President Obama has proposed a ratings system for colleges that would measure cost, low-income enrollment and graduation rates. The system would eventually attempt to provide more funding to schools with the best ratings.
"My plan comes down to three main goals," Obama said at State University of New York Buffalo last year. "First, we're going to start rating colleges not just by which college is the most selective, not just by which college is the most expensive, not just by which college has the nicest facilities — you can get all of that on the existing rating systems. What we want to do is rate them on who's offering the best value so students and taxpayers get a bigger bang for their buck."
Many colleges have balked at this idea, claiming that there's no way to apply a one-size-fits-all system to universities across the country.
But Rebecca Schuman, an education columnist for Slate, said she still has hopes for the plan.
"The very fact that the ratings' most vocal detractors are college presidents — who often rake in millions while their students crumble under debt — should tell us Obama is onto something," she wrote. "North Virginia Community College president Robert G. Templin Jr. claims we shouldn't 'take a sledgehammer' to the American higher education system across the board. I say that a system that currently survives on nearly three-quarters contingent faculty labor has more than earned a sledgehammer — or at least a thorough audit from the body that's providing a healthy percentage of its revenue."
We'll take a look at the specifics and discuss whether this is the best way to help combat the problems of affordability and access in our higher education system.
Do you think you had enough information and clarity about affordability, quality and competition at the college you went to before you made your decision? Leave your comments below.