How Student Loans Can Help to Rate Colleges

As you know, many students intending to join an academic course refer to the rating given to the colleges by various rating agencies/organizations.

Recently we heard about this new “technique” colleges and universities use to influence their ratings.

In an attempt to improve rating and thereby attract more applicants (and probably enable raising of tuition fees), some colleges have begun to use tactics like increasing the rate of rejections – a short term tactic that apparently makes it difficult to get into this institution.

This perceived “demand-supply” gap may influence those doing the rating.

I would suggest an alternative, less subjective, yardstick to rate academic institutions.

How much additional debt does the student have to take in order to study at this institution?

What are the terms on which such student loans are available? Is a lender willing to grant loans on softer terms to students joining this institution than to someone joining a similar course of study at another institution?

More importantly, how does a degree from this institution improve the students’ capacity to repay debt? In other words, does studying at this institution significantly improve the students’ earnings, compared to a similar course from another institution?

I do not know if such data is readily available. But I think college ratings should take into consideration the conclusions from such data if the ratings are to be more relevant and meaningful. The employment market may be a more reliable indicator of the relative value of knowledge and skills gained from different academic institutions.