The Different College Ranking Services in USA

There are a few college rankings services in America that publish lists of college rankings on periodical basis. The criteria by which colleges are ranked are different for each ranking service.

Some of the famous ranking services are given below:

1.    U.S. News & World Report College and University Rankings
2.    United States National Research Council Rankings
3.    Faculty Scholarly productivity rankings
4.    Top American Research Universities.
5.    Washington Monthly College Rankings
6.    Forbes College Rankings

1.    U.S. News & World Report College and University

us-news-world-report(1)US News & World report magazine has been compiling lists of best-known American colleges and universities since 1983.

The data for this raking is collected from each institution through an annual survey conducted every year.

The ranking is also based, in part, on opinion surveys of administrators and faculty members not belonging to the university.

The methodology of ranking by U.S. News & World Report has changed many times and the data is not available to the general public. This is the reason why other rankings came into being and challenged the rankings given by them. Rather than ranking in groups and tiers, U.S. News & World Report creates a strict hierarchy of colleges and universities in their top tier. Tier 1 is the highest tier whereas tier 4 is the lowest.

The most significant factors in the rankings are:

•    Peer assessment
•    Guidance Counselor assessment.
•    Retention
•    Faculty resources
•    Student selectivity
•    Financial resources
•    Graduation rate performance:
•    Alumni giving rate

These factors are combined in statistical weight for determining the over-all rate of an institution.

2.    The National Research Council



The National Research Council ranks the doctoral research programs of universities across the United States. Its last report was produced in 1995 The National Research Council has not stated when it will produce the next report but it is in the process of data collection for the report since 2006.

3.    The Faculty Scholarly Productivity Rankings

logo gridThis is a ranking awarded by Academic Analytics.



The Faculty Scholarly Productivity rankings are based on awards, citations, research grants and publications.



There are three hundred and fifty four educational institutions that are studied and ranked by the Faculty Scholarly Productivity Index.



4.    The Center for measuring University Performance


The Center for Measuring University Performance publishes a research ranking of universities in the United States. The center for measuring University Performance takes into account the citations, publications, fundings and recognitions. Moreover they also give weighteage to the quality of undergraduate education. The reasearch method has been consistent through all these years.

5.    Washington Monthly College Rankings.

washington-monthly-2010-1sThe Washington monthly college issued its first rankings in 2005.


Their last ranking was published in 2010.


Its selection criteria are based on the performance of social mobility, scientific and humanistic research promotion and ethics.

6.    Forbes College Rankings.

Forbes magazine published a list of the best colleges in America in 2008 and then updated this list in 2009. The magazine compiles this list on the basis of alumini and student evaluations. Forbes magazine gave significantly lower rankings to a few well recognized universities.

There are several other college ranking services in America. All of them have their own selection criteria. Almost all of these rankings have their critics.

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