New players, new approaches to ranking colleges

Alumni Factor is among subscription-based college ranking services.

U.S. News & World Report still might be the 800-pound gorilla of college rankings. But an electronic transcript service could give the venerable publication a run for its money.

With a formula that rarely changes, the latest edition of the U.S. News college rankings— published Sept. 12 —looks pretty much the same as a decade ago, with very few exceptions.

More interesting are a pair of newer players to the rankings game. Both have shortcomings, but both produce a top-colleges list that looks somewhat different from the magazine’s (where Princeton and Harvard share the top spot, just like last year). And neither relies on information provided by the colleges themselves; that’s a key difference, as more and more schools have been caught fudging the numbers they give to U.S. News.…Read More

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