University Rankings

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In this chart from a NACAC study, it seems counselors do find useful information in the “Best Colleges” issue of “US News” — even if they don’t find the rankings all that helpful.

A National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) study released this month finds that a majority of people who work in the field of college admissions – from high school counselors to college admissions counselors to private college counselors – hold negative opinions of the “US News & World Report” university rankings. But that doesn’t make them any less meaningful!

On a scale of 1-100 with 100 being strongly support the rankings, high school counselors rated the “US News & World Report” university rankings a 29, while college admissions counselors rated them a 39. To disclose, the Founder of Ivy Coach is a member of NACAC and believes that rankings have an important place in American society. According to NACAC, high school counselors and college admissions counselors have formed more negative views of the rankings within the last five years.

What else did the NACAC study find? Well, public schools think of the rankings more positively than do private schools. Also, counselors don’t think the title “America’s Best Colleges” is accurate, they don’t like the methodology behind the rankings, and they think the “rankings encourage counter-productive behavior” on the part of universities.

But they do find other material in the “US News & World Report” to be helpful — just not the rankings so much. According to NACAC, “Despite holding strong negative attitudes toward the U.S. News & World Report rankings, as revealed by the first section, the majority of NACAC members still use the rankings in their admission and advising work.” Of course they do! In the world of college admissions, the “US News & World Report” rankings are king…whether or not you like them.

Check out the NACAC study on college rankings. Also, take a look at our post on Malcolm Gladwell and college rankings as well as our post on college rankings and graduation rate. And let us know your thoughts on university rankings by posting below!

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