Obama's college rating plan may not reach low-income students

Stefanie Botelho's picture

A new study from a Washington, D.C.-based higher education association concludes that it's misplaced for the federal college ratings plan, announced last year by President Barack Obama, to try to enhance consumer access and institutional accountability through one tool.

Calling the strategy "well-intentioned but poorly devised," the study's authors, Lorelle L. Espinosa, Jennifer R. Crandall, and Malika Tukibayeva, all from the American Council on Education, presented their findings in an issue brief from the council's Center for Policy, Research and Strategy called "Rankings, Institutional Behavior, and College and University Choice: Framing the National Dialogue on Obama’s Ratings Plan."

The study is the latest in a rapidly expanding body of academic literature that takes a scholarly, analytical approach to the study of academic rankings and their impact on higher education and the broader society.

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