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Letters: More than one way to choose college

August 27, 2013

Re “How to pick a college,” Opinion, Aug. 23, and “College ratings could backfire” Editorial, Aug. 23

College presidents Barry Glassner and Morton Schapiro make a rational argument that students should choose schools that can help foster their pursuits and interests.

While some students know before entering college what field they intend to go into, for a majority of American kids today, college is the time to figure that out.

If young people choose a school based only on what they think they know or like when they are 18, we'll wind up with many unhappy 20-year-olds.

Let's help them build solid foundations of knowledge and morality that will stay with them no matter what field they wind up in. Allowing them to explore is part of their journey of self-expression and toward self-confidence.

Danny Groner
New York

Glassner and Schapiro are to be commended for their opinion piece.

Not only should it be suggested reading for parents contemplating college for their children, it should be required reading for all college counselors and college advisors in our high schools.

Stu Bernstein
Santa Monica

A scorecard for colleges has some merit, but I would strongly argue against the inclusion of graduation rates in such a rating system. It is all too easy to improve graduation rates by lowering standards.

More useful metrics would be the percentage of graduates obtaining jobs the year after they graduate and the average salary of those jobs.

James Stein
Long Beach

The article was fine but perhaps didn't go far enough.

Instead of the inevitable controversy (and attendant bureaucracy) the proposed rating system will engender, why can't the U.S. government's student loan program start making colleges accountable for their annual increases in tuition by tying participation in the program to the preceding year's tuition plus a cost-of-living increase?

Because of supply and demand, most colleges will continue these tuition increases — out of all proportion to cost-of-living increases — until they are stopped from being subsidized by the government's student loan program.

Limiting loans to CPI-related increases (plus perhaps a process that would allow a college to account for and justify to the government a larger increase) is something that should be considered.

John C. Garrett
Newport Beach

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