The college experience can’t be entirely measured by data points. Nevertheless, for families and students with an interest in finding the best academic value for their money the U.S. News Best College Rankings provides a great starting point for their college search. As you go through the rankings, you may discover schools you are not familiar with that have similar things you are looking for and thus expand your options.
The rankings allow you to compare the relative quality of educational institutions based on generally accepted indicators of excellence. These indicators may include such things as graduation rates and freshman retention as well as the strength of the institution. It is agreed that there are many factors you will want to consider besides those listed in this report, so you will also want to do some further research.
The U.S. News College Rankings don’t include everything you need to judge a college. You can also add to your search such things as visiting the colleges you are interested in, conducting interviews with some of the staff and specific departments of the majors you are interested in, your own gut feel about the colleges, and other rankings from other sources. All of these elements added to the information from U.S. News can help you conduct an in-depth college search.