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Many, including Robert Morse, director of data research at U.S. News, argue that students should use rankings as a tool in their search, but not as the sole basis for their decision. Factors like cost, financial aid, and location should also play a major role, admissions consultants say.
Other tools like Equal Justice Works Guide to Law Schools allow students to sort schools based on criteria that may differ from data used to calculate rankings. For instance, students can search for schools with pro-bono programs and loan assistance repayment programs. Stern believes one size doesn't necessarily fit all. "If they ranked all cars based on the same calculation, and they did it from top to bottom, you'd say, 'Well that doesn't fit my needs. [The SUV is ranked highest] and I want an economy car,'" he says.
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