From the OC Register:
The increasing influence of the U.S. News rankings have caused concern that high school students will rely too heavily on an excessively simplified measure of quality. While colleges may review rankings and then make a genuine effort to improve, rankings can also cause negative competition among institutions, such as when colleges make slight changes to distort data and increase their score without actually improving the quality of education.... "Although overall the rankings bear some relationship to academic quality, there are big problems," said Carole Uhlaner, an associate professor of political science at UC Irvine. "First, colleges take actions to manipulate their rank. But sometimes these manipulations do the opposite of improving education. Second, what matters most is that a student go to a school that is a good 'fit,' and most of the things that make a college a good fit for a particular student are hard to quantify and are not captured in the rankings," she said.

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