New USNWR rankings live now

USNWR stopped being a physical magazine long ago. Various rankings and some online clickbait are all that is left.


At the big research institutions, these faculty are often not teaching undergraduates.


For sure–that’s an obvious concern and necessary consideration. If you can combine scholarly profile and student attention then you have the best of both worlds. Which I imagine is the case at many, if not all, top-ranked schools.

I don’t understand. Why would the rankings be suspect because of UCB and UCLA moving up? These universities are highly regarded throughout the world.

QS World Rankings (2024): UCB #10, UCLA #29

Times Higher Education (2023): UCB #8, UCLA #21

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Not sure how true that is. In my experience there are plenty of big names teaching CS classes at the top research schools.


This is not true, at least in engineering. For example, most engineering professors at Michigan and Texas A&M teach at least one course, sometimes two, per semester. Some of the 2-4 courses per year are graduate courses, but almost everyone has to teach undergraduate classes (unless they buy out or have administrative duties, which happens but is not common). This can be easily verified by entering their names into Rate My Professors and looking at classes they teach (and student reviews, good or bad).


It’s suspect if your school moved down.

My kid’s schools are so far down I’ve got nothing to worry about. I think one declined and one was flat but if you’re on page 10 - it doesn’t matter !!

Maybe it’s just used to line birdcages these days.

Cal was already top 20 last year. A move to #15 is not a wild jump.

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I dislike rankings as much as the next person, but US News seems to be really struggling. After the WSJ did a reasonable job with their rankings, US seemed to have missed the mark. Besides most state schools jumping 5+ spots year over year (at the expense of more competitive privates), the publication no longer uses criteria that considers the strength of the accepted applicants, admissions rates or even SAT scores (in many cases).

Hard to respect a ranking that offers little consideration to the students being accepted. Are they just playing to the crowd?


Not defending the USN ranking, but…

I thought the consensus in the CC topic on the WSJ rankings a couple weeks ago was that it was a highly flawed.

The WSJ ranking doesn’t do this either.

Isn’t the point supposed to be to rate the quality of the education and not the students it admits? Are you saying higher stat HS students inherently make the college’s teaching better?


I believe USNews uses the Carnegie Classifications: Princeton is R1, Very High Research; Swat is classified as a Baccalaureate institution.

USNews uses the independent Carnegie Classification on higher ed.

The WSJ/College Pulse rankings do not include any of the criteria you are criticizing USNWR’s rankings for excluding. It is 70% graduation rates and salaries, 20% student surveys on their happiness with the learning environment, and 10% student diversity.


The WSJ rankings are nonsensical. They are only useful as clickbait.


That article doesn’t really focus on the claim you made either. It’s mostly about the effects of the pandemic and how all colleges and universities are faring two and three years removed. And then there are a lot of predictions based on changing demographics, etc. This was a conference where opinions and observations were shared. It’s not any kind evidence to support what you said, which was:

The closest content from the article supporting your claim is one guy’s opinion:

“In terms of the four-year institutions, there’s this growing divide between the haves and have-nots … not just the well-funded institutions, but those that have a lot of brand power and ability to attract high-income and high-ability students,” he said. “The most selective institutions are getting stronger, and the smaller privates and regional publics are falling further and further behind.”

Many here would agree, and most would agree it’s plausible, with the exception of his imprecise reference to “the smaller privates,” because that would include elite (branded) and/or wealthy small private schools like Amherst. If he thinks Amherst is falling behind, then someone ought to rethink inviting him to the conference next year. Giving him the benefit of the doubt, and reading his whole quote, he’s only really saying the selective and/or wealthy among all schools will pull ahead, and less wealthy and less selective of all schools will fall behind. That’s certainly plausible, but it doesn’t seem to be happening yet, at least in my neck of the woods.


You should have been here last week; you would have been the life of the party. Or at least received a lot of attention. :slight_smile:

WSJ ticked off a lot of people around here. Just a heads up.

I don’t know about the “in many cases”, but based on a quick review of the methodology factors, test stores are still counted in the US News ranking. Still 5% for LACs and National Universities.

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Highly ranked colleges switching to test optional/blind presented challenges. In the past USNWR has refused to rank test blind colleges and/or applied strong penalties. With highly ranked Caltech being test blind, this policy needed to change. Similarly with a large portion of highly ranked colleges being test optional, USNWR needed to stop applying a penalty for having students not submit scores.

The new system is a 5% weighting on test scores in >50% of students submit scores and a 0% weighting if <50% submit scores. Instead of using test scores, USNWR adds an extra 5% weighting to 6-year graduation rate, if <50% of students submit scores.


I do not mind the ROI-like approach and feel they pulled it off well.

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