U.S News Rankings Alternatives

The U.S News ranking works to facilitate many students to search for the country’s best colleges. It started work in the early 1980s and made college rankings popular among students. However, many other college ranking sites also assist students in the selection of the best colleges.  Here we will see about U.S News Rankings Alternatives

U.S News Rankings Alternatives

U.S News Rankings Alternatives

When you realize that the U.S News college rankings site is not providing an easy ranking, or you want to search other alternatives ranking sites to see the comparison, you may have the option of multiple ranking sites that come up with their lists using their methodology. Let’s make your search easier by suggesting a few prominent college-ranking sites. 

The Benefits of College Ranking Search

It is a fact that college ranking helps in the selection of the best college, but before searching for the ranking list, keep in mind that it will tell you about a high acceptance rate and reasonable tuition, but some other factors should be considered while choosing any college. 

For instance, see your boundaries that may be different from the ranking list. It is better to make a list of your resources and other limitations and then find out the best college that can fulfill your need. Therefore, ranking sites help you to decide on the best suitable college but the final decision is yours. The few most prominent ranking sites are:

  1. Washington Monthly Ranking Guide
  2. Forbes Ranking Criteria
  3. Niche College Ranking
  4. Kiplinger College Ranking
  5. Money Ranking Criteria
  6. Princeton Review College Ranking
  7. College Atlas.org Ranking
  8. National Science Foundation Ranking

Washington Monthly Ranking Guide

Washington’s monthly annual ranking claims that they rank the college based on their performance and based on what they do for the country. They claim that their ranking is different from the U.S News because the U.S News ranking depends on the wealth and status of the college. They do not bother about the role of college in the country’s progress. The criteria to rank the college of Washington Monthly are based on the role of the college or school for the betterment of society. They make the list according to social mobility, research, and other opportunities for the public interest. They rank four-year schools, national and master’s universities, art colleges, and baccalaureate colleges. They also report low-grade colleges help non-wealthy students to acquire a degree at low prices. 

Forbes Ranking Criteria

The criteria to rank the colleges and universities are based on the data that shows the investment and the outcomes they receive from students. For instance, its ranking depends on the data of the number of graduated students that take the degree within the timeframe. After completion of their degree, their successful career with high income and low debt is also part of the ranking. In 2021, Forbes took strong measures to rank the colleges and ensure that data is based on the scale of the student’s salary and the time frame to pay off the cost of college. They also added the data that determines the measures that college takes for low-income students. 

Niche College Ranking

Niche is another well-known alternative to U.S News ranking. Niche has a very accurate and transparent search tool that is considered a comprehensive guide for college ranking. They guide potential students to find out the best college in the area where they belong to. They have 500000 real student reviews that assist future candidates and guide them on miscellaneous topics like food, safety, teaching staff, diversity, etc. They claim that they have more reviews than any other ranking site. They don’t rely on the data submitted by the college itself or on the expert’s opinion about the top colleges rather they rely on the information provided by the U.S Department of Education or by the National Science Foundation. Nonetheless, Niche is giving a complete guide to future students in the selection of their college through thoughtful facts and the most accurate reviews of real students.

Kiplinger College Ranking

Kiplinger claims to collect the data from Peterson’s Undergraduate Database and then they add their report. They publish a list of 400 schools that are significant in college ranking. They take the data based on academic quality, cost, financial aid, etc. Then they divide it into two types of points, one is quality criteria which has 55% points and the second is the cost criteria that have 45% points. They observe the competitiveness of colleges through the percentage of their admission rate and measure the quality of education through the percentage of undergraduate students who complete their degrees on time and within budget. On the other hand, the cost and criteria are measured by including the lowest cast of the schools that offer low tuition, fees, books, and room on a limited budget.

Money Ranking Criteria

Money helps students choose the college that is best in terms of quality of education, affordability, and outcome. They specifically analyze the schools based on their academic quality and net cost of attendance of those students who receive need-based financial aid. Therefore, those colleges are better and provide higher quality education at a lower cost. They rank colleges on the strength of their undergraduate students which should be more than 500. College shouldn’t face any financial stress and should have reliable data to explore. Its graduation rate should be at or above the median for its institutional category. They distribute the percentage and allocate 30% weightage to the quality of education, 40% weightage to affordability, and 30% to the outcome of college.

Princeton Review College Ranking

Princeton makes an annual list of 50 top-ranking colleges which is based on a survey of what students learn and what is their curriculum and experience about the college. In their list, the top 25 are included in a specific category where different categories are mentioned in the ranking list. Beyond the 50 top colleges in the list, the other colleges are not categorized in the list of Princeton college ranking list. They give scores to each college based on answers to the questions from their students directly. For instance, questions related to food, academic quality, transport, and rooms are included in the list. They mostly cover the areas related to academics, quality of life, campus/town life, politics, administration, and extracurricular and social activities. 

College Atlas.org Ranking

College Atlas is another source of providing advice and analysis about higher education institutes. Its mission is to educate future students of the U.S to decide their best suitable platform. They rank Nursing Schools, Business Schools, Accounting Colleges, Engineering Schools, Law Schools, Fine Arts Schools, and Christian Colleges also. Their data is based on the tuition and fee prices, acceptance rate, enrollment rate, college size, and school setting. They also provide helpful information about the career and academic community to students. They rely on the data that is taken from the students, and education professionals, and feedback taken from the schools.

National Science Foundation Ranking

The National Science Foundation is the best source to rank the school and colleges. It was specifically created in 1950 to work on the improvement of science. They make the list on the data based on the number of earned doctorates, total R&D costs, annual strength of full-time graduate students, and science and engineering research space outcomes. The number of earned doctorates means the number of research doctorates reported by U.S. institutions every year. Whereas, data for the number of full-time graduate students show the strength of full-time graduate students registered in science, engineering, and some health grounds.

The data for R&D costs are taken from the HARD survey and reveal the expenses in U.S. dollars for research and development (R&D) within higher education institutions. The last one Research space shows the data of the net assignable square feet (NASF) of space in buildings within which science and engineering research activities take place. 


The U.S News is a best-ranking site that helps students the selection of best school or college. But some other alternative competitiveness of U.S News is also working to provide the best guide to the potential students. Some of the well-known ranking sites are Washington Monthly, Forbes, Niche, Kiplinger, Money, and Princeton. Their methodology to make the top list of colleges or schools is different from one another, but students can search for them and can make their decision easy, however, make sure that the final decision is yours. Some other factors are also involved when you choose the college, like your location, budget, quality of education transport food, etc. in short, it is better to search the college ranking site before joining it, and then select a suitable option for the future.

Frequently Asked Questions
  1. What is the most appropriate college ranking site?

Apart from the U.S News and World Report which are considered the most authentic and ancient sites for college ranking, some other popular websites are The Princeton Review, Forbes, Washington Monthly, Money, and Kiplinger. 

  1. Does the U.S News rank as a trusted website?

US News ranking is well-thought-out a trusted website but it doesn’t mean that there are no more valid and accurate ranking sites other than this. U.S News ranking is measured as accurately based on its methodology and details provided by schools.