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U.S. News & World Report may still be the 800-pound gorilla of college rankings. But with a formula that rarely changes, the latest edition — out Wednesday — looks pretty much the same as a decade ago, with very few exceptions.
More interesting are a pair of newer players to the rankings game. Both have shortcomings, but both produce a top-colleges list that looks somewhat different from the magazine's (where Princeton and Harvard share the top spot, just like last year). More broadly, the new players offer data intriguing even to those who don't buy the idea that colleges can be ranked like their football teams.
One bases its rankings on data showing where students applied, got accepted and chose to attend. The other focuses on alumni satisfaction.