Will new federal ratings of colleges and universities help or hurt?

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Obama Administration recently proposed that the federal government rate colleges and universities based on access, affordability, and outcomes. However well-intentioned, the proposal could hurt the very institutions that excel in all three categories.

I say that having served as the leader of Rutgers University in Newark, ranked by U.S. News as America's most diverse national campus, and top-ranked in other surveys in terms of best bang for the buck. You'd think, then, I might favor the Administration's proposal in providing students and their parents a new metric of evaluation. It certainly sounds reasonable and hard to criticize.

But here's the problem: The realities of our students' lives do not necessarily match the parameters of the ratings.

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