Huffpost College
The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Danny Rubin Headshot

The 10 Criteria US News & World Report Should Actually Use to Rank Schools

Posted: Updated:

Hey, you.

Yeah, that's right. I'm talking to you, US News & World Report.

For another year, you've chosen to arbitrarily judge our hard-earned education. Who are you to decide the worth of my diploma? Plenty of hugely successful people (like these celebrities) attended 'no-name' campuses without a lofty Ivy League affiliation or $10 billion endowment.

After we graduate, what truly matters is how well the school prepared us for the real world. Did we leave campus mentally, physically and financially ready for what's to come? Did our schools help us become successful young professionals?

That's why every college or university should be ranked based on these 10 characteristics.

1. A college or university you're proud to tell other people when they ask "Where did you go to school?"

2. A school with an active alumni network, and alumni relations has reached out to you at least once in the past year.

3. While a student, you took courses that challenged you, had professors who inspired you and worked with an adviser who believed in you.

4. Your school didn't leave you steeped in debt once you finished.

5. You made strong friendships (perhaps lifelong friends) through your dorm, Greek life or other campus organization.

6. College taught you to be independent, set a schedule, pay rent and manage your own life.

7. Because of a few difficult roommates, you gained the necessary basics of conflict resolution.

8. On (at least) one occasion, you officially learned your drinking limit.

9. College lit the spark and helped you begin to realize your true passion.

10. You tip-toed onto campus a nervous high school graduate and, after the college experience, walked out a confident young adult ready for the challenges that lay ahead.

Does the list capture your college experience?

Share this post on Facebook and Twitter, and tell US News what it really means to go to a 'top-ranked' school.