Friday, February 22, 2008

Serving the students of U.S. News and World Report

I was actually quite surprised to see that no one blogged about this week's conference on higher education costs held in GW's Jack Morton Auditorium for a couple of reasons:

1. The conference was sponsored by the Public Agenda and the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education and was televised on C-SPAN - I know that GW students are somewhat used to the university showing up on C-SPAN or CNN given the amount of televised events held here, but it's still pretty cool.

2. The conference featured University President Steven Knapp - again, cool to see something GW-related (in this case, our president) on TV.

3. One of Knapp's answers was simply crazy - I thought that given the fact that this issue directly affects students, as well as the fact that one of Knapp's answers was off the mark (which I talk about below), everyone would want to write about this. But I guess the more popular story wins in the end - it's understandable that when choosing what to write, SA Elections are a better draw that President Knapp speaking about tuition. In all honesty, if I hadn't waited until the last minute to post this week, I probably would've continued writing about the upcoming elections.

But I digress. Back to Knapp's answer...

According to The Hatchet, Knapp listed one of the reasons for the university's high spending as U.S. News and World Reports' annual college rankings:
"'Every one of the measures for which you get high marks in rankings in
(U.S. News and World Report) works against cost saving. Every single one of
them,' Knapp said, as he listed the various ways schools receive points, such as
high expenditures, technological capabilities, and a low student-faculty
I understand that the university wants to stay competitive and look prestigious, but spending more money to comply with a magazine's ranking system that is fast being regarded as unfair and a poor indicator of a college's actual performance? If it's a choice between having a marginally better ranking or coming out of college without five or six figures worth of debt, I'm willing to drop a couple points to save a couple bucks.

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