Analysis attempted to expand college rankings and used social media data.

college-rankingBrookings Institution researchers, who on April 29 released a new analysis of U.S. colleges and universities, defended their use of data from social media platforms and the contribution of geographic location to school performance.

The new analysis tries to go beyond many popular college rankings, such as produced by U.S. News & World Report, Money and Kiplinger’s magazines, which largely focus on well-known institutions that draw many of the nation’s top students.

Brookings’ Metropolitan Policy Program tried to even the playing field by adjusting for student skills and test scores at admission and focused on “value-added” outcomes, looking at mid-career income of a given college’s graduates and the mix of occupations they enter. It also incorporates data of thousands of both two- and four-year colleges and universities.

(Next page: Campus administrators’ reactions to the report)

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