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:

Access,
Affordability,
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:
Accreditation
Funding
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

How-DOE-Rankings-Work

Citations:

  1. http://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/public-feedback-college-ratings-framework
  2. http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/education-department-releases-framework-for-rating-us-colleges-and-universities/2014/12/18/b8d4a4b8-86e4-11e4-9534-f79a23c40e6c_story.html

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