By Karla Fonseca
The College once again ranks among the top regional universities in the north region according to the U.S. News & World Report’s 2022-2023 Best Colleges rankings released on Sept. 12. The College placed first among Public Regional Colleges in the North and fifth overall among all colleges in the region. It ranks right above Emerson College and below Loyola University Maryland.
The College ranked 61st for Best Value Universities in the North, which is calculated according to a school’s academic quality and net cost of attendance for an out-of-state student who received the average level of need-based aid.
Other noticeable rankings for the College were second place for Best Undergraduate Teaching in the North and Best Colleges for Veterans in the North, as well as seventh for Most Innovative Schools in the North.
“I feel like I am getting my money’s worth,” said senior secondary education major, Megan Gosiker. “[Rankings] are all relative, a numbers game, but I guess it makes you feel like you’re getting a decent education.”
These rankings aim to represent the qualities of the College, including graduation and retention, social mobility, graduate indebtedness, faculty resources, expert opinion, financial resources, student excellence, standardized tests, high school class standing, and alumni giving.
The rankings can also give rise to competition between universities and colleges. In order to stand out, institutions may try to accept more students with higher test scores to achieve a higher ranking.
“Overall the effects of these rankings on education in the U.S. are generally negative because it sets off a race for the colleges to recruit the best students,” said economics professor Donald Vandegrift.
Students in the campus community shared their thoughts and disapproval of the rankings with the Signal.
“I’m indifferent to [the rankings],” Hannah Samuel, a senior history special elementary education major, said. “It’s funny seeing it on billboards. It doesn’t change my life. It doesn’t do anything for me.”
“The College does not provide efficient financial assistance to its students by limiting work-study hours, and also having students subscribe to online course access but still pay for in-person seats,” junior computer science major Quadeera Jones said. “Most professors don’t actually teach anymore, just post online assignments that automatically grade.”
Some students observe that because the high rankings are based on only a few categories, there may be some aspects of the College that may be overlooked.
“Maybe they should have included factors like campus resources, or even food quality,” Jones said. “Last year they provided swipe refunds back to students because of complaints that campus food is commonly undercooked and tasteless.”
Jones also pointed out the quality of the campus facilities, which can impede student academic achievement.
“Academic facilities and general campus grounds are in poor condition, which often causes flooding, power outages and more, leading to students missing class,” Jones said.
Students at the College make it clear that top rankings are not a perfect measure of quality and cannot represent a student’s satisfaction with the College. This assertion begs the question of whether or not rankings are a reliable indicator of the quality of a school and if not, how we may be able to judge a college’s precise value so that rankings may reflect the true aspects of an institution.