Rankings: What does "Best" really mean?


Yesterday the US News and World Report (USNWR) rankings were released -- dubbed by some “the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition” of college lists. Distracting and sometimes deceptive, we think rankings can nevertheless be useful for students and parents if approached correctly. But we strongly urge students and parents not to fall prey to the “best-ism” that is part of the larger cultural phenomenon of status competition and celebrity.

You may want to take a look at this new site from the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC). Timed to coincide with the USNWR’s Best Colleges edition, this site parts the curtain on rankings for students and parents, examining the methodologies and discussing the meaning of “best.” While you’re there, you might want to also take the opportunity to submit questions about the rankings to another new feature, the Counselor’s Corner

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