In Rankings

US News announced some changes to its college rankings methodology. This is most likely in response to the pushback the publisher received from both law schools and medical schools.

While US News historically releases its college rankings in September, the new methodology is most likely aimed at deflating any attempt at a widespread boycott. US News has far more invested in its college rankings than its graduate school rankings such as MBA, law school, and medical school. The market is just simply far bigger.

As a result, US News will begin weighing colleges’ abilities to graduate students from different backgrounds. This should address many of the “diversity” concerns raised by the boycotting graduate schools.

Even more importantly, US News will cease tracking several of its historical metrics. For instance, US News will stop tracking alumni giving. Additionally, the publication will cease to include high school class rank and the number of faculty members with terminal degrees.

We have been on record for as long as we’ve been in business (1996) stating that we are not fans of the rankings systems and applicants need to find their best-fit schools as opposed to the highest ranked one that admitted them. Personally, we think rate of alumni giving was a good rankings factor. Alumni who give are satisfied customers. But we digress and we’ll simply restate that applicants should take every rankings with the proverbial “grain of salt.”

US News CEO Eric Gertler explained in a statement, “Helping students find the school that is right for them is the core of everything we do in our education vertical. With college costs soaring, we want to ensure the educational resources we provide emphasize the outcomes for graduates of the schools in our rankings. This, in conjunction with the other outcomes-focused measures we are adopting, will further support a student’s decision-making process when they are making one of the most important decisions of their lives.”

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