Sneak Peek into how U.S. News and World Report Ranks Schools
The US News and World Report has released annual college rankings for 2015. As per the report, many area colleges have performed well.
Before ranking schools, US News divides them into four different categories as per their goals- National universities, national liberal arts colleges, regional universities, and regional colleges. Again, Regional universities and colleges are divided into four regions, north, south, mid-west and west.
National universities provide education at undergraduate level, masters and doctoral program. These schools even provide faculty research. National liberal arts colleges majorly focus on undergraduate education. At least 50% of their degrees are provided in the arts and sciences.
In the case of regional universities, a broad range of undergraduate degree programs are offered, but options are quite less for doctoral programs. Regional colleges focus on undergraduate education. They provide less than
50% of their degrees in liberal arts disciplines. These colleges also offer small-duration bachelor's degree programs and grant two-year associate's degree.
To rank schools, US News uses different patterns like undergraduate academic reputation, which constitutes 22.5% of the formula. For it, US News surveys top academics and 2,152 public high school guidance counselors.
Equally important in this formula is the school's retention rates. This factor also makes up 22.5% of the formula. Next factor is faculty resources, which includes class sizes, faculty salaries, faculty degrees and how many full-time faculty the school recruits in comparison to the part-time faculty. This category forms to be 20% of the total ranking.
Student selectivity is weighted at 12% of the total ranking. It is based on the test scores, class ranks and the overall acceptance rates. Other remaining variables include the school's financial resources, graduation rate and alumni giving rate. They contribute at 10%, 7.5% and 5%. From time to time, US News keeps on evolving the process of its rankings.
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