The U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges rankings are based on a survey of undergraduate and graduate students, faculty members and administrators at colleges in the United States. The ranking was designed to compare schools that have high levels of academic quality with other schools that provide similar educational opportunities. In addition to overall rankings, individual categories include: “National Universities,” which includes all private institutions ranked in the top 2% by student selectivity; “Regional Universities,” which consists of all public institutions ranked in the top 4% by student selectivity; and “Liberal Arts Colleges” (those not classified as National Universities or Regional Universities), consisting largely of small private liberal arts colleges. A list including over 1,000 accredited postsecondary institutions is provided for each category.
In 2006, one well-known ranking method used by U.S. News was criticized for its seemingly arbitrary criteria, while another method used by U.S News has been called into question regarding its methodology’s reliance upon actual college enrollment figures rather than reported graduates’ incomes within six years after graduation. Also some education experts have questioned how it can be possible to obtain accurate information about individual professors without personal knowledge of their particular classes?, . Other critics claim that USN&WR’s data collection methods are biased against conservative ideological leaning universities because these ‘universities tend to