Chancy Nancy vs. U.S. News & World School Rankings Report

Posted: September 23, 2011 by jerkmag in ZONE -- syracuse
Tags: , , , , , ,

Not every student came to Syracuse University simply for the frats and sororities or to watch our football team flounder and basketball team continuously tease us. Many of us decided to come here for some other trivial reason: the academic programs offered here at SU.

Although our school is far from perfect, we don’t deserve the ranking the U.S. News & World Report has given us on its annual list of best colleges. Last year our school was ranked the 55th best college in the nation, but just one year later we have dropped seven spots to 62nd best. What a difference a year makes.

But wait, our overall score increased by three points. Looks like I’m not the only one who finds these rankings both absurd and confusing. SU Chancellor Nancy Cantor, in response to our school’s drop in rank, questioned the validity of the magazine’s findings and argued that the publication is only out to sell magazines. Kudos, Chancy Nancy!

In November of 2010, U.S. News went mostly digital because, like many magazines in the country, it was struggling to rein in profits.  It now only prints eight special issues, one of them being the “Best Colleges” issue. Perhaps the motive for publishing the college issue is to enlighten young and nervous high school juniors and seniors, but when you have to pay to access many of the statistics explaining the reasoning behind the magazine’s rankings and scores, you seriously begin to wonder whether these lists are mainly compiled for profit. (There are tons of them: Best Liberal Arts, Best Regional, Best Dressed, etc.)

These yearly lists are repudiated and disregarded by many educators and
institutions of higher learning. Since 1995, Reed College in Oregon has refused to complete U.S. News’s college survey and has even asked the magazine to drop the school from its lists altogether. Chancellor Cantor’s first step was to dismiss these rankings as irresponsible and profit-driven, but perhaps now it is time for SU to follow Reed College’s example. We should not try and sell ourselves to a magazine that has failed to sell its self.

What are your thoughts on the magazine’s rankings?

-Brysan Brown

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Comments
  1. Brittnee says:

    Attending a school solely based on rank won’t make you a happy student. If you want to know what a school is like, you have to visit. Stroll the campus, wander around the buildings, taste the food, sit in on a class–don’t let rankings or other students dictate what your experience will be; you make your experience unique.

  2. Mary O'Brien says:

    Check out Brysan’s article for Jerk!

  3. Mister Black says:

    You tell them! You should write an article for the Halloween edition!

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  5. agreeeeed says:

    So true. Honestly, the schools we’re ranked with aren’t even close to being on par academically with SU. This is a great university, and the rankings should reflect that.

  6. […] first blog post “Chancy Nancy vs. U.S. News” was a condemnation of U.S. News & World Report’s College Rankings. My position was that […]

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