College rankings


Do college rankings matter? Assistant vice president of Enrollment Services and executive director of Admission Services at Arizona State University, Matt Lopez, explains that some rankings do matter, but ultimately picking a school that feels right for you takes priority.


Do college rankings matter? 

I think people are fixated on rankings just in general. You know?

Everybody wants to be number one.

Everybody wants to be associated with winners, if you will.

You know, colleges use them for all of the obvious reasons, you know?

There are thousands of institutions in the United States and we're all looking for ways to differentiate ourselves. We're all looking for ways to highlight our strengths, to be able to provide maybe quick insight into what we believe would be differentiators.

Rankings come in all kinds of flavors, like peer-to-peer type rankings, and those are probably ones that you can rely on the most. The ones that I use caution on are when it's more of like a popularity contest, where there's not much scientific rigor or research behind it, it's just more of opinion.

So, at a place like ASU, of course, you know, we're really looking to change the type of education that we provide our students, the modalities that we provide our students, the options that we provide our students.

We truly are trying to be innovative. We truly are taking our role in providing education to the citizens of this world very seriously, and so we focus on very specific things that really kind of tell our story.

Unlike purchasing a particular product, the idea of education is oftentimes much bigger than, we know how to make decisions around.

So, I always encourage students, just like anything, to do their homework, do their research.

Really listen internally on what's important to them, the type of experience that they want.

Talk to their parents, talk to family, friends, counselors, all the other resources, and then use that as just one piece to their decision-making process.