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The New Math of College Rankings

November 2, 2015

The New Math of College Rankings

More websites let students and parents compare colleges based on financial criteria

 

http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-new-math-of-college-rankings-1446433533

 

For $60K a year it is reasonable to examine college "return on investment". Is salary the only metric that matters? What about job satisfaction? Ease of finding a job in the first place? And how should we measure factors beyond compensation, like how a college develops young people to contribute to society, community and family?

 

If we're going to measure outcome (salary achieved), the calculation should also include the investment required (student debt incurred). Which is better: earning a high salary but being handcuffed by student loans for years, or earning a somewhat lower salary with no debt to repay?

 

Many potential biases in data like this. How is unemployment handled? Is it total compensation including bonus and benefits, or just salary? Does it matter if you compare alumni salaries upon graduation vs. 10 years out vs. later in one's career?

 

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