Monday, September 14, 2015

Looking at schools

The xkcd comic University Website captures in Venn and ink “things on the front page of a university website” and “things people go to the front page looking for.”

A good sense of a school cannot really be had from its website, which might present a Potemkin village of excellence and good cheer. Nor can magazine rankings or a tool such as College Scorecard help all that much. My idiosyncratic suggestion: read the student newspaper, which will almost certainly be available online. Are the articles, columns, and editorials the work of students who are capable writers? Does their work suggest a good grasp of current events, culture, and history? Do articles focus on campus problems not mentioned in official sources?

Often assembled with little or no oversight from full-fledged grown-ups (faculty advisors), a student newspaper may offer an unfiltered (or just lightly filtered) picture of a school and its community. Prospective students and their families would do well to spend time reading.

comments: 3

Fresca said...

"alumni in the news"
*snort*

Diane Schirf said...

And look at the graduation rate for the University of Phoenix . . .

https://collegescorecard.ed.gov/search/?name=University%20of%20chicago&sort=advantage:desc

Michael Leddy said...

It’s shameful. I have to admit: when I was writing, I wasn’t even thinking about for-profit schools.