Gaming In The American University Ranking System

International parents and students considering an undergraduate education in the United States frequently consult one or more of the big three ranking publications – Shanghai, QS and Times Higher Education. Emphasising research publication productivity and an institution's accompanying reputation, the reports tend to filter out all but the top tier research institutions in any country.

With hundreds of high-quality yet sub-top tier institutions in the United States, these premier reports are of limited utility to international parents and students comparing American institutions. US News and World Report’s rankings have been considered a source of reliable and relevant consumer information to fill the gap.

Since its initial ranking report in the mid 1980s, US News and World Report (USN&WR) has expanded its portfolio of reports to include a selection of discipline- and professional-based rankings, as well as an array of regional reports.

In the United States it has retained its dominance as a relevant source of comparative institutional information. It is said that within hours of its annual autumn release, visits to its website jump into the millions. One can safely presume that a good number of international visitors are among them.

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