The latest edition of the US News Best Colleges has just been published. Now in its 37th year, it has long dominated the US ranking industry, although in recent years there has been debate over its validity and fairness.
The methodology has changed significantly over the years and a number of changes have been introduced in the current edition. The indicator weights for national universities and liberal arts colleges are:
Graduation and retention rates 22%
Graduation rate performance 8%
Social mobility 5%
Undergraduate academic reputation 20%
Faculty resources 20%
Student selectivity 7%
Financial resources 10%
Alumni giving 3%
Graduate indebtedness 5%.
The top institutions in each of various categories are:
National universities; Princeton University, New Jersey
National liberal arts colleges; Williams College, Massachusetts
Public national universities; University of California Los Angeles
Public national liberal arts colleges; US Naval Academy, Maryland
Best value; Yale University, Connecticut
Undergraduate engineering programs (schools with doctorates) Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Historically black colleges and universities; Spelman College, Georgia
Undergraduate business programs; University of Pennsylvania.