Most of us are aware of how much importance is placed on college rankings by employers and students. But are they actually as important as they seem to be? There has been criticism over the way college rankings for schools are completed, as the factors that are used to give colleges their ranking differ depending on the state or country.
Attending a highly ranked college is seen as prestigious by employers and students alike, while publicly, it is stated that college rankings do not matter to the schools. However, it is something that colleges that are ranked high will publicize to entice students. So, how much do college rankings actually matter to students, colleges, and employers?
Even though colleges will adamantly state that their ranking does not matter and does not affect the teaching it offers, we have found that it does impact some things. We have identified that Ivy League colleges that have a higher ranking will cost significantly more in tuition and living costs than lower-ranked colleges.
With the increased tuition, the only difference we can see in the colleges is the ranking and, therefore, the caliber of lecturers that are employed at the college. It could be the lecturers that attract you to the college that you are planning to attend or the course content rather than the ranking. However, the increased cost of attending higher-ranked colleges is something to consider when choosing your college.
Although colleges say that rankings do not matter to them, it has been seen recently in the media the lengths colleges will go to when protecting their ranking. Knowing that the ranking will help to attract more students, increase the amount that can be charged for courses, and allow admissions officers to be more selective about who is admitted. Meaning colleges will work extremely hard to ensure they do not fall down the rankings when they are published each year.
While college rankings are stated as unimportant by the colleges themselves, it would seem that attendance does matter to some. The ability to put on job applications that you attended a top-ranked college is something that can give you a big advantage when applying for postgraduate positions. Whatever subject you have studied, the names of the top-ranking colleges in each subject or field are known by prospective employers.
As employers know how competitive the application process for top-ranking colleges is, a high grade from one of these colleges often holds more weight than lower-ranked colleges. This is the case in all fields, with musical theatre college rankings being used to assess the level of training that students will have received when applying for roles.
Having this level of advantage when applying for your first job in your chosen field can greatly increase your chances of being successful in the position and can also help to increase your salary. Some employers will exclusively employ candidates from Ivy League schools, meaning in some fields of employment you could reduce your job prospects by attending a lower-ranked college.
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