2022 USNews Rankings posted


Except I’d make it groupings of 30, 40 or even 50 schools.

After being neck deep in this stuff for three or four years, I’ve come to realize the brilliant usability and appreciate the simplicity of the Fiske Guide. Just list the best ~320 schools alphabetically, rate each in a few categories, and provide a short insightful description of each. Fiske trusts its readers to be smart enough to read the listings, apply their personal requirements, and decide if UCRiverside or Dickinson or Loyola Chicago is a better fit.

It doesn’t make sense to choose Pepperdine (#49) over Pitt (#59) and WPI (#63) simply because it is ranked higher on USNWR. They are all fine universities and each is better than the other two for specific students looking for specific experiences and preparing for specific careers.

Read Fiske and CTCL, inhale, exhale, read, make a great decision.


In keeping with the spirit of the thread, I particularly like tracking one category.

Mid-size (for me, 4K-12K) non-T30s: Chapman, U of St Thomas (MN), CWRU, GWU, Howard, Miami, Lehigh, American U, Hampton, USanFran, Marquette, Gonzaga, Loyola (MD), St Louis U, etc.

My personal reason for tracking this group is those are the types of schools where I see my children attending, and those are the ones likely to come up in discussions about where to send a student. In my circles, few are paying extra to send their kids to OOS publics when we have perfectly good publics here. And if a family is sending their child to an in-state public, the decision is usually made fairly easily among which schools accepted the student.

In any circle, no one really needs advice for T30s - either your kid is going to one or not. If the costs are equal, very few people are making gut-wrenching decisions between MIT and U of Northern AZ - and there’s really no material difference between Georgetown and Emory that families can’t figure out on their own.

But I love reading the details about mid-size privates. What makes Lehigh different than Lewis & Clark different than Eckerd different than Creighton? Is International Studies better at Union or Santa Clara? Which schools are greek focused, which empty out on the weekends, which have good writing programs, which have sports teams the students attend or not, which do this or that.

Why is Seattle U ranked #127, Santa Clara #55, Quinnipiac #148 and American U #79? Are there any material differences between the four, besides better majors for one over the others? I know the “why” is because of how each school measures up to the methodology applied by USNWR. The “why” I want to know is why Quinny might be better for Student X and why SeattleU might be better for Student H.

These are the questions about the USNWR rankings that are on my mind.

PS: I also possibly see one of my kids attending a slightly smaller school. I’m thankful for rankings like Forbes that combine LACs with all the other schools.


I think these rankings must be the one thing keeping USNWR in business.

A friend’s son goes to a lesser known small college that’s likely not even in USNWR’s T200 (I had to look it up when she mentioned where he had decided to go). In his 3 years at college he has landed highly coveted internships at Lockheed, PWC & Goldman Sachs. You don’t need to be at a T25 to take advantage of opportunity or achieve success in life.


My guess is that Florida politicians will make a big deal out of U of F getting to number 5 of the Public University list tied with UNC.

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#83 UC-Riverside and #93 UC-Merced rank above #103 UC Santa Cruz.

The Florida publics have done exceptionally well over the last few years. They have very reasonable OOS tuition without financial aid. If UF doesn’t funnel a lot of people to online classes and community college options, it could attract a lot more attention and has already seen apps increase dramatically. I believe its ACT range was 30-34 last year which is higher than UT-Austin’s 26-34. The thing with UT-Austin is that you’ll be auto-admitted if you’re in the top 6% but if you don’t have a great profile (i.e., test scores, ECs, work, diversity), you’ll be admitted to school of arts and sciences and not the most desired Engineering, Business and science majors.

So now we can say HCPM since Yale is #5?

Without need based aid or merit, are there any in the Top 65 that are $45K to $50K all-in OOS besides Purdue, UF and FSU?

That’s an eclectic mix of internships. Lockheed is great for engineering and supply chain. PWC great for consulting and accounting. GS great for finance and sales and trading. I contend that if you get a full ride or top designated scholar at a “lesser known” school, you’ll be in a small group that’s coddled and provided opportunities.


Do the rankings help a student find the most suitable curriculum for her/him? Do they help her/him find out which colleges offer the set of courses at the levels appropriate for her/him in the fields that s/he may pursue? With subjective criteria weighted arbitrarily, what does it mean that a college ranked X is “better” than one ranked Y (for X < Y) if a change in arbitrary weights alone would change their orders, even if one agrees with all their criteria?

Numerical rankings (as oppsoed to tiering) are not only arbitrary and pointless, but they’re also harmful. Their simplicity is just so alluring that they’re addictive. Once addicted, one wants more. They even manage to be contagious that a not-yet-addicted faces peer pressures to conform. They inflicted some serious harms to students and their families, to the college admission processes, and to the colleges themselves. There’s an article today in The Chronicle of Higher Education on the obsessions of some colleges over their rankings.


I agree the rankings are harmful. I have heard many AOs say ‘we don’t care about the rankings but our President and/or Trustees sure do’

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Colleges do need to care because there are numerous studies showing that even small movements in ranking yield statistically significant changes in applications and quality of applicants. It seems surprising, but so many studies have confirmed it.
In any event, I am sincerely glad for the Florida and Georgia state schools-they have come a very long way, and are a tribute to those states’ efforts.


For us, it helps narrow down a list of schools that are highly ranked. Then, we can explore the colleges that fit in terms of major and curriculum offerings, placement success, culture and cost.

Rankings have helped some universities focus more heavily on graduation rates and recruitment of students in need. For example, my alma mater, U of Houston, is listed in the Chronicle article. They have frozen tuition for new students if you pledge to work towards graduating in four years. They have also dramatically increased on campus housing to improve the experience. They also try to decrease class sizes. It seems smart to use a goal like Top 50 public university to drive fundraising. The increased rankings over the last few years – from 220s to 179 this year – have also helped its debt rating plus it’s continuing to grow.

Here is how test optional changes were factored in.
Key Changes in 2022 USNWR Rankings

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Interesting. Guessing that class of 2025 data does not enter the ranking calculation until next Sept, at least.

Are there any rankings that consider whether faculty of an institution encourage their children to not only apply to the institution, but enroll?

That would be interesting and highly dependent upon what financial incentives faculty and staff receive. Some universities have tuition discount exchange programs with peers. However, your university doesn’t want to be the recipient of more than its share.

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That should absolutely be a tie for #1! :purple_heart: :purple_heart:


It’s interesting that no southern LACs made the top 10 this year. They certainly seem significantly less popular on CC than LACs in the other parts of the country.

Duke has ranked outside the top 10 only twice in the history of the USNWR rankings (1988 and last year), so #9 is more in line with its usual placement.

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Interesting is that todays new rankings are for the fall 2020 class stats.

Next year with UC’s being test Blind will they modify again? or will they be penalized in the rankings, as scores make up 5% rank

Florida Publics only state that still required SAT/ACT for fall 2021. Scores were down slightly except UF. I can see this hurting them compared to test optional schools that get full credit with lower threshold.

With the reduced threshold from 75% to 50% for full credit on test scores i can see this inflating test scores. Students that are below the 50% level on range are most likely to apply test optional this will artificially skew the test scores higher of the school.


Possibly, but I’m not aware that he was awarded either of those distinctions. It’s more likely that he worked hard and actively sought out opportunities that got his foot in the door.

Yes, ranking colleges as if they were boxers makes zero sense. A star based approach makes much more sense.


Similar to the end-of-year BCS College Football Ranking (one can argue #5 vs #2, but it is far harder to argue #25 vs #2 though some homer fans will do so), the annual USNews Ranking is a great guide, but only a guide and one shouldn’t get too granular. One can reach her/his own level of confidence in the USN Rankings. Remove your bias and take any random # and then start adding to it (you will have to round to the nearest # at times because there are ties as there should be). If your random # is 5, is it easy for two people to argue between #5 and #6? #5 and #16? #5 and #26? #5 and #36? #5 and #56? #5 and #156? Figure out where it makes sense to you. As with any ranking, it should be easier to argue between more disparate numbers as you get to the lower rankings. e.g. It is easier to argue between #105 and #126 than it is between #5 and #26. That’s why US News has more ties as the numbers get larger. Perhaps there is an outlier or two in your mind, but on the whole US News does the best job and one shouldn’t be up in arms about #s that are pretty close to each other. For example, If accepted to all colleges today, I’d attend Stanford undergrad, because I think it is the #1 university in the nation. US News lists Stanford in the Top 6, so that’s fine by me.

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