What are the tiers?

<p>I see on here that people talk about schools that are in three tiers, but I don't see where people say what defines the tiers. What separates top tier from second tier? Where is the line drawn?</p>

<p>Let</a> me google that for you</p>

<p>Individual discretion.</p>

<p>The term "tiers", as often used on College Confidential, does not have a precise and fixed meaning. The best claim to a standardized meaning would be the US News usage, just because US News is so widely cited and because somewhere buried deeply in the web site they do describe what they mean by the word. Google for it. As I recall, the schools they consider the top 100 schools are considered "tier 1" (1-50) and "tier 2" (51-100). These schools are ranked. Tier 3 and 4 schools are not ranked within the tiers. They are simply listed alphabetically, with the implication that schools in tier 3 are by some measures more desirable than those in tier 4.</p>

<p>Many CC discussions in "College Search & Selection" focus on tier 1 schools, namely the USNWR top 50 or so. Posters who distinguish tiers among these schools are using the word according to their own (probably arbitrary) definitions.</p>

<p>What I find strange about the tiers that US News has made is that there is more than one set of tier one schools. The first set of tier 1 schools is the set that is most often pointed to. You also have a top tier for liberal arts schools, masters universities, and each individual program such as engineering you have two sets of top tiers for one for national universities and one for those who dont offer a doctoral program. Really if you count them up there are hundreds of "Top Tier" Universities according to US News because they want to sell magazines and people will buy more if their favorite school is top tier.</p>

<p>A slightly more benign explanation is that, with so many colleges and universities in this country, they have to put limits on how many they will precisely rank.</p>