Features / On Campus

Do College Rankings Matter?

By Deirdre St. John

Staff Writer

In the lobby of Hobart Hall you will find students hustling to their classes, sitting at round tables on their computers or standing in clusters chatting with their professors oblivious of the rankings given to William Paterson.

“The staff is great in regards to answering my emails and voicemails because they do it in a timely manner,” said Christine D. Cardillo, a public relations major. “They almost always answer my questions to the fullest.”

In two separate publications in the northeast region, William Paterson is ranked at 104 by U.S. News and 181 by Washington Monthly.

Two days ago the New York Times reported that some rankings are now incorporating earnings data and William Paterson ranks #19.

“College ranking is not accurate because different websites have different rankings, so you don’t know what to believe,” said Olenka Acosta, a recent alumni of William Paterson. “This is why I didn’t look at the college rankings because picking a college should be based on your major.”

U.S. News gets its ranking data directly from the schools such as academic reputation, student retention, faculty and financial resources while the Washington Monthly compiles their rankings by looking at the benefits received by the country from its graduates such as impact on social mobility and whether it promotes ethics that serve the country.

Rankings did not appear to be a deciding factor for those students who hand-picked the university.

“I chose William Paterson based off of the proximity, price, and the environment,” Cardillo said.

Acosta who graduated this past year also said that the rankings were not a deciding factor for her.

“William Paterson was my top choice because the curriculum they offered for my major drew me towards this university,” Acosta said.

Students may take college ranking as one college being preferred over another, but Cardillo said that is not the case.

“It all depends on the factors that go into the ranking,” she said. “Some schools can have a great educational program but lack in extracurricular activities.”

With that being said, perhaps the ranking is done by U.S. News that bases its rankings on the school itself relying primarily on the measures of reputation and selectivity.

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