New college rankings have been released this Tuesday from U.S. News, and this year Princeton is on top of other big colleges like Harvard and Yale. Yahoo! reports this today, Sept. 10, however, a big question that looms: are these rankings contributing to high college costs and linked to an affordability issue that many U.S. high school students are facing?
The new college rankings have deemed this year that Princeton has come out on top, with the school beating out its tie last year with Harvard, according to the World Report. This 2013, the rankings have been released against serious public issues, including continually rising student debt and painfully high costs of tuition. President Obama, too, has commented on a possible new college ranking system here in the U.S., A program that would place most emphasis on overall sticker price and graduation rates.
"We’re going to start rating colleges not just by which college is the most selective, not just by which college is the most expensive, not just by which college has the nicest facilities – you can get all of that on the existing rating systems. What we want to do is rate them on who's offering the best value so students and taxpayers get a bigger bang for their buck,” President Obama said in a speech on education last month.
In the nationally known U.S. News college rankings, however, sticker price plays a very small factor in the final placements, while little emphasis is put into measuring “real value,” added the report.
On the whole, these new college rankings aren’t all that new: they still rate a school’s nationally set standing based on student exam scores, academic “reputation,” and selectivity. As such, poses the press release, are rankings linked to high college costs that make higher education such a financial struggle for many families?
“They’re not asking the right questions. They’re not asking questions about value and real value. They’re focused much more on inputs like wealth and prestige and who they exclude,” concluded Amy Laitinen, an official at the New America Foundation.