Wednesday, April 07, 2004

I have a few thoughts on college/graduate school rankings, which I suppose I can share now since the topic has come up (see Clear Admit for one such discussion of the actions taken by H/W). I found the rankings and guides useful to me throughout the application process, but I don’t think they are critical and I don’t think schools should expend resources to accommodate the various rankings that are out there. Going to the single data warehouse idea seems like a good thing, then all ranking organizations can go to one source to get their information.

The two rankings that were most useful to me were the specialty rankings in U.S. News and the in depth coverage of Business Week. I think overall rankings are overrated. Most business school comparisons must be done using very personal criteria, and so no magazine will be able to evaluate what is best for everyone. The refusal to give out student e-mail lists does not mean the end of student/alumni feedback anyway. All this means is that publications will have to work harder to get the information they need. Perhaps the 10+ annual rankings will be reduced down to 3-4 who really do a good job getting valuable data. Those rankings would be a lot more worthwhile than what’s out there now.

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