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Tis the season for college rankings: comparing methodologies, efficacy and value




People enter California Hall on the UC Berkeley campus on May 22, 2014 in Berkeley, California. According to the Academic Ranking of World Universities by China's Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Stanford University ranked second behind Harvard University as the top universities in the world. UC Berkeley ranked third.
People enter California Hall on the UC Berkeley campus on May 22, 2014 in Berkeley, California. According to the Academic Ranking of World Universities by China's Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Stanford University ranked second behind Harvard University as the top universities in the world. UC Berkeley ranked third.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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On Sunday, the U.S. News & World Report put out its 2019 list of college rankings and, notably for Angelenos, UCLA was ranked as the country’s top public university.  

Other annual college ranking lists are put out by publications such as Forbes, Wall Street Journal and the Princeton Review, and they often highlight the same schools. What kinds of metrics and methodologies do they use? And how valuable are these rankings in helping a student decide which college to attend?

We sit down with editorial minds behind the Forbes and Princeton Review lists to compare methodologies. Plus, is the whole ranking system too flawed to be useful?

Guests:

Carter Coudriet, assistant editor at Forbes, where one of his projects is the annual Top Colleges rankings; he tweets @ThaCarter5_

Robert Franek, editor-in-chief at the Princeton Review; he tweets @RobFranek

Cathy O'Neil, CEO and data scientist at ORCAA (O'Neil Risk Consulting and Algorithmic Auditing) in New York, an algorithmic auditing company; she is the author of “Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy” 



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