Adapting to criticism and college opt-outs, U.S. News teases its latest rankings

Across both its law and medical: research rankings, U.S. News reduced the weight of each school's median MCAT, LSAT and GPA scores and the importance of reputation surveys.

Following harsh criticism from the nation’s top medical schools and the Department of Education, U.S. News and World Report is set to release its law and medical school: research rankings next week with an updated methodology and a reliance on public information from schools that now refuse to participate.

U.S. News chose this time around to pay closer attention to the student experience and career opportunities each school has to offer. Consequently, they increased the weight of the faculty/student ratio in its medical school ranking. For its law schools, they increased the weight of employment 10 months after graduating. Across both, U.S. News reduced the weight of each school’s median MCAT, LSAT and GPA scores and the importance of reputation surveys.

However, the dean of Yale Law, who was the first proponent of dropping out of the popularized ranking system, remained unphased by the changes.

“Having a window into the operations and decision-making process at U.S. News in recent weeks has only cemented our decision to stop participating in the rankings,” said Dean Heather Gerken.

Ironically enough, Yale Law nabbed first place again, this time tied with Stanford, in U.S. News’ latest law school schools ranking, which teased the top 15.

Similarly, the dean of UCLA law, whose program bumped up one spot this year, was unfazed.

“I am pleased when any publication recognizes that UCLA Law is an outstanding law school, but there is nothing magical about being in the U.S. News ‘T14,’” wrote interim dean Russell Korobkin in an email, according to The Washington Post, “and I hope that students will come to UCLA not because of that but because we have a tremendous faculty and outstanding educational programs and opportunities.”

One way that U.S. News was able to get around its lack of participation from dissenting medical schools was by using statistical surveys and included “publicly available metrics from the National Institutes of Health,” according to The New York TimesHowever, some of the surveys used were over a year old if more recent information was not available, a fact that is sure to draw further criticism from schools on its merit.

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Alcino Donadel
Alcino Donadel
Alcino Donadel is a UB staff writer and Florida Gator alumnus. A graduate in journalism and communications, his beats have ranged from Gainesville's city development, music scene, and regional little league sports divisions. He has triple citizenship from the U.S., Ecuador, and Brazil.

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