Are college rankings right?

Harvard University, Boston Pictures, Images and Photos
Every year there are a bunch of organizations and institutions that show a list of the top universities in the U.S. or North America. In general, schools like Harvard, Yale, Stanford and some others are consistently at the top. Much of this is warranted without a doubt. However, there are so many factors that go into being a good school and some of them are unique to one or two schools. This makes it a statistical nightmare to make sense of which means that the top schools list does not necessarily apply to everyone.

One of the major factors that are often overlooked is the tuition aspect. The schools I mentioned above that are always at or near the top of these lists usually also are the most expensive. This means that most of the students enrolled there come from wealthy families. The challenge with that is that other schools that do not receive the same recognition may offer really good value for the money but since tuition rates often don’t factor in to these lists, they remain largely unknown for their high value. However, at the end of the day the onus is on those schools to market their programs as the best value for the money and to lobby the top schools list makers to take that value into account.

Paying a lot of money to attend a school like Harvard of Columbia that is always considered among the best in the world has two main purposes. The first is to obtain the best possible education and understanding of how the world works. In many cases this can also be achieved at schools further down the top schools list. The second reason for attending a top 10 school is because of the name recognition it will have on a student’s resume. If a potential employer was comparing two job candidates’ resumes and everything was very similar, expect that one student went to Harvard and the other went to some small, less known school then who do you think would have a clear advantage for that job? This is why these schools charge as much as they do. For this reason the price is warranted. However, this criterion may not be important for everyone. For those that it is not important, it may not be worth it to go by the lists of the top universities.