U.S. News & World Report made a few changes to the way it evaluated colleges this year, placing less of an emphasis on admissions selectivity and more on retention and graduation rates. While the new methodology made a difference in the way some schools were ranked, it did not widely impact the top 10 percent of colleges and universities reviewed.
In this year’s Best Colleges list released today, the importance of high school class rank was cut in half and increased weight was given to ACT and SAT scores. Overall, student input factors now account for 12.5 percent of a college’s score, down from 15 percent.
Student outcomes, as measured by how many freshmen return to the school for a second year, and a school’s six-year graduation rate, make up nearly 30 percent of the score. This year, U.S. News also expanded the use of its graduate rate performance indicator to all categories of schools, including regional universities and colleges. <Read more.>