Imagine a college student sent you this job application:
- My academic performance is too complex to be summarized by a grade. So even though I was given grades in college, I am not going to show you those grades. Yes, I could have gone to another school, but honestly I don’t think any school’s grades could do me justice. I have saved all of my schoolwork for you to examine, and instead of judging me on my grades, I think you should study my schoolwork and interview me in depth to truly appreciate all I have to offer.
I doubt this pitch would go over very well. But amazingly a number of colleges are now making a similar pitch to their students. A recent Washington Post OpEd, "A College Can’t Be Reduced To a Number in a Magazine," elaborates:
- A majority of the 80 college presidents … expressed their intention not to participate in U.S. News & World Report‘s annual college ranking survey. … These academic leaders … believe the choice about which college or university to attend is vital — and too important to leave to an inherently flawed rankings methodology. …
- The Annapolis Group has agreed to work with other higher-education organizations to develop a Web-based resource that will present accessible, comprehensive and quantifiable data to help guide students as they select a college. The information will include important data such as average class size and majors, as well as some reporting of student-learning measures. We have no intention, however, to produce a ranking of our institutions. … Myriad complex variables can’t be reduced to a single number.
- We urge students to compare schools on a variety of factors …. They should visit campuses and go on what feels like a good match rather than relying on filtered or secondhand information. We must encourage students to look inside their hearts and trust their instincts when it comes to choosing a college, not whether parents or friends think a university is cool or prestigious.
Oddly enough, most of these schools will insist on scoring their students with a GPA, reducing their myriad complex performances to a single number.