This Guide is intended to identify selected sites that provide rankings for colleges, universities, departments, degree programs, etc.
Last Updated: Nov 30, 2012
While some of the information contained in the following pages is
clearly useful, it would be remiss not to mention that few topics in
education are as controversial as rankings in education.
At any rate,
the motto for anyone using these sites and links might be caveat lector,
let the reader beware! It might be helpful for anyone wishing to delve
into the rankings controversy to read some of the documents on the right.
- Playing With Numbers: How U.S. News Mismeasures Higher Education and What We Can Do About It
An article in The Washington Monthly Online (September 2000).
- A Review of the Methodology for the U.S. News & World Report's Rankings of Undergraduate Colleges and Universities
This report critically reviews the methodology used by the U.S. News & World Report to rate American colleges and universities and suggests ways in which it can be improved.
- Quantifying Quality: What Can the U.S. News and World Report Rankings Tell us About the Quality of Higher Education?
Marguerite Clarke (2002) asks: "How precise is the overall score that U.S. News uses to rank schools and what are the implications for assigning schools to discrete ranks?"
- The Rankings Game
A 2000 analysis of the US News & World Report's methodology in developing its annual rankings.
- President's Statement on College Rankings
A statement by the President of Amherst College, co-signed by a number of other college presidents, warning of the "false sense that educational success or fit can be ranked in a single numerical list." (7 September, 2007)
- What Makes A College Good?
A new survey seeks to get behind the well-publicized—and much criticized—college rankings and measure schools by how good a job they do of actually educating their students (Atlantic Monthly , November 2003).
- The Cost of Bucking College Rankings
The President of Sarah Lawrence College contends that if her college refuses to supply data to The U.S. News & World Report: ". . . we will be harmed because many students will assume that Sarah Lawrence is much less selective than it actually is." (11 March, 2007)
- Is There Life After Rankings?
A November 2005 article in The Atlantic Monthly by Colin Diver, President of Reed College. Reed College "now shuns the U.S. News ranking system—and has not only survived but thrived."
- Rankings Face Backlash From College Presidents
"What if they created a college rankings system and nobody participated? That question is growing increasingly relevant as a burgeoning number of college presidents say they are fed up with U.S. News & World Report's popular annual feature . . . ." (4 September, 2007)
- CRELL: Critiquing Global University Rankings and their Methodologies
A short article critiquing two major methodologies of ranking universities and their academic output. (27 January, 2009)
- Playing the Rankings Game
The authors argue that the U.S. News & World Report's rankings overwhelmingly favor private institutions. (25 May, 2007)
- Backlash Building Against College Rankings
Critics say system encourages deception, doesn't focus on value (8/17/2010).
- The Problems with College Rankings
". . .I suggest it is important to probe beneath the media hype to gauge the utility of these increasingly popular surveys to parents and students. Two questions are in order: What data supports these assessments of relative superiority? More important than institutional bragging rights aside, what is their utility in helping parents and students in making their university choice?" (6/16/2010)
- 'Times Higher Education' Releases New Rankings, but Will They Appease Skeptics?
"Merely adding more detail . . . obscures the underlying problem, which is that rankings depend on inherently unreliable proxy measures to assess the things they purport to be measuring . . ." (9/15/2010)
- The problem with the U.S. News college rankings
The author of this article in The Washington Post calls the rankings "nonsense".
- College administrators: Rankings can be problematic
Criticisms of rankings and the various methodologies used.