The College Rank Illusion

US News ranking ranks colleges in a context. Contexts (and composite scores) create illusions. To look beyond the illusion, look at the colleges in different contexts:


  • Forbes ranks are based on outcome or return on investment, and they also rank the individual components that go into their overall ranking.
  • Princeton Review ranks by 62 specific criteria, broadly categorized as academic, campus, town, politics, social, extra curricular, school type, and quality of life.
  • PayScale provides ranking based on pay of graduates who do not go on to do higher studies.

While US News and Princeton rankings are based on “input” criteria (faculty pay/education, student selectivity, peer reputation, etc.), Forbes and PayScale measure the outcome (alumni pay, graduation rate, charity contributions by alumni, student awards, etc).

This entry was posted in 11th grade, 12th grade, Goals, Tips by Sri Subramanian (@whosissri). Bookmark the permalink.

About Sri Subramanian (@whosissri)

Sri is a technologist with a point of view, hoping to make this world a better place in small ways. She lives at the intersection of business, technology, and people. Sri is currently Founder of Sri is also responsible for bringing two wonderful girls into this world, and - with ample help from her husband, and family and friends - successfully inserting many non-fun moments (such as brushing teeth) into their lives.

One thought on “The College Rank Illusion

  1. Pingback: The Right College List | VOLV

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