
Overall cost
Success of graduates in job market
1st place
2nd place
3rd place

The Department of Education is considering the use of broad rankings whose component rankings are aggregated.

How We Stack Up:

College Categories:

Department of Education rankings: 2-year, 4-year colleges

CollegeChoice: National liberal arts schools, National research universities, northern regional universities, southern regional universities, western regional universities, midwestern regional universities, online colleges and universities

Rationale behind rankings:

Department of Education: to promote transparency, accountability, and equity in higher education

CollegeChoice: ranks schools by factors considered most important by potential students

Criteria for rankings:

Department of Education: Accessibility, affordability, outcome

CollegeChoice: Academic reputation, financial aid offerings, overall cost, success of graduates




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