Where Can I Find U.S. University Rankings?

A student looking for rankings of colleges, schools or universities can check with a career counselor, search online or review books and magazines that provide university rankings annually. Read on for more information about university rankings in the United States.

Finding University Rankings Overview

Interested individuals can find out how higher learning institutions stand in terms of quality and performance through various avenues, including from the U.S. News & World Report, published books, career organizations and counselors.

Important Facts about University Rankings

Type Undergraduate, graduate
Methodologies Quality of education, alumni employment, faculty quality, influence, patents, location
Online Availability LinkedIn and Center for World University Rankings are among the available online resources
Concentrations Software developers, accounting, designers, finance professionals, marketers, investment bankers, media, accounting

U.S. News University Rankings

U.S. News & World Report (www.usnews.com) has been collecting, collating and publishing rankings of U.S. schools since 1983, and it's one of the most prominent university-ranking organizations. In addition to identifying and ranking national universities, the magazine publishes rankings for educational institutions based on the geographical region and the type of institution. Other ranking categories included within the report are:

  • Baccalaureate universities
  • Master's universities
  • Liberal arts colleges
  • Business schools
  • Engineering schools

Career Counselors

Many career counselors are prepared to assist prospective college-bound students to select universities and colleges based on the specific career plans and needs of the individual. A career counselor can recommend top-ranked schools, but can also take the needs and concerns of the student and family into consideration to find the best fit.

Career Organizations Studies

Some organizations publish school rankings for students considering a specific career. These lists may be constructed from reviews by professionals within the field or by using a wider ranking such as the U.S. News & World Report report. One example is the ranking of health-related schools as prepared by the National Institute of Health (NIH). An important criteria in this ranking is the amount of grant dollars awarded to the institution.

Published Books

Public and university libraries will often carry books about U.S. university rankings, and so will many book retailers. Some examples include the Fiske Guide to Colleges and the Ultimate Guide to America's Best Colleges for 2015. Some criteria that might be included are alumni satisfaction, amount of aid available, student to faculty ratio and freshman retention rate.

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