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 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
- Princeton University
- Harvard University
- Yale University
- Columbia University
- Stanford University
- University of Chicago
- Duke University
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- University of Pennsylvania
- 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.