Metrics That Matter: Counting What's Really Important to College Students (Paperback)

Metrics That Matter: Counting What's Really Important to College Students By Zachary Bleemer, Mukul Kumar, Aashish Mehta Cover Image
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Colleges sell themselves by the numbers--rankings, returns on investments, and top-ten lists--but these often mislead prospective students. What numbers should they really be paying attention to?

High school and college students are inundated by indicators and rankings supposedly designed to help them decide where to go to college and what to study once they arrive. In Metrics That Matter, coauthors Zachary Bleemer, Mukul Kumar, Aashish Mehta, Chris Muellerleile, and Christopher Newfield take a critical look at these metrics and find that many of the most popular ones are confusing, misleading, and--most importantly--easily replaceable by more helpful alternatives.

Metrics That Matter explores popular metrics used by future and current college students, with chapters focusing on colleges' return on investment, university rankings, average student debt, average wages by college major, and more. Written for students, their families, and the counselors who advise them, each chapter explains a common metric's fundamental flaws when used as a basis for making important educational decisions. The authors then draw on decades of scholarship from many academic fields to pair each metric with a concrete recommendation for alternative information, both qualitative and quantitative, that would be more useful and meaningful for students to consider. They emphasize that students should be thinking beyond solely using metrics when making college decisions--students should focus on their intellectual and academic education goals, not just vocational or monetary ones.

Students' reliance on certain metrics has skewed universities away from providing high-quality education and distorted the perception of higher education's purpose, overemphasizing private financial returns over the broader economic and social benefits of universities. This book aims to facilitate important student decisions while reorienting public perceptions of higher education's values and how universities should measure their own success.

About the Author

Zachary Bleemer (NEW HAVEN, CT) is an assistant professor of economics at the Yale School of Management and a research associate at the Center for Studies in Higher Education at the University of California, Berkeley. Mukul Kumar (IRVINE, CA) is an assistant professor of urban planning and public policy at UC Irvine. Aashish Mehta (SANTA BARBARA, CA) is an associate professor of global studies at UC Santa Barbara. Chris Muellerleile (SWANSEA, WALES) is a senior lecturer of geography at Swansea University. Christopher Newfield (LONDON, UK) is the director of research at the Independent Social Research Foundation and was formerly a distinguished professor of literature and American studies at UC Santa Barbara. He is the author of The Great Mistake: How We Wrecked Public Universities and How We Can Fix Them.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781421445731
ISBN-10: 1421445735
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication Date: March 21st, 2023
Pages: 200
Language: English