U.S. News Releases 2012 College Rankings
It’s that time of year again! At the opening of the 2012 admissions season, U.S. News has released its 2012 Best Colleges rankings.
The rankings are an infamously controversial guide for comparing America’s colleges nationally, regionally, and across subject areas and other special interests. This year Harvard University and Princeton University are tied for first place among national stature universities, followed by a list of other Ivy League or Ivy-like universities. But you know that’s not particularly useful.
How to really use College Rankings
While I enjoy the festive competition of college rankings as much as the next guy, what students need to know from the rankings is not where a school stacks up nationally, or even regionally. It’s about all the underlying data and context.
“What is the best college?” is, and should be, a very subjective question. Seniors in high school should be thinking about what majors they want to study, whether they want to live in big cities or small college towns, and how far they want to be from home. Great colleges are scattered all over the country and all over the Best Colleges rankings.
To understand and explore what factors are most important to you about finding a good fit, I encourage all students, parents, and administrators to register for U.S. News College Compass before September 16 (while it’s free!):
While we here at BetterGrads haven’t had a chance to check out the College Compass yet, hopefully (in addition to the full rankings) there will be some great tools inside for those that are college hunting this admissions season.
Perhaps someday U.S. News will even ask our BetterGrads mentors to weigh in on the rankings (like high school counselors). I would love to know what our mentors have to say!