What Isn’t Considered in College Rankings

Colleges rankings are made based on several measurable factors, such as affordability, acceptance rates, four-year graduation rates, test scores, and average GPA. However, while there is merit to using these factors as assessment tools, we couldn’t help but wonder what important factors rankings fail to measure about the college experience. By asking our students why they chose to study at Truman, we found that one of the main attractions was the value of a Truman degree and size of the school itself. Later, many students stated that acceptance into a warm community and dynamic school culture improved their experience.

Nepalese student Netra Neupane said, “I chose Truman because it was really affordable and academically strong. I come from a small town. I didn’t really want to go to a big city, so it was a perfect fit for me.”

Vietnamese student Ai Tran responded more generally, saying that, when he was choosing between several different schools, his first priority was the cost of attendance, followed by the availability of the academic program(s) he was looking for, and finally, the location of the university itself. He found that these three considerations narrowed down his list to one or two places and eventually led him to Truman.

To truly learn about the character of a university, you must see and experience it for yourself.  There will inevitably be some things about the school that you did not expect. This is exactly what happened to our international students. Ai Tran, for instance, was immediately impressed by how quickly he was able to make friends from his home country and by his rapid acclimation to Truman’s social environment.

“It’s a small place,” Ai commented. “But what really matters is the people in the place.”

“It’s a small place,” Ai commented. “But what really matters is the people in the place.” Many international students come to Truman expecting a valuable degree, an affordable education, and a quaint, little town in the middle of the United States. We easily meet these initial expectations. What students do not anticipate is the exceptional quality of the student body of Truman State University. It may be easy enough to rank a college, but it is a much more difficult task to rank a college community, and an even more difficult one to rank the students within that community.


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Hello! I am a senior English major at Truman. I enjoy reading books, writing poetry, and running everywhere! One day, I hope to be a professor of English, specifically of creative writing. It would be really cool if some of my creative work was published someday!

This is the official blog of the Truman State University Center for International Students.