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The Ivy Coach Daily

April 23, 2014

Do College Rankings Matter?

Do college rankings matter? Bev Taylor, Founder of Ivy Coach, was recently featured in an article of “Teen Vogue” entitled “Do College Rankings Really Matter?” by Sarah Devlin. In the piece, Bev is quoted as saying that she makes great efforts to try to get students — and their parents — from looking at more than just the rankings, but just as you can’t lead a horse to water, it’s very difficult for students and parents to not be strongly influenced by the “US News” rankings. As written in the piece, “‘I try very hard to get students and parents past the rankings,’ she says. ‘It doesn’t always work. It’s so ingrained in the culture that it’s got to be an Ivy League school or an MIT or a Stanford.’ Taylor cites an example of a student who was accepted to a top liberal arts school but was preoccupied with being waitlisted at Columbia: ‘There are only eight Ivies, but there are so many wonderful schools.’ She recommends using in-person visits as the ultimate tool for determining a school’s suitability, since they allow prospective students to get a real feel for campus life.”

The article goes on to cite Bev: “Not to mention, rankings ultimately benefit the school and not the applicant. ‘This whole waitlist process is designed because colleges hesitate to accept kids they may love for fear that that they won’t come if accepted,’ Taylor says. A denial on the part of a student negatively impacts that school’s yield (that is, the number of accepted students who end up enrolling) and therefore its ranking. ‘These colleges are also putting kids on the waitlist who might not have perfect grades or even near-perfect grades,’ Taylor explains. ‘They figure if these students are proactive about getting off the waitlist and do end up enrolling, their numbers aren’t going to be factored into the college’s average GPA or SAT scores.’ This—you guessed it—means rankings don’t suffer if a less qualified applicant ultimately gets admitted, further incentivizing colleges to waitlist students.”

Where do you stand on college rankings? Let us know your thoughts by posting below. And, as a side note, Ivy Coach is a family business and earlier this week, Bev’s son’s movie to star Liev Schreiber and Jaden Smith based on the National Book Award Winner in Fiction by James McBride, “The Good Lord Bird,” was also featured in “Teen Vogue.” Check out that “Teen Vogue” article here.

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