U.S.News & World Report is a weekly American newsmagazine. Its editorial staff is based in Washington, D.C., but it is owned by U.S.News & World Report, L.P., which is based in the Daily News building in New York City. Founded in 1933 as United States News, it merged with World Report in 1948. The magazine's founder, David Lawrence (1888–1973), sold it to his employees. In 1984, it was purchased by Mortimer Zuckerman, who is also the owner of the New York Daily News.

Its two primary competitors—both of which have greater circulation—are Time and Newsweek. It is generally considered to have a more right-of-center editorial point of view than the two others. It has also marketed itself as being a serious-minded journal more consistently focused on important matters than its competitors, at times directly criticizing their occasional cover stories on celebrity or entertainment news.

Officially, there is no space between the "U.S." and "News & World Report"; the publication's title, properly spaced, is "U.S.News & World Report". However, there is a space in the shortened title "U.S. News".[1]

U.S. News's college rankingsEdit

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Since 1983, U.S. News has published a well-known and controversial list of college and university rankings. Rankings are divided into 4 tiers, with the top 50% of all institutions (Tiers 1 and 2) ranked numerically.

Criticism of college rankingsEdit

Various reputable institutions, such as Stanford, The Washington Monthly, and the National Opinion Research Center have criticized US News' college ranking. [2][3][4] For further discussion of criticism against rankings, please refer to university ranking.

Critics claim that annual fluctuations in rankings are driven by the magazine's desire to generate news and increase circulation, and not by real changes in the quality of a given institution. Moreover, 25% of each institution's ranking is based on a peer assessment survey completed by college presidents and administrators. While U.S. News asserts that this "allows the top academics we contact to account for intangibles such as faculty dedication to teaching", it is unclear what basis college presidents and administrators have for making these assessments for more than a handful of institutions. Regardless of the basis for these administrators' assessments, this process reflects what colleges and administrators think of institutions. However, the U.S. News survey does not measure employer satisfaction with newly-minted college graduates.

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Because the U.S. News rankings measure an institution's educational practices and curricular offerings only indirectly at best, alternative survey instruments have been developed to identify institutions that routinely provide enriching educational and social experiences and environments for their students. An example of such a survey is the National Survey of Student Engagement.

A few institutions, most notably Reed College, have refused to cooperate with U.S. News's data-gathering efforts because of concerns about the ways that such ratings schemes lead institutions to distort their priorities and resource allocations in order to boost their rankings.[1]. Almost all of the deans from American Bar Association accredited law schools signed a letter sent by the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) decrying the ranking methods. Detractors of U.S. News say their rankings rely too much on "subjective" factors. Regardless, U.S. News continues to rank law schools down to the 4th tier, despite only ranking the top 50 schools in other professions, such as medical schools or MBA programs.

Supporters of the U.S. News rankings argue that they condense a wide variety of useful information for prospective students and their families. One by-product of the rankings' increased profile has been the development of standardized definitions of many of the quality indicators that U.S. news and other guidebooks publish. The most notable of these is the Common Data Set, a data template devised by several guidebook publishers to standardize their annual collecting of data from college and university institutional researchers.

In addition to the newsstand issue, the rankings are elaborated in America's Best Colleges, a college guide published by U.S. News in print and online. The commercial success of the U.S. News rankings has spawned similar efforts at other publications, including Newsweek, the Atlantic Monthly and the Times Higher Education Supplement. Although an explanation of methodology accompanies the rankings, U.S. News has not revealed the formula it uses for determining them. Much of the raw data used in the rankings is provided by institutional researchers at colleges and universities. The magazine also publishes similar rankings for graduate schools, hospitals, and mutual funds.

Notes and referencesEdit

External linksEdit

Credit and categoriesEdit

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