Forbes has issued their 2009 version of America’s Best Colleges. Once again Forbes is relying on ratemyprofessors.com for 25% of the ranking and Who’s Who in America for another 25%. I criticized Forbes last year for using these two tools since I don’t believe in the the legitimacy of either. Anyone, including non students, can go onto the ratemyprofessors website and rate a professor. The argument of Forbes that millions of students have done the rating means nothing if the underlying process is completely flawed.
Likewise, Who’s Who in America is a completely meaningless measure of anything as Forbes themselves have pointed out. Who am I to argue with Forbes?
This year they also continue to use 4 year student loan debt, the likelihood of graduating in 4 years and student and faculty success in winning competitive academic awards. These items may lead to some useful rating information but with 50% of the rating coming from worthless information it is hard to give any credence to the 2009 rankings.