Virginia School Presidents Protest Obama College Ranking System

Lynchburg, VA -{}50 Virginia University and college presidents are protesting President Obama's college ranking system. Obama's system would rank the nation's public and private universities, colleges as well as community colleges based on graduation rates and student debt. In the past, students and their parents have looked to US News and World report or the Princeton Review to find lists of the best colleges. Now President Obama is working on a new ranking system. "What we want to do is rank them on who is offering the best value so students and taxpayers get the biggest bang for their buck" said President Obama. Obama says too many colleges are leaving students with debt and little hope of high-paying jobs. Schools that rank on the top of the government's list would get more money for financial aid. "We're going to make sure that if you have to take on debt to earn your college degree, you have ways to manage and afford it" said President Obama. Liberty University president Jerry Falwell Jr. and dozens of other Virginia presidents say they support the President's effort to make college more affordable. However, they don't believe a ranking system is the answer. "The main reason students drop out and don't graduate is because of finances. So schools know that if we want to get our graduation rate up we only accept the more well to do kids. That is not what we want to do" said Falwell Jr. Falwell Jr. says it would also punish schools with liberal arts or public service programs whose students don't typically move on to higher paying jobs. In particular Liberty students that go on to do mission work. "A lot of our students their goal is not to leave here and make a lot of money their goal is to serve others" said Falwell. The ranking system should be ready for the 2015-2016 school year. In a statement, a spokeswoman with the education department says they have received the letter from the Virginia Presidents and look forward to responding. She says if done correctly-- the ranking system will benefit students and help more Americans attain a college education.