Often, parents and prospective students consult university ranking when choosing a facility for pursuing educational needs. They commonly see Ivy League Schools like Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and Stanford on the tops of these ranking lists. However, there are over 4,000 degree-granting institutions in the United States and many of them provide outstanding education, research, and resources. University ranking will vary from one assessment to the next, this is because there are numerous factors to consider when making comparisons.
The first thing to consider about university rankings is that many of them are based entirely on subjective information. Often the perceived quality of a school provides it with its status, as opposed to anything that can be measured. It goes without saying, that people don’t always perceive things the same. However, other rankings are a result of some actual research.
A combination of statistics and the range and number of undergraduate majors, master’s, and doctoral programs can be assessed when ranking universities. Additionally, the amount of research that is conducted by a university and the quality of their studies might be a determining factor. Other factors that may be taken into consideration include popularity, surveys of the instructors, peer assessments, financial resources, the standardized test results of selected students, and the graduation rate performance. Also, faculty degree level and salary, student retention, class size, and student-to-faculty ratio are often assessed when comparing schools for placement in a ranking system.
When referencing a ranking lists for the best universities, make sure the ranking criteria is consistent with the factors that are important to you. Other things to consider include individual program and department rankings.