College Rankings Are Inaccurate Measures of Success

Purdue University President Mitch Daniels went on Chuck Todd’s The Daily Rundown this morning to express his concerns over university rankings and their impact on the financial decisions that parents and students make.

While the former Gov. of Indiana believes there should be measurable markers to determine how well a university is preparing its students for the challenges once they leave, he thinks the current ranking systems – currently published by groups like the U.S. News and World Report, Princeton Review, and Forbes – rely too heavily upon the amount of money universities spend, not necessarily how that money translates to services rendered or student employability.

Daniels is looking for a set of national standards by which graduating seniors can demonstrate their mastery of a subject, whether it is engineering, English, or any other discipline students can major in. With more specific data points measuring a student’s collegiate success, both incoming freshman and workforce employers will have a better understanding of the expectations and differences between a student pool from Carnegie Mellon or Texas A&M University, for example.

The Obama Administration has created its own College Scorecard to combat the issue as well, but it is not yet clear whether the executive branch will be able to provide better information than has been available in the past.*

Finding new ways to measure collegiate performance is not a new idea, but having a university president and former governor leading the charge may help more people take notice.


You can see the video of Mitch Daniels speaking on The Daily Rundown here.

*Currently the White House’s College Scorecard is unavailable due to the government shutdown.

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