There is too much emphasis on just looking at the ranking and saying "wow. this must be a good school." The true value comes in looking at the full data and seeing if a school is a real fit or not. I find the information on each school's mission in the expanded data to be particularly helpful in sorting out the differences between schools that seem similar on paper.
Rankings say nothing about the culture of the school (one of the things that makes Manipal, for example, unique.)
Maybe that’s a little too harsh. College rankings can be thoughtful and useful but I am often reminded of the poor quality of many rankings.
What these articles do to sell more copies is create new rankings – breaking up the research schools into private/public, creating categories for other universities, occasional grad school ratings, etc.
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