The proliferation of college guidebooks and reputational rankings has become of increasing concern to many in the higher education community. Public relations and admissions staff view such publications from a marketing perspective and the potential positive or negative consequences for enrollment. College presidents share these concerns along with the broader implications for the overall stature of their institutions. The validity and integrity of the information reported is of particular interest to those who work in the area of institutional research. Acknowledging the fact that the public, the consumers, has a great need for information about different institutions in order to make informed college choices for themselves or their children, all of these groups in higher education share alarm about the burden imposed on institutions in responding to the ever-increasing number of publishers requesting information for these guidebooks and rankings. This volume explores some of the major facets of and issues surrounding college guidebooks and ratings. The background and development of these publications are traced, followed by discussion of major issues and perspectives--consumer use of the publications, validity of ratings, and the institutional burden of supplying the needed information. View from both the institutions and the publishers are presented. This is the 88th issue of the quarterly journal" New Directions for Institutional Research."
Table of Contents
College guidebooks / Bruce Hunter -- Reputational rankings / Debra L. Stuart -- Reducing the noise in the college choice process / Don Hossler, Erin M. Foley -- Money magazine, U.S. news & world report, and Steve Martin / Bruce I. Mallette -- Validity issues for reputational studies / Michael D. McGuire -- Managing the information overload / Anne Machung -- Publishers' perspectives : guidebooks / Kimberly J. Hoeritz ... [et al.] -- Publishers' perspectives : magazines / Robert J. Morse, Jersey Gilbert --A research agenda / Josetta S. Mclaughlin, Gerald W. Mclaughlin.
R. DAN WALLERI is director of research, planning, and computer services at Mount Hood Community College, Gresham, Oregon. He is former chair of the Higher Education Data Policy Committee of the Association for Institutional Research. MARSHA K. MOSS is assistant vice president and director of institutional studies at the University of Texas, Austin. She is former president of the Texas Association for Institutional Research and has served on the board of the Association for Institutional Research.