President's Proposal Renews Debate Over How to Measure College Quality

President's Proposal Renews Debate Over How to Measure College Quality 1

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Some analysts fear that rating colleges, as President Obama proposed in a plan he discussed during visits last month to Lackawanna College (above) and other institutions, would punish colleges that serve disadvantaged students. At a discussion sponsored by the New America Foundation and "Washington Monthly" on Wednesday, a key White House adviser sought to allay such concerns.

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close President's Proposal Renews Debate Over How to Measure College Quality 1

Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images

Some analysts fear that rating colleges, as President Obama proposed in a plan he discussed during visits last month to Lackawanna College (above) and other institutions, would punish colleges that serve disadvantaged students. At a discussion sponsored by the New America Foundation and "Washington Monthly" on Wednesday, a key White House adviser sought to allay such concerns.

The debate over President Obama's plan to rate colleges based on access, affordability, and outcomes is beginning to take shape, and lobbying groups and think tanks are already warning of unintended consequences.

The president's plan has gained early support from proponents of bringing more accountability to higher education, but some analysts fear that a ratings system would punish colleges for accepting