I would not say that the ratings are pure garbage. But I can tell you comparing Brandeis to Goucher would be very difficult as they are totally different types of schools with different ways of teaching and the way things are set up. Goucher is a former all women's college and is similar to Vassar, Skidmore, Wheaton, Bennington, Sarah Lawrence , in style whereas Brandeis is more like a traditional smaller university. What is more important than any academic rating is to visit the school and find out which learning and living environment is better for you. I've known kids who have loved each school and some who have hated either one. It is all a matter of match. A free spirit type would probably be more at home at Goucher. A traditionalist would probably prefer Brandeis. Goucher enjoys an excellent reputation in the mid-Atlantic,particularly in Maryland. Having lived in Baltimore for many years and being familiar with Goucher's transitions and situation, I can say that it is an excellent academic value for its selectivity today. Brandeis is more right on, I believe, with its statistics. In my day, Brandeis was nearly all Jewish, Goucher was all female. Both situations have changed as I know many non Jewish students who love Brandeis and Goucher is more than a third male now. I would recommend anyone who is trying to choose between these schools to spend a "day in the life of".