Colleges Do Things to Achieve Higher Rankings

Secret #7 Colleges are Doing Weird Things to Achieve Higher Rankings

At a recent talk addressing applicants to his college, the director of admissions at a top-ranked liberal arts college remarked, “Colleges really despise the annual college ratings issue that U.S. News publishes, because its ratings are so deceptive to prospective students and their families. But at the same time, most colleges are making a number of small decisions to raise their ratings in the magazine. Some of them aren’t even aware that they are doing so.”

How are colleges improving their rankings? According to marketing guru Seth Godin, colleges are sending out millions of pieces of direct mail to high school students, encouraging them to apply. Then those colleges reject the students. Their strategy, according to Godin, is to climb higher in the U.S. News college rankings, where the highestranking schools are those that reject the most students.

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