Yes, I do believe that national college rankings should be based on student surveys. The reason that I chose the “yes” side as opposed to the “no” is because these rankings are based on something, and why not have the students whom attend the college tell us what it’s like, how good of an environment the school actually is. While I actually think this is a very gray area, I would have loved to have known what a variety of people had said about the institution that I attended and eventually dropped out of. While I do not wish for this bit of information to discredit my argument. It would have been very helpful to have known more, or at least known that the students of the school had lend-ed their own unbiased experiences. While we all know that “rankings” and “surveys” tend to be molded and manipulated, I definitely think that given a chance, we should know the nitty gritty of what we’re getting into. Especially when it comes to attending an institution of higher education, most importantly with the cost of continuing education on the rise. Had I known that the “dry” campus that I was attending allowed their resident assistants and directors to work without proper drug and alcohol testing, or even a small measure of monitoring by a higher rung of power on the campus, I would have looked elsewhere to live, and I quite possibly would have even considered attending elsewhere.
The real issue here is, where do we get the truth? Yes, a survey can tell us how many professors are actually employed by a certain institution, but then they don’t tell you how many of the classes offered, at the undergrad level in particular, are not taught by actual professors. It is almost a joke to even pay to attend some colleges. So I believe in a world where there is not biased manipulation of public information, it would be rather useful for anyone to hear the opinion and experiences of the attending students. Otherwise, it’s mostly a waste of time, you’ll get what facts actually make the school look good, you may even get some test scores. “Oh Boy” don’t we know that test scores really make a difference when looking at the intellectual progress of any institution. Bring on the standardized meal plan, I think I’m hungry. 🙂
Anyway, ranting aside, real facts, or truths spoken by the students that attend a college can and would be very helpful and give people a true way to judge and select their choice of college.