Ranking Colleges Based on Earnings Potential (not SAT scores)
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In 2013, our company, Educate To Career, invented a completely new methodology for ranking colleges. Our system was based on the economic value that colleges created for students. It was not another rehashed list of colleges, sorted by SAT score. This new system was based solely on colleges’ ability to provide future earnings value to their students.
We statistically valued graduation rates, occupational outcomes (including salaries), student loan repayment rates, labor-market attachment, and other factors to score colleges. The ETC College Rankings Index quickly changed the discussion regarding how people valued colleges. Aura or cache became less important and career outcomes rose to the forefront.
College costs became a top consideration.
Students, parents, college planners and the like coalesced around the understanding that colleges were fairly assessed by their ability to prepare students for the job market, at a reasonable cost.
This new ideology immediately took hold and was instrumental in improving the college enrollment decisions. Since launching our original college rankings index, there has been an incremental trend where enrollments are rising at affordable, value-oriented colleges. Families became aware of the fact that their local state college provides a good education at a great price, largely because they’ve already paid for that college with their tax dollars. Again, our rankings were not a list of colleges sorted by SAT score, high to low. It was a re-ordering of higher education institutions based on how well they served their mission of preparing young people for the workforce, and at a reasonable cost.