US News and World Report College Rankings: Hot Off the Press, Controversial as Ever
US News and World Report released its annual college rankings online today and will publish them in next week’s print issue. If the US News and World Report College Rankings can be counted on for just one thing, it’s stirring up contoversy. The US News and World Report College Rankings attempt to establish a hierarchy among United States colleges and universities. Like any hierarchical system, the US News and World Report College Rankings are subject to interpretation and dispute. “Best” is not an objective term, after all, even when predicated on objective standards.
Already the winners are boasting, the losers are posturing, and the wannabes are claiming victory in their dubious standings. Some schools boycotted the peer review process that contributes to the rankings, disenchanted with the process and its anticipated results.
The US News and World Report College Rankings actually comprise several related lists. There’s a list for National Universities, one for Liberal Arts Colleges, and one for up and coming schools. US News and World Report also compiles Quick Comparisons to enable list users to identify schools offering the best values, those with the most ethnic diversity, economic diversity or foreign students, or the highest freshman retention rate.
US News and World Report College Rankings: Who’s on Top?
The complete US News and World Reports College Rankings can be read online here.
US News College Rankings for National Universities
US News and World Report identifies these universities as the top 10 national universities: 1. Harvard, 2. Princeton, 3. Yale, 4. MIT and Stanford, 6. CIT and Penn, 8. Columbia, Duke, and Chicago. My own alma mater, Boston College, ranked a not too shabby 34.
US News College Rankings for Liberal Arts Colleges
The top 10 liberal arts colleges according to US News and World Reports are: 1. Amherst and Williams, 3. Swarthmore, 4. Wellesley, 5. Middlebury, 6. Bowdoin and Pomona, 8. Carleton, 9. Davidson, 10. Haverford.
US News College Rankings for Best Value
US News and World Reports College Rankings for best value consider the amount of financial aid typically available in the form of need based grants to reduce the cost of attendance. Accordingly, the list of Best Value schools is not even close to synonymous with the nominally least expensive schools.
According to US News and World Reports, the top 10 Best Value schools include: 1. Harvard, 2. Princeton, 3. Yale, 4. MIT, 5. Stanford, 6. CIT, 7. Dartmouth, 8. Columbia, 9. UNC-Chapel Hill, 10. Rice. I was pleasantly surprised to find my alma mater Boston College on this list in 38th place.
US News and World Report College Rankings: Are they Useful?
US News and World Reports College Rankings are one tool for evaluating a college or university’s status. Upon graduation, the status of the college or university attended is a relevant factor to many employers. So while the difference between the #2 school and the #6 school may not be significant, the difference between attending a top 20 school and a bottom 20 school may have some significance among the many factors that contribute to a graduate’s success.
The College Rankings provide a quick index for comparing admission rates. An applicant may find this information helpful in narrowing the list of schools to which he will submit applications. If …