One of the most controversial elements in college admissions, rankings systems attempt to provide students and their families with information regarding the academic rigor, financial health, admissions selectivity, and/or quality of life at various universities. The problem is that this information tends to be self-reported, highly subjective, based on variable criteria, and not subject to external audit. Proof of this is not only in the proliferation of organizations that provide college rankings, but also in the number of institutions that have recently been caught fudging their statistics.

In order to get a better understanding of the college admissions numbers game, check out these two recently published articles: “The Admission Arms Race: Six Ways Colleges Can Game Their Numbersand “How Much Admissions Misreporting?

So remember: Your goal is to find the best college for YOU, not what someone tells you is the best school!

If you wish to see the variability in national and international rankings systems for yourself, here is a list of some of the best-known organizations and their websites:


U.S. News and World Report
The Princeton Review


Academic Ranking of World Universities
Times Higher Education World Rankings
Q.S. World University Rankings

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