Are Florida Universities Being Shortchanged by Standard-bearer of College Rankings?

Monday, March 4, 2013

U.S. News & World Report has been the go-to high school students’ guide for researching the best colleges and universities in America for years. But, is it accurate and can it be gamed by universities who have figured out its method for compiling university rankings?

Four researchers believe they’ve come up with a more accurate method of generating rankings, and that bodes well for Florida’s flagship, higher-education institutions -- University of Florida and Florida State University.

The study’s authors -- Christopher Avery of Harvard University, Mark Glickman of Boston University, Caroline Hoxby of Harvard, and Andrew Merrick of University of Pennsylvania – believe their method reveals true evaluations of universities and cannot be manipulated in the same way.

Their formula, published in February’s Quarterly Journal of Economics, is based on students’ preferences. They derived their list by analyzing data from surveys of 3,240 “high-achieving" students from 396 high schools across 43 states.

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