Do colleges court those least in need of education?

Several colleges recently announced triumphantly that their acceptance rates had set a new record – as low as, in some cases, 6 or 7 percent. I’m still waiting for someone to explain why that is a good thing, says Mark Gordon, president of Defiance College, for the Washington Post. Why is it a victory that a college succeeds in seeking out applications from thousands of students, and then doesn’t accept almost 95 percent of those applicants? Whom exactly is that helping? As president of Defiance College, I’m not naïve about how the admissions process works. And, if you spoke to many presidents, they would tell you that the admissions process at many colleges has been profoundly impacted by the national rankings issued by publications such as U.S. News & World Report, to name the best-known. A few months after I started as president at Defiance in 2009, the new rankings came out, and Defiance had done very well. I was urged to issue a press release touting our success. Instead, I wrote a column entitled, “Defiance College Just Shot Up in the Rankings: Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Care.”

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