College students say they no longer care about the annual top colleges ranking, calling it 'BS,''overstated,' and not how we should be choosing schools
- US News released its annual national university rankings earlier this week, with big shakeups.
- While some students and schools reacted to fallen rankings, others say these lists are growing more irrelevant.
The official 2023 US college rankings have dropped, and a new hoard of students are saying they don't care about such standings, calling it "silly," "BS," and inconsequential.
US News' 2024 college rankings were released on Monday with a number of dramatic shifts, including NYU dropping ten placements, Tufts University dropping eight, and Vanderbilt dropping five, among others. US News explained that it changed how it calculated rank this year, which included adding more emphasis on social mobility and accepting more students from different socio-economic backgrounds. As a result, many more prestigious and private universities were ranked lower and several public universities shot up the list.
This week, TikTok became a carnival of college students reacting to the changes. Some were aghast that their schools had plummeted, while other accounts — including numerous official university pages — were triumphant. A handful students, however, seemed generally apathetic about the list, sometimes expressing rage that the ranking system continues to influence our decisions and merits.
"Idc about college rankings, go where u want," the TikToker @crstlmth captioned his video vehemently disagreeing with the results.
@misguidedghvsts #usnews #college #university #foryoupage #fyp ♬ love is embarrassing - Olivia Rodrigo
One of the most popular reaction videos was by a woman who said she thinks it's "fucking hilarious" her school (American University) dropped 33 places.
"Everyone is freaking out over the us news college rankings meanwhile i am laughing," user @misguidedghvsts wrote in on-screen text in the video, which has been viewed over 750,000 times. "I didn't know about the ranking when we were in the top 100 and i am having the time of my life here."
She ended the text bubble asking why people are "choosing colleges based on rankings."
The comments were full of people agreeing with the sentiment, with some baffled that people choose their colleges entirely on prestige.
"The prestige of anything past the top couple of universities is vastly overstated," one top comment with over 3,000 likes said. Another person received over 4,000 likes for a comment saying rankings don't really matter and it's all about what people can afford.
"It doesn't really matter where you go, it's what you do when you're there," someone else wrote. "If you put in the effort at a state school, you can go just as far as an ivy."
@spaghettikate us news and world report it’s on sight #washu @:) ♬ original sound - Addictive lyrics <3
Other TikTokers have made videos despairing about their college's placement this year, leading some confused commenters to lash out at the ranking system. "List is so wonky," one person commented on a video of someone dramatically reacting to their university dropping out of the top 20.
"It's such a BS list I swear," another user wrote, amassing over 400 likes.
@vintagehappens anchor down bby !! no but fr some of yall have left comments asking for an update and i love it here im having the best time #vanderbilt #vanderbiltuniversity #anchordown #lowincome #politics #college #collegelife ♬ original sound - Jen
While some colleges gloated their higher ranks, others weren't so happy. Vanderbilt University sparked a small wave of backlash after it sent out an email blaming US News for weighing factors like Pell Grant availability higher for its rank drop.
One Vanderbilt student made a TikTok with screenshots of the email. User @vintagehappens criticized the letter and suggested the school should prioritize matriculating lower-income students if they want to reclaim their ranking.
She mocked the catastrophizing demeanor of the email: "I hope that somebody holds you tonight, rocks you to sleep, breastfeeds you as you cry, you know?"
Her commenters largely agreed, and also questioned how much weight we should be putting on the annual list.
"Literally what is the difference between private and public universities except for outrageous costs," someone posed.
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