Understand their criteria.
- Some are more data-driven and, therefore, more objective. Others are opinion-driven and more subjective.
- "Money" uses only data retrieved from the U.S. Dept of Education and from the schools own data, published in standardized format (to make school-to-school comparison easier).
- Some focus on outcomes. For example the "Washington Monthly" ranks schools based on how many graduates enter not-for-profit, public service or government service careers. Several others include job placement and entrance incomes to rank the schools.
- A few rely heavily on student reviews of their own college perhaps the most subjective analysis of all. Others ask College Presidents to rate their competition.
- Somewhere in the fine print you may find the criteria used by each publisher. That will be a helpful guide to understanding and making use of what you are reading.
Let the lists inform you as to a "type of college" to search out.
- The most significant issue with nationally published rankings is how few colleges are mentioned out of a total census of 5,000 6,000 campuses.
- For example, a highly rated college in California may be of theoretical interest to a North Carolina family, but a remote practicality.
- That school in California, however, does have qualities and characteristics that can be found in similar colleges closer to home. Your job is to find those other schools.
- The criteria of different lists also can help with different aspects of the decision-making process. Before sending in your deposit to the University of Great-Expense consider (1) post-graduate outcomes, (2) campus culture and (3) net costs. Those three, critical factors can be drawn from reading a variety of lists.
November 5, 2014
Different news organizations and research groups publish "Best Colleges" rankings. What use can you make of them?
- 3 Things Every Busy High School Student Needs to Know
- Why Campus Visits Deserve Your Time and Energy
- SAT - ACT: Take it, or go Test Optional?
- The Best Way to Pay for College
- How Much is a College Education Going to Cost You, Really?
- Navigating the Pathways of College Admissions and Financial Aid in 2021
- Merry Christmas! Your Child and the Christmas Child
- Gear Up, Tenth Graders
- Apply for Fall, Get Spring Semester. Why do colleges send "Spring Semester Acceptance" letters?
- Why do colleges "Wait List" some students and what to do if you're on the wait list
- #acttestoptional #acttestprep #applyingforcollege #applyingtocollege #collegeapplications #collegeplanning #collegeplanning #sat/acttest #sat/acttesting #collegeplanninglkn #collegeplanningtimeline #collegescholarships #collegewaitlist #communitycollege #fafsa #financialaid #financialaidoffer #howtohandlecollegewaitlist #howtopayforcollege #howtostudyforsat/acttest #istestoptionalpermanent #payingforcollege #sattestoptional #sattestprep #satacttestprep #springsemesteracceptance #studyforact #studyforsat #tenthgrade #waitlist 4th of July; Independence; Freedom 529 Plan ACT apply to college with confidence Best Colleges campus life in 2021 Campus visits career college college admissions for homeschool students college admissions in 2021 college application essay college costs