Six Democratic senators have written a letter asking U.S. News & World Report to revamp its “Best Colleges Ranking” list to better reward colleges and universities that prioritize enrolling and educating underrepresented and disadvantaged students.
In their letter to Brian Kelly, U.S. News editor and chief content officer, the senators urge U.S. News “to use its influential platform to better align its rankings with the three longstanding goals behind federal financial aid: improving college access, supporting student success, and providing every talented student a pathway to economic stability and meaningful participation in our country’s economic, social, and civic life.”
The “unusual” letter acknowledges the U.S. News effort to incorporate social mobility criteria into its 2019 Best Colleges list and reduce the weight given to standardized test results and acceptance rates, The Chronicle of Higher Education notes.
However, the senators say those changes aren’t enough to eliminate the “perverse incentive” created by a rankings system that rewards policies that perpetuate inequality. “Without an exclusive metric assessing the access a college or university provides to historically underrepresented students, deep inequities will continue to be masked,” the letter states.