College Rankings – Make an Informed Decision

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It is everyone’s dream to study in the best college of his/her respective fields. An aspiring medical student wants to study in Johns Hopkins Medical College. Similarly, every management student aspires for a seat in Wharton or Kellogg’s Business School. However, as is the case with everything in this world, not everyone can get a seat in these colleges. Hence, it is all the more important to know about other good institutions where one can pursue his education. Also, many new educational areas have emerged recently, where information about the quality of institutions is limited. No doubt, there is a lot of information available on the internet, but it is very difficult to assimilate and truly understand a particular institution’s worth through its website.

To fulfill this gap, many publications come up with college rankings to help students form an informed choice. In arriving at these rankings, a list of important parameters is created (such as staff strength, their qualifications, placements and infrastructure). A statistical model is developed where scores are assigned to each parameter to come up with the final ratings. In some cases, certain clusters are created, by putting similar level institutions in one bracket. In addition to these parameters, many factors such as market perception etc are also included in the final score. Thus, these ratings give students an objective idea about the relative worth of a particular institution alongside plus and minus points.

However, one has seen a glut of such college ratings in the market with many lesser known agencies publishing these ratings. Also, there has been a constant allegation on institutions to falsify the information or paying rating agencies to get higher ratings. This leaves students even more confused.

While relying on a rating, one should always look at the methodology used. If a rating takes care of the view of various stakeholders such as current students, industry perception, alumni view, strength of the curriculum, it will be more robust. There are various sector specific publications which capture intricacies of an industry and the way a particular institute works. Their rankings should be more comprehensive than done by some third party agency.

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