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Maybe I should have considered Reed

I think colleges should publish a list of the statistics that let potential students more accurately understand the potential cost of a specific college choice. I think this list should include

1. The campus suicide rate
2. STD incidence, by category
3. Metrics indicative of the level of alcoholism
4. Crime data for the campus and surrounding vicinity
5. A metric indicating the hotness of the average student (A jest, spurred by the dismal showing of the university of Chicago in a (relatively) unscientific poll involving facebook and hotornot.com)
6. Data on pass/fail rates of the various core or required classes
7. Citation indices, and other metrics that indicate relative quality of specific professors and not just departments.


I think that the rationale here is that students who pick colleges generally base their decisions on cost, academics, and post-graduation income or career potential (which would include the probability of living through the experience). That's all information that comes with a low cost; Universities generally are very willing to provide that data in the brochures and handouts and websites that they publish, not to mention the ever controversial US News style rankings. However, understanding the costs of a specific location decision, or understanding the real costs of even going to college at all, involve a fairly costly research process. Additionally, even the people who do a great deal of research on college tend to not think of asking questions about things like the suicide rate (which I think might be an indicator of general student happiness).

IEDIT#3 (Jack's right): nteresting anecdotal point: I heard my freshman year that there were 22 suicide attempts during fall 2003 and that one of the more popular ways to go was to jump off Virginia Avenue Parking Garage.

Second edit: Here is the link to the Chicago Crimson article I reference in #5. Turns out the analysis was relatively more rigorous than I'd thought.

"Interesting anecdotal point: I heard my freshman year that there were 22 suicides during fall 2003 and that one of the more popular ways to go was to jump off Virginia Avenue Parking Garage."

Are you kidding me? Given all the coverage that was given to the ONE jumper last year don't you think this would be more widely known? And I thought MIT had the highest suicide rate at something like 2-3. There's no way this number's right.

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