Re: 2014 US News National Univ rankings - ISU #101
Hopefully we can get back into the top 100 next year but our mission as a Land Grant school will prevent us from ever being at the top of these as admissions selectivity and retention are a big part of these rankings.
It sucks that US News advertises their rankings so much that they are generally regarded as the top academic metric. Their methodology serves their consumer base, which is high school students looking to find a college they like. With that said, next time I go to Lincoln, I fully expect a banner to hang at the front of the campus "US News and World Report ranked just as good as Iowa State".
On a side note, if you want to see some decent methodology done by a Chinese source for world ranking of universities look here.
I remember discussing this with someone at the graduate office and he mentioned some other factors
1. Research papers published: it doesn't take into account how many papers are in progress. So if one university has 1 paper published, the university gets a better score than the others not publishing any papers. And this doesn't take into account the quality of the publishing. So one school can also gets high credits if several of its professors publish papers at the same year.
2. Buildings: if you get a new building, you'll get rewarded in the ranking.
There are some things that are quite subjective and overall, it's OK to see the top 10, but after that it becomes fuzzy. It also will depend on the program. US News lumps everything into one.
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