- Why rank colleges?
- Are the rankings objective and fair?
- Why are rankings helpful in choosing a college?
How U.S. News ranks colleges
- In brief, how does U.S. News rank colleges?
- Does U.S. News rank all colleges and universities?
- Why does the methodology change most years?
- What changes, if any, were made this year to the methodology and the rankings?
- Why does U.S. News classify colleges into different categories before ranking them? How are the categories defined?
- What are National Universities?
- What are National Liberal Arts Colleges?
- What are Regional Universities and Regional Colleges?
- What are tiers, and why are some schools listed in tiers and not numerically ranked?
- What measures of academic quality does U.S. News use in its rankings?
- Where do the data used in the rankings come from?
- Which measure of quality is most important?
- How did U.S. News decide how much weight to give each indicator in its ranking formula?
- Why did my school's rank go up (or down) this year?
- Why do private schools fare better than publics in the U.S. News rankings?
- Why doesn't U.S. News rank undergraduate specialty schools in fine arts, engineering, and business?
- Does U.S. News consider economic diversity in its rankings?
- What does it mean when a school is marked as Rank Not Published or Unranked?
How to use the rankings
- What is the best way for students and their parents to use the rankings?
- How can I find the rank of a particular school?
- How can I find out a school's rank from last year (or an earlier year)?
- If a school goes up or down in the rankings, does it mean the school is getting better or worse?
- How can I compare a school in one category with one in a different category?
- How can I compare two schools in the same category but different regions?
- Can I find out all of a school’s U.S. News rankings in one place?
Why U.S. News ranks colleges
1. Why rank colleges? A college education is one of the most important—and one of the most costly—investments that prospective students will ever make. For this reason, the editors of U.S. News believe that students and their families should have as much information as possible about the comparative merits of the educational programs at America’s colleges and universities. The data we gather on America’s colleges—and the rankings of the schools that arise from these data—serve as an objective guide by which students and their parents can compare the academic quality of schools.
When consumers purchase a car or a computer, this sort of information is readily available. We think it’s even more important that comparative data help people make informed decisions about an education can cost more than $200,000—including tuition, room, board, required fees, books, transportation, and other personal expenses—for a bachelor's degree at some private universities.
2. Are the rankings objective and fair? We do our utmost to make sure they are. Each school’s rank (within its group of peer institutions) is based on the same set of quality measures. Furthermore, at least 75 percent of a school’s ranking is based on a formula that uses objective measures of academic quality such as graduation rates (77.5 percent in the National Universities and National Liberal Arts Colleges categories). The remaining 25 percent (22.5 percent in the National Universities and National Liberal Arts Colleges categories) is based on a peer assessment among top academics at colleges or an academic reputation survey among high school counselors.
In the peer assessment survey, U.S. News asks the president, provost, and dean of admissions at each school to rate the quality of the academic programs for schools in the same ranking category, including their own. (Those unfamiliar with a particular school are asked to check a box labeled “don’t know.”)
Peer assessments are subjective, but they are also important: A diploma from a distinguished college can help a graduate get good jobs and gain admission to top-notch graduate programs, just as a high school’s reputation can help or harm an applicant’s chances of getting into a good college. U.S. News also asks high school counselors from public and private schools to rate colleges in the National Universities and National Liberal Arts College categories.
3. Why are rankings helpful in choosing a college? Rankings are helpful to applicants because they rate the strength of the academic program at each undergraduate institution. As such, the rankings give applicants information on a key factor to consider when selecting a college.
Furthermore, the rankings are based on accepted measures of academic quality chosen after careful reporting and research on measuring quality in education. U.S. News takes pains to gather data in a uniform way and eliminate any gaps. Finally, the rankings condense a great deal of information about the quality of the education at each school, making it easier to compare institutions and select the best one for an individual.
How U.S. News ranks colleges
1. In brief, how does U.S. News rank colleges? To rank colleges, U.S. News first places each school into a category based on its mission (research university or national liberal arts college) and—for universities offering a range of master’s programs and colleges focusing on undergraduate education at the bachelor’s level without a particular emphasis on the liberal arts—by location (North, South, Midwest, and West). National Universities where there is a focus on research and that offer several doctoral programs are ranked separately from National Liberal Arts Colleges, and Regional Universities and Regional Colleges are compared against other schools in the same group and region.
Second, we gather data from and about each school in 16 areas related to academic excellence. Each indicator is assigned a weight (expressed as a percentage) based on our judgments about which measures of quality matter most. Third, the colleges are ranked based on their composite weighted score. We publish the numeric rank of roughly the top three-fourths of schools in each of the 10 categories; the remaining lowest ranked schools in each category are placed into the Second Tier (and labeled Rank Not Published), listed alphabetically, based on their overall score in their category. The data for the 2013 Best Colleges edition were gathered in winter 2011, spring 2012, and summer of 2012.
2. Does U.S. News rank all colleges and universities? Not quite. To be included in the rankings, a college or university must be regionally accredited and have a total enrollment of at least 200 students. Also, we do not rank certain schools for school-specific reasons, such as cases where the undergraduate student population consists almost entirely of nontraditional students.
In addition, 80 of the approximately 1,607 regionally accredited institutions in the United States are specialty institutions that offer most or all of their degrees in fine arts, performing arts, business, or engineering. We also have gathered information on nearly 200 more schools that include some nontraditional and international students; these schools are not ranked and are listed as Unranked.
This year, however, we are ranking 455 accredited undergraduate business programs and 383 accredited undergraduate engineering programs. This information can supplement the colleges’ overall rankings for students with an interest in these majors.
For the fifth year in a row, we have created groups of unranked schools that we have listed alphabetically in separate tables at the end of the category in which they would have been ranked. We have been doing this to some degree since 1990. U.S. News believes that because these schools are unable to report key educational characteristics or because they have certain other characteristics, it would be unfair to try to compare them statistically with the other schools that are part of the rankings.
For the sixth year in a row, those Unranked institutions that have indicated that they don’t use the SAT or ACT in admissions decisions for first-time, first-year, degree-seeking applicants were included in the list of unranked schools. The non-use of the SAT or ACT in admissions decisions is the main reason why schools are listed as Unranked. In addition, some schools were not ranked because they didn’t receive enough responses on the peer assessment survey to allow us to use their peer score as part of the overall ranking. A total of 136 schools are Unranked because of these reasons.
Other types of schools have been Unranked in previous years and continue to be Unranked this year. The largest group are the 80 specialized schools in arts, business, or engineering. These schools are classified by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as “Special Focus Institutions.”
3. Why does the methodology change most years? U.S. News refines its methodology for one simple reason: to improve it. There is an active and ongoing debate about how best to measure quality in education, and U.S. News pays close attention to that debate. When new ideas for measuring quality are proposed, we evaluate them carefully and make changes to ensure that we provide the best possible rankings to our readers.
For example, over time, the ranking model has put less emphasis on input measures of quality (which look at characteristics of the students, faculty, and other resources going into the educational process) and more emphasis on output measures (which look at the results of the educational process, such as graduation and freshman retention rates). This shift was consistent with the increased emphasis that educators, researchers, and policymakers have placed on results when comparing and evaluating educational programs.
4. What changes, if any, were made this year to the methodology and the rankings? There was one small methodology change made for the 2013 edition of the U.S. News Best Colleges rankings. This year, for the first time, the two most recent years of survey results from spring 2011 and spring 2012 were averaged to compute the high school counselor reputation score. This was done to increase the number of ratings each college received from the high school counselors and to reduce the year-to-year volatility in the average counselor score.
The academic peer assessment score continues to be based only on the most recent year’s results. Both the regional universities and regional colleges rankings continue to rely on one assessment score, by the academic peer group.
5. Why does U.S. News classify colleges into different categories before ranking them? How are the categories defined? The purpose of grouping colleges into categories is to compare schools with similar missions. For example, schools that offer graduate programs and emphasize research are generally in different categories from colleges that focus exclusively on teaching undergraduates. To define the categories, we used the 2010 Basic Classification system developed by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, an accepted classification system in higher education.
U.S. News collapses 12 of the Carnegie categories, which are part of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching’s 2010 revision of its Basic Classification, into four: National Universities, National Liberal Arts Colleges, Regional Universities, and Regional Colleges. The Regional Universities and Regional Colleges are placed into one of four geographic categories (North, South, Midwest, and West).
6. What are National Universities? There are 281 national universities—173 public, 101 private, and 7 for-profit—based on the 2010 Basic categories established by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. National Universities offer a full range of undergraduate majors as well as master’s and doctoral degrees. In many cases, they place strong emphasis on research and receive federal money to support their research endeavors.
7. What are National Liberal Arts Colleges? There are 251 National Liberal Arts Colleges, 223 private, 27 public, and 1 for-profit. These schools emphasize undergraduate education. To be included, colleges must award at least 50 percent of their degrees in liberal arts disciplines, such as languages and literature, biology and life sciences, philosophy, cultural studies, and psychology.
8. What are Regional Universities and Regional Colleges? Like National Universities, Regional Universities offer a full range of undergraduate programs and provide graduate education at the master’s level. However, they differ by offering few, if any, doctoral programs. Of the 625 Regional Universities, 263 are public, 350 private, and 12 are for-profit.
The 370 Regional Colleges, including 95 public institutions, 258 privates, and 17 for-profits, focus on undergraduate education but grant fewer than 50 percent of their degrees in liberal arts disciplines. The Regional Colleges category includes institutions where in some cases only a small number of the degrees awarded are at the bachelor’s level. The Regional Universities and Regional Colleges are placed into one of four geographic categories (North, South, Midwest, and West).
9. What are tiers, and why are some schools listed in tiers and not numerically ranked? U.S. News publishes the numbered rankings of approximately the top 75 percent of schools in each of the categories. The remaining schools are placed in the bottom, or Second Tier, based on their overall score in their category, and listed alphabetically.
The Second Tier, also referred to as Tier 2, is approximately the bottom 25 percent of schools that are just beneath the numerically ranked schools in the top three fourths in terms of their rankings in that category. In other words, schools listed in Tier 2 are ranked lower than all those that are numerically ranked. In that particular ranking category of schools, the Tier 2 schools are the lowest ranked.
We believe that the data are complete enough to numerically rank schools in the top 75 percent of each category, given our robust methodology. Another key reason we can rank that many schools numerically is that the quality of the data we collect has improved over the years, including our ability to get a school’s data from other public sources, such as the U.S. Department of Education, for schools that don’t report their data to U.S. News voluntarily. These extended rankings also reduce ranking volatility, since far fewer schools will now drop in and out of the numerical rankings in any given year.
Schools in Tier 2 are not numerically ranked since the data is not as complete and we want the numerical rankings to emphasize the top schools.
10. What measures of academic quality does U.S. News use in its rankings? Indicators used to measure academic quality fall into seven broad areas: peer assessment; retention and graduation of students; faculty resources; student selectivity; financial resources; alumni giving; and (for National Universities and National Liberal Arts Colleges) “graduation rate performance,” the difference between the proportion of students expected to graduate and the proportion who do.
The indicators include both “input measures,” which reflect the quality of students, faculty, and other resources used in education, and “outcome measures,” such as graduation and freshman retention rates, which signal how well the institution educates its student body.
11. Where do the data used in the rankings come from? Schools report most of the information directly to us. Each year, U.S. News sends an extensive questionnaire to all accredited four-year colleges and universities in late winter through spring. U.S. News is a founding member of the Common Data Set initiative. U.S. News incorporates items from the CDS and unique proprietary items on its survey.
When the surveys are returned, we enter and evaluate the data, checking for possible errors and consistency with related information. For example, SAT scores must fall in a particular range, and the score reported as the 25th percentile must be less than the score reported as the 75th percentile.
Where possible, we double check the data with information from other sources. For example, statistics about faculty salaries are compared with information collected by the American Association of University Professors.
For schools that don’t return the questionnaires or don’t answer all the questions, U.S. News uses comparable data from the Council for Aid to Education (for alumni giving rates), the National Collegiate Athletic Association (for graduation rates), and the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (SATs, ACTs, acceptance rates, graduation and freshman retention rates, student faculty ratios, faculty counts, tuition, room and board, other students fees and financial resources), as well as data collected by U.S. News in previous years, and data pulled from those schools’ own websites.
In the case of colleges that have refused to fill out the U.S. News statistical survey for 2012 and are part of the rankings, we have made extensive use of the statistical data those institutions were required to report to NCES on such factors as SAT and ACT scores, acceptance rates, and faculty and retention rates.
12. Which measure of quality is most important? First, remember that each measure that U.S. News uses in its rankings captures some important dimension of the academic program. The weight (expressed as a percentage) tells you the relative importance that U.S. News places on each measure.
For National Universities and National Liberal Arts Colleges, the U.S. News ranking formula gives the most weight (22.5 percent) to peer assessment scores because a diploma from a distinguished college helps graduates get good jobs or gain admission to top-notch graduate programs. The academic peer score counts 15 percent and the high schools counselor rating score counts 7.5 percent. Each score is a separately weighted factor in the rankings.
In terms of the actual ranking calculations, the peer assessment score among academics and the high school counselor reputation score are computed as separate ranking indicators. (Ipsos Public Affairs collected the peer assessment data in spring 2012.) For the schools in the National Universities and National Liberal Arts Colleges categories, the faculty resources and the graduation and retention measures are also weighted relatively highly (20 percent).
For Regional Universities and Regional Colleges, the ranking formula gives the peer assessment and the graduation and retention measures a weight of 25 percent each. Graduation and retention are given a higher weight (compared with the National Universities and National Liberal Arts Colleges categories) because the ranking formula for the National Universities and National Liberal Arts Categories includes an additional indicator related to them: graduation rate performance. This indicator was given a weight of 7.5 percent.
We recommend that prospective students consider which indicators are especially important to them and look at those individual elements as well as the school’s overall rank. (This website’s search and sort capabilities make it simple to locate schools that are strong in a particular area.) None of the ranking indicators changed in the 2013 edition compared to the 2012 edition.
13. How did U.S. News decide how much weight to give each indicator in its ranking formula? Analysts at U.S. News have chosen the weights used in the ranking formula. Our views of the appropriate weights may differ from those of other higher-education experts. The weights were chosen based on years of reporting about education, on reviews of research about education, and after consultation with experts in higher education.
Over time, including the change we made for the 2013 edition, we have placed greater weight on the “outcome” measures of quality (such as graduation rate) and de-emphasized the “input” measures (such as entering test scores and financial resources).
This change is consistent with a growing emphasis by education experts on “outcomes” in assessing the performance of complex institutions such as colleges. The weights for the ranking indicators did not change in the 2013 edition compared to the 2012 edition.
In the 2013 edition of Best Colleges, the main reason why many schools’ rankings changed compared to the 2012 edition is due to changes in its ranking data. In general, a college’s rank changes from one year to the next when its performance and its data (relative to one of its peers in its ranking category) varies on one or more measures of academic quality used by U.S. News in the rankings. In other words, a school’s rank can vary because its performance on a measure changes or because the performance of other schools in the same peer group changes. Also, in some cases schools report fuller and/or less complete data in one year versus the current year. The changes in how schools report their data are among the key contributing factors why some schools have moved in the rankings.
You can compare the data on specific indicators from this year and last year to get some idea of the possible reason for the change. In addition, some changes in rank may reflect the one small change in the U.S. News methodology as described above, which have been made to improve the quality of the ranking. This may make it hard to identify the precise cause of a change.
15. Why do private schools fare better than publics in the U.S. News rankings? Overall, private colleges and universities do better on several measures in our ranking model, including student selectivity, graduation and retention rates, and class size. Because of their mission to serve students in their state, publics generally don’t score as high on selectivity as private colleges that have more stringent admissions standards.
In addition, public colleges and universities tend to have lower graduation and retention rates and larger classes. Finally, the public schools often lack the financial resources of the better-endowed private universities or have suffered from continuing budget cuts due to the current slow-growth economic conditions.
U.S. News does publish separate rankings of the top public schools in each category.
16. Why doesn't U.S. News rank undergraduate specialty schools in fine arts, engineering, or business? Eighty of the approximately 1,600 accredited undergraduate institutions in the United States that are in our data collection universe fall into a specialty category because they award most or all of their degrees in fine arts, performing arts, business, or engineering. These schools offer an important alternative for students aspiring to careers in particular fields. U.S. News provides pertinent data for each school but does not rank these institutions because there are too few in each category to allow a fair comparison and because their specialized focus would require a different system of ranking.
However, U.S. News does rank 455 undergraduate business programs accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business and 383 undergraduate engineering programs accredited by ABET, formerly the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. These rankings are based solely on peer assessment surveys that were sent in the spring of 2012. The results of this survey are available on our website.
17. Does U.S. News consider economic diversity in its rankings? Yes, for the seventh year in a row, we have included the proportion of the student body receiving Pell grants in our predicted graduation rate formula. Pell grants are an important indicator of how many low-income students attend a school, and adding them resulted in a model that better captures the school’s student body and improves that indicator. More about Pell grants can be found in our Economic Diversity table.
18. What does it mean when a school is marked as Rank Not Published or Unranked? For the second year in a row, U.S. News has labeled all the schools in the Second Tier of the National Universities, National Liberal Arts Colleges, Regional Universities, and Regional Colleges categories as Rank Not Published to explain why some schools don’t have a numerical ranking and score listed next to them.
Rank Not Published means that U.S. News did calculate a numerical ranking and score for that school, but decided for editorial reasons that since the school ranked below the U.S. News cutoff (the top three fourths of each ranking category are numerically ranked) that U.S. News would not publish the ranking and score for that school on usnews.com.
U.S. News will supply schools listed as Rank Not Published with their numerical rankings and score, if they submit a request following the procedures listed in the Information for School Officials page. Schools marked as Rank Not Published are listed alphabetically.
Unranked means that U.S. News did not calculate a numerical ranking for that school. The school did not qualify to be numerically ranked by U.S. News. Schools marked as Unranked are listed alphabetically and are listed below those marked as Rank Not Published.
U.S. News believes that because these schools are unable to report key educational characteristics or because they have certain other characteristics, it would be unfair to try to compare them statistically with the other schools that are part of the rankings. There is a more detailed explanation above and in the general methodology for why a school is Unranked.
19. How does U.S. News handle for-profits in the rankings? All regionally accredited for-profit institutions are included in the U.S. News data collection. For the second year in a row, U.S. News has included in the rankings all for-profit colleges and universities that grant bachelor’s degrees and are regionally accredited and where eligible to be ranked, if they met the specific U.S. News ranking criteria to be included in the Best Colleges rankings. These include many schools that have large online bachelor’s degree programs.
As a result of the U.S. News eligibility standards to be ranked, almost all of the for-profit institutions have been grouped with the unranked schools. Why? Their bachelor’s degree candidates are largely nontraditional students in degree completion programs, for example, or they don’t use the SAT or ACT test scores in admissions decisions—both of which are factors U.S. News uses to decide if a school is eligible to be ranked or unranked.
20. How does U.S. News handle schools that refuse to respond to the U.S. News annual statistical survey, given that they are still included in the rankings? Nonresponders are still included in the rankings, if they are eligible to be ranked. If they were eligible to be ranked but refused to fill out the U.S. News statistical survey in the 2012 data collection, we have made extensive use of the statistical data those institutions were required to report to the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics on such factors as SAT and ACT scores, acceptance rates, and faculty, graduation and retention rates.
How to use the rankings
1. What is the best way for students and their parents to use the rankings? Students can use the rankings to create an initial list of schools to consider, to narrow down that list, and to compare overall academic quality. Students can also use the data underlying the rankings to identify schools with specific characteristics that they value.
However, the editors of U.S. News believe rankings are only one of many criteria students should consider in choosing a college. Simply because a school is top in its category does not mean it is the top choice for everyone. A prospective student’s academic and professional ambitions, personal preferences, financial resources, and scholastic record, as well as a school’s size, atmosphere, and location, should play major roles in determining a college choice. Moreover, it is crucial to remember that schools separated by only a few places in the rankings are extremely close in academic quality.
[Get more information on how to use the rankings.]
2. How can I find the rank of a particular school? It’s easy! U.S. News publishes the rankings in two places: in a separate college guidebook, the 2013 Edition of Best Colleges, and on this website, which also offers the U.S. News College Compass—home to the most complete rankings and data. (The guidebook is available for purchase at newsstands, by calling 1-800-836-6397, or visiting the U.S. News store. For discounts on bulk orders of 50 or more copies, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.)
If you are using the college guidebook (the only print version of the rankings), the index—where the schools are listed alphabetically—gives page numbers of any table in which a particular school appears. The index also shows the page number for the school’s entry in our directory, which is filled with facts about each college and university.
This website has the most complete data and, in some cases, more extended rankings than are published in the guidebook. If you are using our website’s college search, simply type in the full name of the school (make sure you spell it correctly) and click “Search.” That will take you to our online directory. The website also has search and sort features to help customize a college search.
If you can’t find a particular school, make sure to see that you are looking under the right category. The school may be too small (enrollment below 200) or too specialized to be ranked—although we do provide data on these institutions in the guidebook and on the Web. For those interested in the most comprehensive data on each school and the most extensive rankings in each category, go to the U.S. News College Compass, which has the most complete rankings and data.
3. How can I find out a school's rank from last year (or an earlier year)? You can look it up in a past issue. Bear in mind that changes in a school’s rank may reflect changes in other schools’ performance or changes in our methods and not just changes in the school’s programs. If you do want to track down a back issue—despite this warning—here are the publication dates for all the issues or online publication dates of Best Colleges/America’s Best Colleges and Best College Values/Paying for College:
|2013 Best Colleges||9/18/2012|
|2012 Best Colleges||9/20/2011|
|2011 Best Colleges||8/15/2010|
|2010 America's Best Colleges||8/20/2009|
|2009 America's Best Colleges||8/26/2008|
|2008 America's Best Colleges||8/27/2007|
|2007 America's Best Colleges||8/28/2006|
|2006 America's Best Colleges||8/29/2005|
|2005 America's Best Colleges||8/30/2004|
|2004 America's Best Colleges||9/01/2003|
|2003 America's Best Colleges||9/23/2002|
|2002 America's Best Colleges||9/17/2001|
|2001 America's Best Colleges||9/11/2000|
|2000 America's Best Colleges||8/30/1999|
|1999 America's Best Colleges||8/31/1998|
|1998 America's Best Colleges||9/01/1997|
|1997 America's Best Colleges||9/16/1996|
|1996 America's Best Colleges||9/18/1995|
|1995 America's Best Colleges||9/26/1994|
|1994 America's Best Colleges||10/4/1993|
|1993 America's Best Colleges||9/28/1992|
|1992 America's Best Colleges||9/30/1991|
|1991 America's Best Colleges||10/15/1990|
|1990 America's Best Colleges||10/16/1989|
|1989 America's Best Colleges||10/10/1988|
|1988 America's Best Colleges||10/26/1987|
|1986 The Best Colleges in America||11/25/1985|
|1984 Rating the Colleges||11/28/1983|
|2010 Paying for College||9/1/2009|
|2009 Paying for College||9/15/2008|
|2008 Paying for College||9/17/2007|
|2007 Paying for College||9/18/2006|
|2006 Paying for College||9/05/2005|
|2005 Paying for College||9/06/2004|
|2004 Paying for College||9/08/2003|
|2003 Paying for College||9/30/2002|
|2002 Best College Values/Paying for College||10/1/2001|
|2002 Saving for College||7/30/2001|
|2001 Best College Values/Paying for College||9/18/2000|
|2000 Best College Values/Paying for College||9/06/1999|
|1999 Best College Values/Paying for College||9/07/1998|
|1998 Best College Values/Paying for College||9/08/1997|
|1997 Best College Values/Paying for College||9/23/1996|
|1996 Best College Values/Paying for College||9/25/1995|
|1995 Best College Values/Paying for College||10/3/1994|
|1994 Best College Values/Paying for College||10/11/1993|
4. If a school goes up or down in the rankings, does it mean the school is getting better or worse? Don’t jump to this conclusion. Again, changes in a school’s rank may reflect changes in other schools’ performance or changes in our methods and not just changes in the school’s programs.
Our primary objective is to serve students searching for the best school for them. With this goal in mind, we have worked with education experts to refine and evolve our ranking system over time. For instance, our ranking model now puts less emphasis on the qualifications of students entering the school as freshmen (such as average high school class rank).
Instead, we now put more emphasis on data that indicate how well each school is educating students once they enroll—such as the percentage of a college’s entering class that returns for a second year. Because of such methodological changes, we suggest that college applicants focus on a school’s current rank.
5. How can I compare a school in one category with one in a different category? You can't really compare the rank of schools in different categories, but you can compare schools by the attributes that are most important to you, such as graduation rates or class size. (The exception is the peer assessment score. Peer assessment data are not comparable because we survey different individuals about the schools in each category.) You should also consider such things as the size of each school, the degrees the school offers, and other things that are important to you.
7. Can I find out all of a school’s U.S. News rankings in one place? Each school has a Rankings tab on the top of the school directory pages that allows you to see all the different categories in which a school is numerically ranked in the Best Colleges, Best Graduate Schools, and Top Online Education Programs guides.
Searching for a college? Get our complete rankings of Best Colleges.