Correcting One of Our Critics

Columbia College (Illinois) is wrong when it implies in recent letters that U.S. News ranked it in the recently published 2008 edition of America's Best Colleges.

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Columbia College (Illinois) President Warrick Carter is wrong when he implies in recent letters to the Chicago Daily Herald and the Chicago Tribune that U.S. News ranked Columbia College in the recently published 2008 edition of America's Best Colleges. In fact, the exact opposite is the truth. Columbia College was very clearly listed among the "Unranked Schools" in the Universities Master's-Midwest category.

Carter complains about the U.S. News rankings by saying that their "ratings criteria, simply stated, are not standards of success that Columbia College Chicago chooses to apply to itself. The ratings do not adequately reflect the value of institutions that, like Columbia, open doors to the creative professions for significant segments of American society."

Actually, U.S. News agrees with Carter that schools that don't use the SAT or ACT in admissions should not be ranked and compared with others. That's why we added a new group of colleges to the list of "Unranked Schools" America's Best Colleges 2008. That list now includes those institutions that have indicated that they don't use the SAT or ACT in admissions decisions for first-time, first-year, degree-seeking applicants. U.S. News believes that because these schools, like Columbia College, don't use the SAT or ACT, it would be unfair to try to compare them statistically with the 96 percent of the other schools that do.

So, U.S. News agrees with Columbia College that it doesn't belong in our rankings because of its admissions policies, and we acted accordingly.