067: Don’t Be Manipulated by Class Ranking Data

Don't be manipulated by college ranking dataDo you suspect that there’s more to college rankings than meet the eye?

In a recent Forbes article, Megan was shocked to read about how simple things students write in their FAFSA and ACT applications can hurt their changes in getting into colleges.

In this episode, she breaks down for families how college ranking data, including that published by US News and World Report, can actually be harmful to families. Tune in to learn:

  • What college rankings are
  • The ways in which some colleges manipulate the numbers so that they have higher rankings
  • How to decipher the info compiled by US News so that it is helpful (rather than harmful)
  • The two ugly ways in which these rankings impact students, and
  • Concrete action items you can take so that you’re not manipulated by the data

We highly suggest you tune in to hear the whole discussion, but if you just want the quick and dirty action items, here they are:

  • Don’t respond to promises of “easy applications” from colleges
  • When you fill out the FAFSA, list your colleges in alphabetical order, rather than in order of preference
  • Be aware that colleges are acting out of their own self interest when they create marketing materials, and discern wisely (just as you would if you were buying a car).