Rankings can be useful when examining the specific components that make up the rating & ranking system.
Ranking schools by “total endowment” as well as by “endowment per student” is helpful to gauge financial stability & resources of a particular college or university.
Sometimes a low “total endowment” raises concerns about a particular school, while a significant endowment causes me to investigate further certain schools.
“Average first year retention rate” and “six year graduation rate” are very important factors to consider about each school.
“Student to Faculty Ratio”, “Percent of Classes under 20 students” & “Percent of Classes Over 50 Students” can help one find an appropriate school.
“Selectivity” rankings & specific parameters of selectivity by standardized test scores & GPA are helpful in refining one’s college search.
Rankings based on job placement are helpful.
Although interesting, the least useful rankings tend to be those published by the Princeton Review due to their unscientific & haphazard nature.
Rankings of Greek society participation also help inform readers about schools’ social culture.
Rankings by major offer important insights into school curriculums & academics.
Subjective rankings are typically the least helpful.