The Student News Site of Tenafly High School

The Echo

The Student News Site of Tenafly High School

The Echo

The Student News Site of Tenafly High School

The Echo

U.S. News Changes College Ranking System

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In the world of college rankings, the recent change by U.S. News & World Report for 2024 stirred up much discussion. The dramatic shifts in ranking do not stem from schools suddenly achieving superstar status but rather from a change in ranking methodology. U.S. News’s main change focuses on social mobility for graduates and the success rate of students from all socioeconomic backgrounds in earning degrees. 

In its own words, “We increased the emphasis on how often schools’ students from all socioeconomic backgrounds earned degrees and took advantage of information on graduate outcomes that was not available until recently.” So, if your dream school suddenly dropped in the rankings, it might not be the school’s fault; rather, it’s all about the new rules of the game.

Little shifting occurred among the top 10 spots, but the major shifts are shown further down the rankings. For example, Fresno State leaped an impressive 64 spots to reach 185th place, and Florida Atlantic rose 53 places to secure the 209th position. 

The controversy arose among the middle rankings, with Rutgers making it to number forty, blowing past Boston University and tying with Tufts and the University of Washington. Seeing Rutgers alongside these big-name universities is shocking to many, and as for the reactions, some folks applaud the changes in the rankings, while others remain critical. 

“I think the new college ranking is really stupid,” Lydia Jung (’24) said. “Everyone knows that they are influenced by a whole spectrum of factors that aren’t relevant… You know how Rutgers jumped up the same as Tufts? Even though it jumped up that much, we aren’t going to see Rutgers the same as Tufts.”

Others think the rankings may have more to do with athletics. “It’s more about when you go to school and what you hear about it from other people,” Zachary Shammash (’24) said. “What increases school mission in the realm of ranking is actually how well a school does in sports … like Villanova.”

Even for students who haven’t been following the rankings closely, the new placements seem off. “I don’t know too much about the new college rankings, but if Rutgers is at the same level as Tufts, something is definitely off,” Simon Hsieh (’24) said.

Regarding what factors students believe U.S News should consider for its rankings, student James Alberto (’24) thinks that “sports and academics should play a big role.”

In the ever-changing debate regarding what qualifies a university as “good,” it’s evident that, at THS, these new rankings should be taken with a grain of salt. The subjectivity behind the rankings proves that prestige is not defined by a school’s placement, and as juniors and seniors stress over choosing the right college, whatever is the best fit for them personally trumps any ranking.

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About the Contributors
Anna Buchanan, Guest Writer
Anna Buchanan ('25) is thrilled to be a Guest Writer for The Echo. She is interested in writing about current events and pop culture and is looking forward to sharing her writing with others.
Grace Kim, Guest Writer
Juhee Kim is a Guest Writer for The Echo. Aside from writing, she is a big fan of mock trials and is passionate about studying past cases and staying informed about current events. In her spare time, she plays lacrosse, plays guitar, and explores the city.