Our rankings provide students vital, accurate data. Administrators don’t like to be held accountable.
The decision by some elite law and medical schools to opt out of the U.S. News & World Report ranking surveys has ignited a national debate on meritocracy and equity. But lost in this discussion is the reason U.S. News ranks academic institutions and why our rankings are so important to aspiring students.
Choosing the right school is one of the most important decisions students will ever make. Besides being a significant investment of time and money, it is a critical first step to ensuring a student’s future career opportunities, earning potential, and quality of life. But absent U.S. News’s academic rankings, it’s difficult to find accurate, comprehensive information that empowers students to compare institutions and identify the factors that matter most to them. We are one of the few places that do.
Our rankings don’t capture every nuance. Academic institutions aren’t monolithic or static; comparing them across a common data set can be challenging. But we reject our critics’ paternalistic view that students are somehow incapable of discerning for themselves from this information which school is the best fit.
Moreover, the perspective of elite schools doesn’t fit with that of the broader law- and medical-school community. Our editors held meetings with 110 law deans following the outcry over our rankings. Excepting the top 14 law schools, almost 75% of the schools that submitted surveys in 2022 did so in 2023. For medical schools, the engagement level was higher.
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