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The College Rankings Paradox

The College Rankings Paradox

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Winners, losers, and the race for prestige

Colleges have been living with rankings systems for years — while simultaneously complaining and boasting about how they are classified. This special Chronicle collection includes many of our best reads on a topic that continues to frustrate academic leaders. We examine questions like these: How can any methodology adequately evaluate an institution devoted to learning? Why do richer colleges fare best? What is the true cost of what has often been described as an “arms race” for prestige?

As one contributor writes, “We conform to the image of the category in which we have been labeled, or we reach upward to try to be like the institutions we envy.” But, he asks, “What if we had the confidence to be ourselves, but the best version of ourselves?” For more viewpoints and inspiration, read on.

Section 1: The Gatekeepers
Section 2: Making Your Case, With or Without Rankings

Date: December 2023
Pages: 68
Digital file size: 20 MB

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