Over the last month, the release of college rankings has created a mad rush among families of college-bound students to find validation for the colleges that appear on their emerging short lists, U.S News reports. Forbes, Newsweek, and the Princeton Review have all weighed in with their superlatives. And now the “grand-daddy” of ranking guides, Best Colleges from U.S.News & World Report, will be available for review Sept. 13. While critics argue that rankings adversely affect the college-going landscape by distorting institutional priorities and misplacing the emphasis in the choice of a college, their popularity is an ongoing testimony to the insatiable desire of many consumers to have the “best.”

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