U.S. News College Rankings 2014 : Even President Obama Thinks it’s Flawed

Raghuram Sukumar Edu News 10 Comments

U.S. News Best Colleges Rankings for 2014 was published last week as as usual critics are freaking out about the rankings. U.S. News made changes to their methodology this year to address the critics from past years but that didn’t critics from talking about flawed rankings systems. Critic included even President Obama.

president obamaPresident Obama : “Right now, private rankings like U.S. News and World Report puts out each year their rankings, and it encourages a lot of colleges to focus on ways to — how do we game the numbers, and it actually rewards them, in some cases, for raising costs. I think we should rate colleges based on opportunity. Are they helping students from all kinds of backgrounds succeed — (applause) — and on outcomes, on their value to students and parents.

Washington Post : Officials at competitive schools are supposed to accurately gauge faculty dedication to teaching at other schools? Do you think they can do that accurately for all faculty at their own schools? Over the years, I’ve spoken to presidents and provosts and deans of admissions and some believe they can do a decent job of evaluating competitors. Others don’t, but that doesn’t stop some of them from filling out the survey anyway. (Yes, the magazine allows those being surveyed to say that they “don’t know” but that raises the question about how many “don’t knows” there are vs. actual answers.)

CBS News : A major factor in the rankings is what everybody else thinks about each other. Three administrators at each of the institutions in the national university category, for instance, must assess what they think about all their peers on a one-to-five grading scale. What do administrators at UCLA and Notre Dame, however, know about what’s going on at the University of Texas, Oregon State or the University of South Florida?…..With all its flaws and its harmful impact on college behavior, why is anyone still paying attention to these college rankings?

The Atlantic : U.S. News is always tinkering with the metrics they use, so meaningful comparisons from one year to the next are hard to make. Critics also allege that this is as much a marketing move as an attempt to improve the quality of the rankings: changes in the metrics yield slight changes in the rank orders, which induces people to buy the latest rankings to see what’s changed.”

Lloyd Thacker at Inside Higher Education :  Well-intentioned people have lobbied U.S. News for years to make changes to encourage more of an emphasis on educational values,” he said. “I’m skeptical this changes anything. Ordinal rankings are fundamentally flawed.

Finally, Malcom Gladwell’s review on why U.S. News Rankings are Flawed Big TIME : The U.S. News rankings suffer from a serious case of the suicide problem. There’s no direct way to measure the quality of an institution—how well a college manages to inform, inspire, and challenge its students. So the U.S. News algorithm relies instead on proxies for quality—and the proxies for educational quality turn out to be flimsy at best.

Top 10 Universities : US News College Rankings 2104

  1. Princeton University
  2. Harvard University
  3. Yale University
  4. Columbia University
  5. Stanford University
  6. University of Chicago
  7. Duke University
  8. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  9. University of Pennsylvania
  10. California Institute of Technology

As you can see all Top 10 Universities are Private Universities.

And finally my comments from previous years and articles

  • Ranking – a mere number attached to a college means nothing to you.
  • You must stop looking at College Rankings and find schools that are best fit for your profile.

Comments

  1. The rankings might mean nothing to you, but it means everything to employers. I attended a no-name school and I’ve been told point blank from employers that they only hire from ranked universities. Telling someone to find a school that fits their profile, unless that school is well-known, is bad advice.

  2. First you better look the study program. Then you have to realize if you can afford it (and the scholarship and financial options). At the end, you can consult in several ranks (ARWU/US News/Washington Monthly/Times, etc). If you think the program you have chosen would help to grow in a professional way, then it’s up to you. Even if you study for a B.S./B.A./B.Eng. in an community college you will have good opportunities -both in your origin country and the U.S-. All the undergraduate and graduate programs in the U.S. (and Canada) are well recognized around the world.

  3. This is Kaushik ,a graduate in Electronics and communication Engineering .
    I have finished my 4 year long Bachelor of Science (B. Sc..) . I achieved 2.7 out of 4.
    My GRE total is 298
    Breakdown: Verbal 149, Quantitative 149, Analytical Writing: 2
    IELTS overall score is 6.5
    Breakdown: Listening 7, Reading 5.5, writing 6.5, speaking 6
    and want to apply fall 2014 for MS in Computer Science.Do you think I could get some funding with this profile?Please refer me 3/4 university that I can try.

    1. Kaushik – You can apply for Spring 2014 at University of Texas. Deadline is September 30, 2013.

  4. i completed high school as far back as 2004 and have sat for the sat.
    im am from Ghana and have applied for a university in mississippi of which i’ve received an i-20 hence im enrolling as an international student.
    would my length of stay in the house affect me during the visa interview?? if im asked about why it took me such a long tyme to further,what should i say????…..help fellas!!

  5. i completed high school as far back as 2004 and have sat for the sat.
    im am from Ghana and have applied for a university in mississippi of which i’ve received an i-20 hence im enrolling as an international student.
    would my length of stay in the house affect me during the visa interview?? if im asked about why it took me such a long tyme to further,what should i say????…..help fellas!!

  6. Hello raghu sir,
    please evaluate my profile-Gre-306
    quants-159,verbal-147,AWA-2.5
    Toefl-90
    Cgpa-8.25 upto 6th sem

    2 internships
    1 major project on ferrocement economical paver blocks

    Ug degree-B.E. civil engg from Rgpv bhopal
    Remained university topper for my 2nd year and i am a topper of my department in the colg.
    I have won many technical competions and participated in many
    co-curriculums

    Seeking admission for construction engineering and management degree:
    Applied to –
    USC
    TAMU COLLEGE STATION
    ASU
    UNI. OF FLORIDA
    What are my chances of admission in the above universities
    And plz suggest me some more university where i can apply according to my profile and your expertise is needed asap..thanx in advance

  7. can you help me in suggesting unversities for ms in computers from USA

    Details are:
    Gre:303 quant:160 Verbal:143 AWA:3
    Toefel yet to give
    XII:80%
    X:84%
    2.5 years of experience in Infosys Limited

  8. GRE-296
    TOEFL- Is on 28th Sept expecting between 80-90
    Academics- 62% from Nagpur university.(Maharashtra)
    Publications- 2 Papers in National Paper Presentation.
    12th-77%
    10th-83%

    Universities I Selected
    1]Clemson Univ
    2]NJIT
    3]UTA
    4]Texas Tech University
    5]Syracuse University
    6]Drexel University
    7]University of Connecticut
    8]Michigan Tech University
    9]Oklahoma State University
    10]IIT, Chicago
    11]Southern Methodist University

    Please suggest me which uni i should apply for

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