In addition, I discussed methodology changes that U.S. News is considering:</p>
<p>We may add high school counselors' rankings of colleges as part of the academic reputation component, which is now 25 percent of the America's Best Colleges rankings. To do this, we would reduce the weight of the regular peer assessment survey for the National Universities and Liberal Arts Colleges categories.</p>
<p>We are considering combining the scores from the current peer assessment survey rating done by college academics with the scores and high school counselors' ranking of colleges. That combination of scores could be called the "undergraduate academic reputation index."</p>
<p>We are considering adding the admit yieldthe percentage of students that the school accepts that enroll at that school in the fallback into the rankings. Yield is a very good proxy for student views, because it's how much students value their acceptance from that particular college. If yield is added back into the rankings, it will be part of the undergraduate academic reputation index variable.</p>
<p>We may slightly increase the weight of the "predicted graduation rate" that currently accounts for 5 percent of the National Universities and Liberal Arts Colleges rankings. The predicted graduation rate has been a well-received variable by some higher education researchers, because it measures outcome and rewards schools for graduating at-risk students, many of whom are receiving federal Pell grants.</p>
<p>We are contemplating eliminating the Third Tier from all the National Universities, Liberal Arts Colleges, Master's Universities, and Baccalaureate Colleges rankings tables in print and online. We would extend the numerically ranking to the top 75 percent of all schools in each category, up from the top 50 percent now. There would still be the bottom 25 percent of each category listed alphabetically, and that group might be renamed to something like the 4th Quartile. We believe that the data is strong enough to numerically rank more schools, and the public is asking for more sequential rankings since it's less confusing than listing schools in tiers.
<p>With all the folks fighting about (who would have guessed it) Michigan and Berkeley, etc in the thread started about the metrics in UNSWR, I'm surprised on one seems to have posted about these proposed methodology shifts.</p>