I'd be interested in reactions to, and perhaps a discussion about, this idea. It's not a new one. I described it five years ago in the 14th edition of Bears' Guide as something I hoped to do, but not yet. Consider: 1. People earn degrees either because they intend to use them (school, job) or for self satisfaction 2. Degrees are usable to the extent they are accepted by gatekeepers and decision-makers in schools and organizations (especially registrars and HR people), and to the extent they don't cause embarrassment. 3. Acceptance is not always a simple matter of yes or no. 4. There is a close parallel, I believe, with credit ratings. They used to be extremely complex things, where lenders had different policies, gave more (or less) weight to certain factors, and so on. But along came the Fair Isaac company, with a plan to simplify all of this with a complex algorithm resulting in a single number, the FICO score: a three-digit number between 300 and 850 that has gained very wide acceptance in the lending world as a decision-making tool. In its simplest manifestion, I suggest assembling a panel of decision-makers from the academic world, and another from the business world; perhaps a third from the non-profit and government world. They would be asked to rate each school on a five-point scale. "I would accept those degrees/credits *Always *Usually *Sometimes *Rarely *Never An algorithm would turn those ratings into a single score for each school -- or, more accurately, one score for academic, and one for business. Perhaps 0-100. Perhaps non-obvious numbers as with FICO (and SAT and so forth). (My friend Brad, who has helped me clarify my thinking on this plan, proposed calling it the FACO score, but he was not serious, I think. A bit perjorative. For now, I'll call it the SAI -- the School Acceptance Index. Name suggestions welcome.) So in the 0-100 model, every school would have a two-number rating (academic, business). A school like Almeda might (for the sake of argument) be 3/17. A school like California Coast might be 43/61. A school like University of Phoenix might be 94/99. I could envision the SAI as being of value to decision-makers both to individuals considering a school and decision-makers and gatekeepers, not as an absolute, but, as with FICO, as a tool that is part of a process. Some organizaions might say "Nothing under 90 considered." Others might say that anything between 50 and 90 will be looked at, to see what other factors are present. And so on. People looking for a school would have a means for comparison, and would have an idea of what they might be in for. And, just as many people undertake an online law degree knowing that fewer than 20% of such people will ever become lawyers, so will some people take a chance on a lower-rated school for a variety of reasons. So . . . what do you think?