Analysis of US University Rankings
There are many University ranking systems that may confuse an applicant. If you examine closely, no University or program holds a consistent position in any rankings. However, rankings are consistent to the extent that if you look at top 10 Universities in different rankings, you will come across the same 7 or 8 Universities.
Rankings are one of many parameters that should weigh in your decision-making. For undergraduate programs University ranking is more relevant, but for graduate programs department ranking, if available, is more relevant. However rankings are not available for many fields of study.
What does a top-10 or top-20 program has to offer, which a 100th rank program may not offer? The answer is not straightforward but one should closely look at the factors taken into the ranking itself. A higher ranked graduate program is more likely to have better research credentials, more publications, higher number of professors and definitively a better branding. Better branding and a large pool of successful alumni can result in great career growth and better job opportunities both at campus and later in the career. In case of MBA programs, there is a much higher chances of higher salaries and better jobs from top ranked programs as compared to those not in Top 25 or 30.
We at app2us.com suggest you take an average of many different rankings. Ranking should be considered along with other factors like type of research, location, funding opportunities and your chances of being admitted to a particular University.
Does it make a difference if you get admitted to a 10th or 12th ranked University? Probably not. How about the difference between 20th and 80th ranked University? You may decide that for yourself!
Some websites for US University rankings: