If you didn’t think that college rankings matter, you’re about to learn otherwise. There’s an article up on “The Huffington Post” written by Tyler Kingkade entitled “Students Don’t Actually Care That Much About College Rankings” that we wanted to, well, discredit because it’s absolutely untrue. It is an utterly misleading title that should never have been published. One of the goals of our college admissions blog, after all, is to demystify the highly selective college admissions process and correct common misconceptions — especially those misconceptions published in the press. This sure is one of them!
Rankings matter big time not only to colleges but to college applicants as well. To buttress his argument that students don’t actually care about college rankings, Kingkade cites a report published by The American Council on Education. From this report, Kingkade writes, “Twenty-four percent of college freshmen from wealthy backgrounds said that rankings were a ‘very important’ factor in deciding where to go to school, the highest proportion among any demographic, according to data from the 2013 Higher Education Research Institute Cooperative Institutional Research Program cited in the report. Among low- and middle-income students, the proportion of those who said college rankings were ‘very important’ was only about 10 percent.” First of all, the data from this report is drawn from a number of four-year American colleges — not just highly selective colleges or even selective colleges. Students at the University of Buffalo don’t care that much about college rankings. No offense to University of Buffalo students but they didn’t matriculate to a top college. It thus fits naturally that they wouldn’t care about rankings. The same is not the case at the University of Pennsylvania.
But that’s just for starters. Here’s our question: Do they honestly believe that students would admit to caring about college rankings? Of course not. Just as students don’t admit to using private college counselors, we would conjecture based on our experience that few would admit to caring about rankings. That’s like saying you don’t care where a girl you’re getting romantically involved with went to college. It’s the PC thing to say and it makes you look cool but, deep down, you know you care. Whether or not you admit it even to yourself.
There are a number of other misconceptions given real estate in this article that we’ll be addressing in the coming days. And we take it that Mr. Kingkade has never met many Asian or Asian American applicants to top colleges. Because if he had, he’d know better than to title his article with that misleading headline.