Not a month goes by without someone e-mailing to tell me about an awesome new college ranking that I must write about, says Jenna Johnson, columnist for the Washington Post. Quite often, I pass. Why? Because many of the rankings out there these days are based on somewhat questionable methodologies. I just wrote an article about the proliferation of college rankings (from hairiest students to hottest dorm dwellers to schools that look most like Hogwarts). Such lists have long been loved and hated, promoted and criticized by college administrators and admissions staffers. Each summer, my inbox fills with press releases from universities touting the Princeton Review’s dozens of rankings, which are based on more than 120,000 online surveys completed by students with school e-mail accounts. These rankings cover a wide range of campus life issues, including quality of the cafeteria food, dorms and party scene…

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