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U.S. News Rankings Add Consideration of How Well Colleges Serve First-Generation Students

September 08, 2019 / Jeffrey R. Young

The rankings of the “best” colleges in America by U.S. News and World Report now take into account how well institutions serve first-generation students. Yet despite a few tweaks to how the magazine defines what makes a top college—iterations in methodology that have become routine—Princeton University is still the highest ranked (again), and there are few changes in the top 10 in the 2020 rankings, released Monday.More variation can be found, however, on the many other sub-rankings that U.S. News includes in its college guide—it now has 50 different lists that it updates each year, such as “Best Value Schools,” “Most International Students” and “Best Undergraduate Business Programs.” New this year is a ranking of the “Top Performers on Social Mobility,” which looks at how well colleges serve students who receive federal Pell Grants, for which only the neediest students qualify. University of California campu...