US News & World Report today announced its 2014 Best College rankings. For several consecutive years in a row, Vanguard University has ranked in the top 10; in the 2014 Best Regional Colleges – West category, Vanguard ranks #10.
According to the US News & World Report FAQ page, a college education is one of the most important – and one of the most costly – investments that prospective students will ever make. For this reason, the editors of U.S. News believe that students and their families should have as much information as possible about the comparative merits of the educational programs at America’s colleges and universities.
The data gathered on colleges – and the rankings of the schools that arise from these data – serve as an objective guide by which students and their parents can compare the academic quality of schools.
There are 1,596 regionally accredited U.S. institutions that are part of the U.S. News data collection universe. Regional colleges (such as Vanguard University) focus on undergraduate education but grant fewer than half their degrees in liberal arts disciplines. These rankings are split into 4 regions: North, South, Midwest and West.
Each year, the methodology is refined for the purpose of improving the process. Last week, Us News & World Report announced some methodology changes impacting this year’s rankings. The refined methodology reduced the weight of input factors (which look at characteristics of the students, faculty and other resources going into the educational process) and increased the weight of output measures (which look at the results of the educational process, such as graduation and freshman retention rates).
For more information about the rankings/methodology for Best Colleges 2014, click here.