If you are like many young Americans, you have probably seen U.S. News and World Report’s newest college rankings, which were released last week. Ignore them.
First, you won’t be surprised with the results (hint: It was a toss-up between Harvard, Yale and Princeton for the top spot). Second, these rankings exhibit a callous disregard for college affordability, prioritizing schools that spend more money on flashy amenities rather than scholarships and grants. Third, the magazine glamorizes selectivity, which creates a culture of exclusion that shuns low-income students the hardest.
Over the past 30 years, college tuition increased by roughly 1,120 percent and the gap between high- and low-income kids with access to it has widened – from 31 percent to 45 percent. With college students’ biggest worry being their student loan debt, one would think that affordability would factor into U.S. News and World Report’s ranking formula. You would be wrong. Not only are they not considered, but often the ranking methods actually encourage higher college spending in other, less needed areas.