September 22, 2016
College and university rankings have received a good deal of attention in recent years. While the media outlets and other organizations that develop these rankings often collect useful data, controversy has arisen over how that data is aggregated and weighted to create a final ranking.
In some cases, those methods have changed from year to year, causing an institution’s ranking to rise or fall with little change in the underlying data. Prospective students and parents should consider rankings in that context, and look beyond them to the university’s academic program, culture and opportunities for enrichment. A successful education depends more on finding an institution that best fits a student’s needs and goals than upon any statistical formula.