Editorial - Party school rankings should be ignored
Published: Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, August 21, 2012 01:08
Yesterday, the Princeton Review released the 2012-13 edition of its annual college rankings.
The Princeton Review claims this list is designed to guide prospective college students in their search for the school that best fits their personal interests and professional goals.
Every year, the Review ranks colleges in a number of categories – ranging from top party schools to schools with the most religious students – and every year, the rankings dominate headlines across the country. Everyone scrambles to see how his or her respective college fared in the poll.
To the dismay of school administrators and any students or alumni who value the prestige of their degrees, West Virginia University continues to make the list for all of the wrong reasons.
According to these rankings, WVU is a school that only sets itself apart as a "top party school," a school with "lots of beer" and "lots of hard liquor," and a University where "students study the least."
This negative characterization of WVU should concern the University’s administrators, but it should not be mistaken for a factual representation of the school.
The Princeton Review says these rankings are based on student surveys and information provided by colleges. However, they do not describe the methods they employ in formulating these lists.
It’s unfortunate the rankings are taken so seriously, as it is clear they are not compiled in a scientific manner. In fact, the Princeton Review has admitted these surveys are not scientific.
Their reluctance to reveal how they come up with these characterizations makes it even more baffling these polls are taken seriously.
How exactly does one objectively quantify which school is the "top party school" or the college where "students study the least"?
These generalizations are impossible to make, but they have a huge impact on how schools are perceived by everyone, from prospective students to potential employers.
Everyone needs to understand these rankings are not based in fact and should thus be taken with a grain of salt.