… and there are few surprises. Instead of ranking the nation’s liberal arts colleges on how well they provide the well-rounded education they promise, U.S. News & World Report continues to value reputation, selectivity, and alumni donations over metrics that would tell us whether students are actually getting what they pay for. If you have any doubts about the relative values of status versus actual performance in these rankings, consider that 22.5% of a school’s ranking is tied to its reputation, while just 7.5% is tied to its (6-year!) graduation rate. Or that just one of this year’s top ten national liberal arts colleges requires a course in U.S. history or government.
Perhaps it would be better to stop giving the U.S. News rankings any attention at all. But, alas, news is news.