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March 21, 2023
9781421445731
English
200
48794
14
1
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v2.1 Reference
Electronic book text
March 21, 2023
9781421445748
9781421445731
English
200
48794
14
1
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
$26.95 USD, £20.00 GBP
v2.1 Reference

Metrics That Matter

Counting What's Really Important to College Students

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 Authors

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.

Endorsements

"A brilliant analysis and a much-needed corrective to the runaway power of college rankings and other metrics. The authors present a forensic analysis of school metrics, why they are flawed, the consequences of these metrics for students and institutions, and the alternative data that could be used by prospective students. This book will help students and their families navigate the quagmire of partial and misleading metrics to make more informed choices."

- Radhika Gorur, Deakin University

"Whether it is college rankings or 'return on investment,' students are bombarded with statistical indicators that claim to take the guesswork out of deciding where to go and what to study. Metrics That Matter convincingly demonstrates that these simplistic, unreliable measures provide flawed bases for decision-making and undercut the role of the university as the setting for great teaching and cutting-edge research. It's an invaluable message for high school students, deciding what university to attend, as well as for higher education policymakers, deciding how to invest public dollars most wisely."

- David Kirp, Professor of the Graduate School, University of California-Berkeley and author of The College Dropout Scandal

"Families trying to make decisions about college are deluged with data and statistics—some of it good, some of it questionable, all of it bewildering. Metrics that Matter cuts through the noise, using the tools of economics to help families make sense of some of the hardest questions teenagers face today: where to apply to college, what to study when you get there, and whether it's worth going to college at all."

- Paul Tough, author of The Inequality Machine
Johns Hopkins University Press
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9781421445731 : metrics-that-matter-bleemer-kumar-mehta
Paperback / softback
March 21, 2023
$26.95 USD
9781421445748 : metrics-that-matter-bleemer-kumar-mehta
Electronic book text
March 21, 2023
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