By Richard Vedder
The May 19 issue of Forbes is going on sale today. In it, I have an article, entitled "How to Choose a College," which introduces the CCAP rankings of colleges and universities. In the magazine story, we present our list of the top 10 schools for national universities, national public universities, and liberal arts colleges. The story compares them with their US News and World Report rankings.
We start with the premise that consumers want two things when they buy a good or service. First, they want to be satisfied using the good --it is easy to use, safe, etc. Second, they want it to do the job for which it is intended. We think ratings of colleges should reflect how colleges do in meeting those objectives. The US News (hereafter, USNWR) rankings are more based on resource or inputs used or on institutional reputation. The two sets of rankings are moderately highly correlated with one another, but there are important differences. Wabash College is 52nd on the USNWR rankings of liberal arts colleges, but 10th on our list, for example. The University of Alabama moves from 42nd on the USNWR national public university list to 7th on ours.
Our rankings are based on student perceptions of the quality of courses and instructors (based on the ratemyprofessors.com website), on alumni presence in Who's Who in America , on student success in winning nationally competitive awards like the Rhodes Scholarship, or on the probability of graduating from college in four years. If we obtain funding, we hope to further refine and expand our ratings, which are more outcomes than input based.
For the story, go to your newstand, and/or to forbes.com. The story on the Forbes website also includes the complete list of rankings (over 250 total) that we did for national universities, national public universities and liberal arts colleges.