The Role of College Rankings Changing Over the Decades

College ranking has been around for nearly 30 years. While it may be controversial in its usefulness, it is undoubtful to ignore its influence over current society. The first college rankings were established in 1995, where it was merely a statistic and did not receive any significant recognition by prospective students.

However, the demand and the popularity of college ranking have been steadily growing for the last two decades. It was shown that over 60 percent of prospective students take college ranking as a reference when deciding which college to enroll in.

College Ranking in a Nutshell

College is expensive and time-consuming. It is often forgotten that college is a significant investment in people’s lives. It is crucial to know which college offers the most suitable course for prospective students and college ranking is a tool to help that choice. It is essential to know if the investment made in the college will be worthwhile. These factors highlight the higher demand on the college ranking where the college is getting more expensive over time.

The number of colleges in the US is more than we could count with our fingers. The diverse range of colleges means comparison needs to be more precise and standardized. Prospective students want to know the pros and cons of a particular college where they will invest their money and time.

QS World University Rankings is one of many university ranking websites.

Another factor that allowed the growth of college ranking is the technological advancement in accessing information. It is simple to seek information on practically anything in our daily lives, from picking clothes online to getting a financial loan. The importance of each data information varies. Finding information about the college is considered high in the importance spectrum as it is a big decision. From this, it is understandable why college ranking has been more critical than ever. Easier accessibility of information through data transparency and information age made prospective students consider college ranking conveniently.

Why College Ranking is Favored

College ranking is becoming trustworthy and influential despite the critics’ criticism for its forced seniority and possible flaws. A study conducted by high school students showed that over two-thirds of students consider college ranking. Students believe college ranking helps them find the most appropriate college for them because the ranking underlines the characteristics of each different school.

For example, if a student has listed out several colleges to decide where to enroll, college ranking helps the students determine the difference between these colleges on one platform. Tops schools require detailed comparison, and hence students with higher SAT scores of over 1300 were shown to take college ranking more predominantly into account, according to the survey.

U.S. News is also one of the popular options to look at college rankings.

Although college ranking has become the primary source to compare colleges, many students consider information from the U.S. News & World Report to be uttermost credible and dependable. However, this trend is slowly fading and more and more students have considered college ranking a higher priority over the last decade.

College Ranking is Not Perfect

College ranking is consistent. It can help prospective students find out about different colleges’ strengths. One college might possess strong social life while another college might focus on being environmentally friendly. Often the information of the colleges is not all listed in the national university section and must be relied on the data provided through college ranking. However, it is essential to understand how to utilize college ranking appropriately.

College ranking must be utilized as a side tip sheet rather than the primary decisive factor. A college listed higher in the ranking does not guarantee it is a better college for prospective students. Being at the highest-ranking college might not be the best career path, depending on an individual’s background, interest, and career goals.


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