A Comic Look at How Colleges “Game” the Rankings

The more selective a college appears in rankings such as those published by U.S. News & World Report, the more people clamor to get in. And the more they clamor to get in, the more selective the college becomes. All this leads to higher tuition costs (after all, the students at Selective University are darn lucky to be there; and that comes with a price tag) and more donations from proud alums.

God bless Frank Bruni, who, in this spoof column that’s actually not very far removed from reality, skewers the system while exposeing it for what it is. I’d like to think that next year, students (and perhaps their parents, too) will wise up and not buy into the stress and competition that accompanies the college admissions process. If colleges can “game” the system, let’s game them right back, by taking a good look at the many fine colleges and universities that aren’t in the top 10 or top 20 or even top 100 on the list. After all, rankings have more to do with mathematics and economics than they do with where you’ll spend a terrific four years gaining wisdom, making friends and growing up.