Lake Wobegon Effect Goes Viral

We seem to have a problem in higher education.

What are we going to do about grade inflation?  Maybe this is a problem that will eventually cure itself.  Graduate programs and firms will soon need to start adjusting grade point averages for the institutions and departments from which they are applying.  Some probably do this already, but the transactions costs involved must be tremendous.  I'm quite sure many do not make these adjustments, which is why we're seeing such rampant grade inflation.  This just isn't sustainable.

I think I smell a business opportunity here: We need a ratings agencies for institutions of higher education that will allow for quick comparisons of GPA across departments and institutions.  I can imagine a number of ways of doing this.  But it would require willful participation of the various institutions to supply data on grades of all students and classes (with names stripped, of course).

Is anyone doing this?  I seem to recall reading or hearing about medical schools making such adjustments.  I wonder how they do it.  I wonder how well they do it.


  1. Mike,

    Law schools adjust for undergraduate institution- and major-specific GPA variations through the Credential Assembling Service (CAS):

    The near-univeral requirement of both LSATs and CAS means that the Law School Admission Council has lots of data available on which to draw comparisons (at least, to other law school applicants, but not the general population of university graduates).


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