Two Ratings – Why Not Five?

USED has announced that it is considering two ratings systems for PIRS. One using raw data for consumers for consumers, one using input-adjusted metrics for accountability (access to Title IV student financial aid).

Why not five?

Why not ratings based on wealth-adjusted metrics?

Why not ratings of public institutions based on levels of state-support adjusted measures?

Why not adjustments based on the proximity of Starbuck’s (since that was apparently a factor in Sweet Briar’s closing)?

Clearly I can go on (and on) because once you go down this path there are dozens of legitimate arguments to make. A good ratings “system” would allow different ratings to be created based on the user’s preferences or needs. But to say we will have two ratings will create confusion – especially if the Department is not COMPLETELY transparent in its methodologies and the results of each are markedly different.

I imagine a dining room table conversation where a parent says, “Gee, the this college is rated a poor performer by the consumer rating, but a high performer to be eligible for Pell grants  and loans, so it must be doing something right, even if almost no one seems to graduate in six years.”

Yep. That will be helpful.

Be nice. It won't hurt either of us.

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