The “US News” college ranking is out. And Ivy Coach is featured today on the pages of “The Daily Pennsylvanian,” the newspaper of the University of Pennsylvania. The piece, about this very ranking, is written by Julia Bell and it’s entitled “Penn was ranked #8 by US News & World Report — but what do rankings actually mean?” ‘Tis the season for college rankings and when the college rankings come out, we’re often asked what we think about them. In short, what does it matter what we think about them? They matter. The matter to colleges. They matter to parents. They matter to students. And any college that should suggest the rankings don’t matter to them, well, they’re not telling you the truth.
Penn’s Dean of Admissions Eric Furda is not one not to tell the truth. Indeed he has a long track record of telling it like it is, a track record of being candid about the highly selective college admissions process even if it doesn’t always serve his interest. It’s cemented his place in our fictional ranking of best Deans of Admissions near the very top of the list. As Dean Furda articulates in the piece in “The Daily Pennsylvanian,” “We try to put to put a frame of context around it, but that message doesn’t always get across. And it’s something we live our lives in, too, so we can’t say it doesn’t matter.”
Does the “US News & World Report” college ranking matter to colleges? You bet it does.
And Brian of our firm backs up Dean Furda’s assertion in the piece. As quoted in the same “Daily Pennsylvanian” article, “’The U.S. News & World Report are the kingpin of the ranking,’ said Brian Taylor, director at Ivy Coach, a college admissions consulting firm. ‘It’s been part of the college process for so long that it’s engrained in students’ and parents’ heads.’ Taylor doesn’t foresee U.S. News World Report losing its audience or being usurped by another ranking system in the near future. However, other publications are establishing themselves with alternative ranking systems.”
And while the rankings are important here in the United States, they’re even more important elsewhere around the world. As quoted in “The Daily Pennsylvanian,” “Taylor emphasized that college rankings are especially important to international students, because they generally have less first-hand knowledge of American colleges than their local peers. ‘When you can’t visit schools, when your only knowledge of the schools are these rankings, they have a whole lot of weight,’ he said.” We couldn’t have said it any better ourselves. Oh wait.
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