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In order to vault in the rankings, schools often focus on increasing their admissions selectivity, alumni-giving rates and the size of their endowments, rather than the quality of students’ on-campus experience, Hunter said.
But in a conference call with media Monday, director of data research Robert Morse said U.S. News changed some aspects of its methodology for the 2014 rankings.
Ranking higher education
U.S. News & World Report released its 2014 rankings for colleges and universities Tuesday.
Brigham Young University, one of six schools at 62.
University of Utah, one of seven schools at 121.
Utah State University, one of eleven schools at 190.
Western regional schools
Westminster College, one of two schools at 22.
Southern Utah University, one of four schools at 71.
Weber State University, one of seven schools at 80.
See rankings for more Utah schools and on more topics at usnews.com.
There is a greater emphasis, he said, on outcomes — such as retention and graduation rates — and a diminished emphasis on the test scores and class standing of incoming high school students.
While the schools included in the top tiers did not change, some schools below that level moved up or down significantly, he said. The changes were adopted before Obama’s push to focus on outcomes, he noted.
Obama proposes to include data not currently published, such as employment and earnings of graduates, Morse said, adding that the U.S. News methodology will continue to evolve.
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