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New Study on College Rankings: It’s Not Where You Go To School It’s What You Do When You Get There

By | Helene Wingens |

My son is a high school senior and we are consequently in the thick of all the stress that comes with the college application process. Most of that stress derives from the firmly held belief that many of us have embraced that attending a “top tier” school ensures success in life after college.

Students are encouraged to find a college that is the “right fit” for them. But, a new study asks, “What do college rankings really measure? Are students who attend more selective colleges better off later in life? What is ‘fit’ and why does it matter?” The study by scholars at Stanford Graduate School of Education and released by GSE-affiliated Challenge Success attempts to answer these questions by reviewing and synthesizing the most important research in the area to date.

The study delves into three areas of confusion, “the methodology behind college rankings; what, if anything, they say about student success; and, the meaning of ‘right fit’ when choosing a school.”

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