Opinion of a College Admissions Consultant….
College rankings can be interesting to look at and a helpful starting point. Keep in mind that rankings are comprised of a combination of objective and subjective criteria. Each ranking system (e.g. US News, Forbes, Princeton Review, Kiplinger) is different and relies on its own data and methodology. What is highly weighted in one ranking may not even be included in another.
For students focused on particular fields of study, learning about departmental reputations can be more helpful than relying on institutional rankings. Many schools that are not at the top of the overall college rankings have outstanding programs in specific areas.
While rankings sell magazines, a ranking cannot tell you is whether or not that college is the right fit for you. Think of college rankings as a tool in your college admissions toolbox.