Letter: Ranking hypocrisy

Year after year, President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg and other GW administrators have downplayed the U.S. News & World Report college rankings as being flawed and “stacked against GW.”

For these reasons, President Trachtenberg and others have continuously ignored the rankings and have basically called them meaningless. He states, “What U.S. News is trying to do is to turn sentiment and opinion into fact. They may have an opinion … but it’s an opinion that is not sound.” This year, President Trachtenberg has added, “Schools that have money, that have greater resources…rank higher…. It teaches you that it’s good to be rich.”

After reading the article “GW falls short of top 50 rank” (Sept. 16, p. 1) I visited the GW homepage on the Web. Ironically, the first statement one can read under the heading “GW Facts” near the top of the page is: “Support from alumni helps to boost our rankings in the U.S. News & World Report … make a gift online and register your vote for GW.”

So I think what President Trachtenberg and others are trying to say is that students should come to GW regardless of its ranking in U.S. News and World Report and that GW is a much better school than indicated by its ranking. They are trying to say the opinion of the magazine is baseless and the rankings are driven by money (which somehow allegedly places GW at a disadvantage). Attending GW will be a very rewarding experience. Just remember to donate money to GW after you graduate so that we can boost our U.S. News and World Report ranking!

-Andrew Siegfried
class of ’02

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