Last October, a New York Times columnist took a stab at a new method of ranking colleges, based on what value education adds to students’ lives.
In his “Common Sense” column, titled “College Rankings Fail to Measure the Influence of the Institution,” writer James B. Stewart evaluated a new tool designed to help students decide on their best college choice: the Obama administration’s College Scorecard.
“While Scorecard adds potentially valuable information to the dizzying array that is already available,” he wrote, “it suffers from many of the same flaws that afflict nearly every other college ranking system: There is no way to know what, if any, impact a particular college has on its graduates’ earnings, or life for that matter.”
Working with Brookings Institution fellow Jonathan Rockwell, who had developed an innovative scale measuring the “value added” by a college to what its students bring with them to campus, they put together a ranking that zeroed out the impact of the students’ majors.
They called it “the Brookings-Common Sense ranking.” All of the top 10 were liberal arts schools, and right in the middle of that top 10 was Wagner College at #6 in the nation.