Calling on High School Counselors for Input on America's Best Colleges

We ask high school counselors to pick top colleges for the U.S. News America's Best Colleges rankings.

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For the second time, U.S. News is asking high school counselors for their views on undergraduate programs at U.S. colleges and universities. New this year, as part of this same survey, U.S. News is asking counselors to choose up to 20 colleges from their geographic region that are tops at educating undergraduates. 

High school counselors across the country have told U.S. News countless times that their views should be included in our America's Best Colleges rankings, and we're listening. Counselors say that they have a considerable amount of knowledge about the college admissions process and that they have highly informed opinions on many colleges in their region and nationwide. 

We agree. We think that counselors have broad experience and expertise that is needed to assess the academic quality of colleges and universities given their role in assisting prospective students and their parents as they make choices about pursuing postsecondary education. U.S. News is also doing this counselor survey in order to obtain opinions on the relative merits of colleges from a much larger, diverse group of higher education experts. U.S. News will continue to survey college presidents, admissions deans, and provosts as part of our America's Best Colleges rankings. 

As a result, U.S. News has asked a select group of public high school counselors their opinion of undergraduate programs at colleges and universities. U.S.News & World Report hopes to be able to publish the results from this survey in the 2011 edition of America's Best Colleges, which will be published in August 2010. 

[Visit America's Best Colleges to see the current high school counselor rankings.] 

The high school counselors we are asking to participate are all from the nearly 1,800 U.S. public high schools nationwide that made the December 2009 U.S.News & World Report's America's Best High Schools rankings. One U.S. News survey to rate colleges in the national universities category is being sent to high school counselors at 900 of these America's Best High Schools nationwide, and a separate survey to rate colleges in the liberal arts colleges category is being sent to high school counselors at the other 900 America's Best High Schools. Each survey has a section for counselors to pick up to 20 colleges from within their high school's region—North, South, Midwest or West—that do an excellent job educating undergraduates. 

The Chronicle of Higher Education's Eric Hoover has written a post on this: College Rankings and College Counselors Meet Again.