In recent years the number of college-ranking lists has exploded. “Many are compiled by start-up Web sites, media outlets or marketing companies using creative mash-ups of statistics, pseudo-statistics and online reviews submitted by anyone with an e-mail address,” notes Jenna Johnson.
There are lists of friendliest students and hairiest students (Rutgers men are allegedly in dire need of razors). Biggest party schools and party dorms. Most significant architecture and schools most like Harry Potter’s Hogwarts (hands down, the University of Chicago). There’s even a ranking of the most unranked schools (ever heard of Madonna University in Michigan?).
The president of Denison College felt he had to write his trustees after the school was named one of the “druggiest” and point out that his campus had fewer than a dozen drug-related arrests in 2010. He noted that some college rankings are compiled by “the electronic equivalents of supermarket checkout line tabloids.”