School Rankings

Wondering what factors are considered when universities are ranked and when majors within colleges are ranked higher or lower. What leads to the higher rankings?
For instance, ISU school ranking as well as its engineering rankings (for mechanical, chemical etc) are much lower than Wisconsin. Can anyone shed some light here.
It seems like it may be a marketing tool to me. Maybe the professors publish more at higher ranked schools???

Rankings are based on graduation rates, retention rates, and how much money each school has for their faculty. Iowa state is one school, University of Wisconsin is a system with more than 20 universities. They also have far higher funding from the state as opposed to the State of Iowa. They spend more money on research, They are also a far expensive school for in state, out of state, and international students. This gets them more money to spend on expenditures of the school and then the rest of it on research. In my opinion Iowa State is the cheapest Top Tech School that you’ll find probably in the entire country. I don’t know how long they’ll be able to keep this going but you can definitely verify that yourself.

Try this, go on google type " Top Engineering Schools in the US" in almost every single publication you’ll find Iowa State in the Top 20-30. US News has graduation rate and retention rate, Faculty Resources ( MONEY !! ) that also counts in their ranking which brings Iowa State’s ranking down.

Go to US News, and just look at the fees of the schools ranked higher and lower than Iowa State. You’ll see for yourself why i claimed that we are a far cheaper school. If we have more money, we can easily be in the Top 20 Engineering schools in the country. Something many deans in the engineering department have already mentioned.

Thank you for taking the time. Makes a lot of sense.