These college and university rankings offer you a list of various institutions that provide higher education in fields like law, medicine, business, architecture, fine arts and any other areas of your interest. These lists are prepared after extensive research and polls conducted by government agencies or independent authorities or academic experts. Such rankings not only rate the institution as a whole, but also specific programs and departments of the universities. These rankings are conducted based on factors like student retention, salary of the faculty, student/faculty ratio, SAT/ACT scores of the institutions and similar such criteria. Other ratings like campus safety ratings are also helpful when students need to stay on university campus.
Whether you choose to go for an online degree or prefer to attend a regular program, you may try looking up these rankings. The number of institutions listed under each category may seem to be mindboggling, but it does help prospective students during the admission process. Some rankings are even subject to criticism on account of usefulness and authenticity.
The methodologies adopted for different rankings vary and it might become a confusing task to zero in on the right institution. It is also possible that some colleges conduct independent rankings and rate other competing colleges poorly. It is also important to note that some rankings may be biased and inaccurate. Many institutions claim that that the criteria used for such rankings are not good enough to evaluate the quality of education imparted by them. On the other hand, it is also possible that some schools do not provide enough data and thus are not eligible for such rankings.
It is a good idea to check and crosscheck various rankings before determining what suits you best.