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New 2015 US NEWS statistics


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Did you guys see that the new statistics for 2015 were updated? One of my schools dropped from #4 to #6, and the other one raised from #14 to #11...


How much attention should I give to these rankings when making my decision?


Did your school stay/improved/dropped in the ranking?

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I only use US News to get an overall picture of the top schools in a field I'm unfamiliar with. I think their methodology is flawed, and the rankings still exist because they're the most popular aspect of this relatively unsubscribed magazine (in fact, they change their statistical methods every year to sell the rankings as more "accurate" than the year before). But it's certainly a powerful report. In some cases, Universities go out of their way to look good on the US News rankings - I just hope they're putting the same effort into their institution for the students already enrolled.


If you're comparing schools that are #3 and #60, certainly there is a substantial difference in these schools, and it's worth looking into how they are ranked so differently. But from #4 to #6, I doubt that's indicative of any change of anything, but rather a change of US News' metrics. Here's an article about how Caltech made its way to #1 for one year.


Here's a breakdown of some of the issues with this report.


So, IMO, you should give very little attention to these rankings.

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Probably zero attention, rankings can fluctuate year to year. This website www.phds.org is probably a better

gauge than USNews, because it gives a range of possible rankings for any given universities program.

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That being said, I did go out immediately and check the 2015 rankings for my field. It's very compelling to see schools listed in a ranked order, even if it's not specifically indicative of quality. It's the Buzzfeed of higher education evaluation - I can't stop looking at it.

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