With the release of the “US News” rankings this week comes the annual conversation of just how “US News & World Report” calculates its rankings. As you may know, the “US News & World Report” college rankings are based on an algorithm and, from time to time, this algorithm changes. This year marked a significant change to the algorithm as detailed in an “Inside Higher Ed” article entitled “A Shift to Outcomes” by Scott Jaschik.
So what are the changes to the college ranking algorithm, you ask? As announced by “US News & World Report,” the ‘student selectivity’ component counts for only 12.5% of a college’s total score this year as opposed to 15% last year. As a sub-component of the ‘student selectivity’ component, class rank now counts for 25% as opposed to 40% of the overall figure. But that means that something has to count more, right? So SAT/ACT scores are given more weight as a sub-component, rising from 50% to 65%.
‘Peer assessment’, which is based upon a survey of university presidents, falls from 25% of the algorithm for regional colleges to 22.5%. It’s as of yet unclear if this change applies to national universities as well this year. Additionally, graduation and retention rates carry more weight this year, rising from 20% to 22.5%.
What do you think about these changes to the “US News” ranking formula? Do you think other changes should be made? Do you think one university in particular should have been ranked higher or lower? Let us know your thoughts on the subject of the “US News” rankings by posting below. We look forward to hearing from you.