- Marketing consultant John Gann Jr. says that colleges and universities that do not rank high in lists like those published by U.S. News & World Report can make a public case of comparison with key performance data from listed institutions.
- 'Fact-vertising' helps consumers to put more priority on performance metrics instead of name brands.
- This method typically requires more institutional research to mine facts that are not only publicly accessible, but can also compare favorably against peer and higher-ranked institutions.
College and university presidents have long held mixed feelings about college rankings compiled by media and government, but the prospects of using fact-based data for marketing are intriguing.
Gallup's recent poll of black graduate satisfaction from historically black and predominantly white institutions is an example of data in action, positioning schools that historically rank low on rankings to perform higher in areas which matter most to prospective graduates.
Social mobility and loan debt are other metrics that matter, and for smaller institutions, these are the data points that can help in evening the playing field with Ivy League and flagship public colleges.