The Official 2016 USNEWS Best Colleges Rankings

The Official 2016 USNEWS Best Colleges Rankings


Enjoy!~ :slight_smile:

Rankings haven’t changed much

UChicago and Duke are ranked higher than the bottom 4 Ivies. Top Catholic schools ND and Gtown with Holy Cross(32) top Catholic LAC. Good showing by West Point and Navy in LAC category.

I was close with my top ten prediction as indicated on the other thread. :slight_smile:

  1. Princeton
  2. Harvard
  3. Yale
  4. Chicago
  5. Stanford 4, Columbia
  6. MIT
  7. Duke
  8. Penn
  9. Caltech

Tulane jumped up significantly, to 41. While the rankings are silly, its still nice to see.

Rankings may not mean much, but they’re great for PR, future admissions, and general motivation.

It looks like my school moved up a bit, enough to make a nice boost in PR, I should hope.

The rankings never change much. That’s because (a) if they changed hugely year to year people wouldn’t trust them, and (b) if they didn’t match people’s preconceived opinions about which schools should go where people wouldn’t trust them.

It must be exhausting, continually tweaking the formula so that both of those conditions are met.

Since the ranking methodology hasn’t changed at all from last year, it’s not surprising to see the same set of schools at the top. Their profiles change slowly relative to one another, if at all.

The biggest news is Hopkins cracking the top 10, the second time it’s done so. (It last did so in the 2000 edition.)

@Sparkeye7 OSU is edging closer to the top 50. :wink:

@theluckystar Yes, I think you were the closest.

it’s not surprising Hopkins cracked the top 10. It was 12 last year, and just inched one spot to tie Caltech. The “top 10” barometer seems more significant from a qualitative sense - really not a significant jump. Hopkins has just finally started to focus on improving freshman selectivity rapidly - its peer ratings have always been stagnant and extremely high since ranking inception. For 7 years, Hopkins SAT range was in a constant 1300 -1500.

It’s only in the last 3 years that admissions has finally cared more about scores to jump it to 1360 - 1530. Reputation wise, as attested by the peer score year over year, Hopkins’ stellar reputation is independent of rank.

Now if they administered a Chicago style or Vandy style admissions approach with massive mailings to increase apps, things would get interested.

I wonder what made UPenn and Dartmouth drop in the ranks. Nice to see Brown move up. I thought Northeastern would continue it’s surprising trajectory of moving up the ranks but it seems this year wasn’t the school’s year.

Looks like UVa is no longer tied with UCLA as a public university. It’s a few spots lower now. That’s the first time in several years that has happened I think. Also UCSB is ranked above UCSD now.

Blah2009 - I’m not sure increased selectivity would help Hopkins so much. If you look at Vandy, all of their efforts haven’t increased their rank much - they went from 17 ten years ago to 15 now. That’s not much of a change.

The reason Chicago’s jump was more dramatic (from 14 ten years ago to 4 now) is that it was already roughly top five in the “difficult” metrics (peer assessment, financial resources, etc) but poor in the easy-to-change “cosmetic” metrics (admissions rate, % of classes under 20 ppl, etc.). Chicago changed all the cosmetic stuff, and the ranking skyrocketed.

Hopkins admission rate is already fairly low, but their key metric - financial resources - isnt great, and it’s much harder to change. Unless their financial resources position changes, it’s hard to see the school going much higher than they already are.

Here’s a view on what the rankings really measure:

Linking to your thread on your dissection of the metrics? LOL! The US news ratings get this faux significance only because of the unwarranted attention it receives. Don’t feed the dragon.

@Sparkeye7 OSU is edging closer to the top 50.

@warblersrule, Thanks! I am content whenever tOSU is tied with the likes of Texas & Washington in terms of rankings! :slight_smile: Plus, these days it’s easy for many to overlook the academic excellence of the reigning national champion in college football. I guess we will have to wait until the year 2016 as I had predicted for the breakthrough. :stuck_out_tongue: Go Bucks!!

What is interesting is if you compare the US News “national” rankings with its “global rankings” of how US universities are viewed internationally (and it’s an international job market after all). The top rankings are very different. For example, the top 10 US universities appearing in the list are:

Johns Hopkins

So apparently Princeton is the #1 US university for the American market, and #10 US university for the global market. Hmmmmmm…

In these times of economic uncertainty, it is a real testament to America’s preeminence that private universities are leading the pack in the rankings. To think many of these schools have educated kids without depending upon tax dollars for centuries is truly amazing.

The USNWR int’l ranking is geared towards graduate school. The criteria are all about published research, research paper citations, how many PhDs granted-- like any of these things matter to ranking an undergraduate program.

The global market for US universities is primarily focused on PhD students, since studying at US universities is much more affordable for PhD students than it is for undergraduates.

Of course, overall school rankings are not especially relevant for an individual PhD student (international or domestic), who is looking for strength and fit of his/her major department and specialty subarea more than the school overall.

Cue7, Vandy doesnt have the peer assessment that Hopkins or Chicago (Hopkins actually has a higher peer assessment score versus Chicago - 4.6 versus 4.5) has - that is why selectivity doesn’t matter as much for Vandy. The gulf between Vandy and other schools on an absolute point scale using the nebulous US News methodology is large as a result. Hopkins like Chicago in your assessment already succeeds in the “difficult category metrics” (peer assessment, counselor ratings, Financial resources (#1 in research expenditures), and other ambiguous factors)

There is a natural ceiling ofcourse, Hopkins would take quite some time and change to garner the peer assessment scores of say Stanford or Harvard. Financial resources could definitely change in the future if more Hopkins billionaire alums donated (outside of just bloomberg). I could definitely see Hopkins rising more but remaining stagnant as well.

Hopkins selectivity rating is 16th currently (Chicago is #2!!! in student selectivity in US News), so Hopkins could still improve.

I’m attributing Hopkins’ modest rise to selectivity only. Nothing else has changed in that time frame from a metrics perspective (be it financial resource rank, peer assessment scores, counselor ratings, etc etc as they have been high already - providing a solid foundation for a ranking increase due to the more ostensible cosmetic factors as you say).

In the end, it doesn’t matter, whether a school rises or falls does not mean it has improved or decreased in “quality” year over year. Reputations are established over decades or more from research and exposure in academia - not due to a magazine.