The White House’s College Report Card Will Accomplish Nothing

This article originally appeared at the Weekly Standard. Click here to read the full article.

By Ike Brannon

Last week the White House released a first draft for what it ultimately intends to be a report card for the nation’s colleges. And there’s no way this effort will improve the lot of the typical college student. Why would the White House delve into the ratings game given that nation’s newsstands already strain under the weight of numerous school ratings guides? The problem, according to the White House, is that U.S. News and the rest aren’t measuring the right things–specifically, how successful these schools are at graduating Pell Grant recipients and other low-income or at-risk students.

It doesn’t take a Ph.D. to figure out that colleges will doubtless prove themselves as adept at gaming this system as they are at gaming the other college rankings. A rating system that penalizes schools that don’t graduate a sufficient proportion of its Pell Grant recipients will result in schools finding a way to avoid admitting students whose prospects for graduation might be marginal. In one fell swoop, an ostensible goal of this effort–improved access for low-income students–would be completely and utterly defeated.

This article originally appeared at the Weekly Standard. Click here to read the full article.