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How much should rankings factor in choosing a university?

Columbia University
Posted at 1:19 PM, Aug 10, 2022

In many students' minds, brand names matter when it comes choosing a university.

As students head to campus, college rankings are in the spotlight after 10 schools were recently removed from the 2022 best colleges or graduate schools lists from U.S. News and World Report.

The outlet said the schools had inaccurate or misreported data.

The "Chronicle of Higher Education" found schools face a lot of pressure to look good. Some schools include their plans for how they want to rank in their strategic plans.

Some states even reward public colleges that do better in the rankings. But there's a question of just how much rankings should play into student decisions about where to go to college.

“Debate around the cost of college has certainly complicated the role that rankings play because I believe you have a lot of students and families who are now looking at where they're going to attend college and thinking of it in more practical terms.” Andy Thomason from the Chronicle of Higher Education said.

U.S. News said it continuously evaluates the factors it considers to put its rankings together.

New rankings are expected to come out next month, so the schools likely won't be off the list for long.

But Columbia University has said it won't participate in the 2023 rankings as it wraps up its investigation into allegations it misrepresented data.