U.S. News editors and staffers met in early December with a cross section of deans of admissions and enrollment management from U.S. colleges to get their input on various education issues and to get feedback on the Best Colleges rankings and methodology. U.S. News has held an annual meeting with an independent advisory board of admissions deans since 1992. As in the past, we found this meeting to be highly beneficial.
Here is a sampling of the topics from this year's meeting:
• What do you think about the methodology changes made in the recently published 2012 Best Colleges rankings?
• Should U.S. News start using the SAT Writing and SAT Essay score as factors used to compute the college rankings?
• Should U.S. News adjust the weight of high school class standing (now has a 6 percent weight and is part of selectivity) in our ranking, since a growing number of high schools don't calculate high school class standing, which is used in college admissions decisions?
• What impact has the economy had on the admissions process?
• In terms of international students coming to the United States, what are some overall trends from the past year?
• What are some of the top mistakes international students make when applying to U.S. schools?
• Do you see the rapid growth in students from China coming to the United States continuing for many years? What is the impact of this trend on your institution?
• What's your school doing in terms of social media? Is it working or not working?
• How, if at all, do you think net price calculators will affect competition among schools, and how do you expect transparency in college costs to continue to evolve?
• Are there other paying for college-related trends/changes you've seen over the past year?
• What roles should parents play once their children are at college?