College’s by the number…What’s a ranking anyway?

By Beatrice McQuiston
October 1, 2012

“The higher the ranking, the better the school.” Do you believe that? Because I don’t. I’m pretty sure more students look at the quality of the education than the name of the school. Unfortunately, this isn’t always true.

Three years ago when I was applying for colleges the last thing that was on my mind was the rankings. Students go crazy over the competition of which college is better. I honestly could not even tell you the ranking of Cabrini let alone any other schools.

In a society that enjoys top-10 lists of all types, the ranking of colleges has strong cultural importance. Even though rankings are a useful tool for prospective students and parents, I believe there are many other key parts that go into picking a right college.

I don’t believe that it matters if the school is in the Top 25 Best College lists. When applying to schools, students shouldn’t just base their options on ranking and I honestly don’t think that most students even look at the ranking that much. The name of the institution is more important to upcoming freshman students than the ranking.

I believe that if students get to listen to graduates’ thoughts on the education that they received from the institution, it will be more valuable than just attending a school for its ranking. College is more important for satisfaction and outcomes than how well known it is in society.

“College selection should be more about the best fit for each student, which may not necessarily be a school that is highly ranked,” Beth Gillfillan wrote on the New York Times’ Room for Debate website. Colleges always have significant pressure to improve a ranking but there are plenty of other things they should be worried about, like their students graduating. All colleges should be concerned about their “core educational value” and not solely focus on paying too much attention to published rankings.

When going through the college process, rankings need to be the last thing considered. Rankings are not the top priority for new college students to look at or discuss. It’s crucial for students to make sure they pick out the college that is right for them and which institution will help them succeed in their future employment.


Beatrice McQuiston

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