In Job-Placement Rates, Fuzzy Data

A lack of standard tracking makes many colleges' claims unreliable

Job-Placement Statistics Are Hardly the Whole Story 1

Judy Griesedieck for The Chronicle

Ashley Enke packs to move in with her parents. St. Olaf College, her alma mater, lists her as a research assistant at the Mayo Clinic. But the job was unpaid, then part time. She left it this month.

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close Job-Placement Statistics Are Hardly the Whole Story 1

Judy Griesedieck for The Chronicle

Ashley Enke packs to move in with her parents. St. Olaf College, her alma mater, lists her as a research assistant at the Mayo Clinic. But the job was unpaid, then part time. She left it this month.

Almost all graduates of Ferris State University find jobs, at least according to the statistics the university promotes to attract students.

"Ferris graduates have a 98-percent job placement rate," the university, in Big Rapids, Mich., highlights in boldface on a Web page for recruiting international students. A general marketing page notes an overall placement rate of 97 percent, and in some disciplines, 100 percent.

Those rates are enviable. But, especially in this economy,