One of the hottest areas for discussion on the College Confidential forum is rankings. As you may already know, I am not a fan of rankings. In my opinion, there are just far too many fine colleges that get routinely overlooked every year simply because they haven't played the rankings game or, for whatever reason, end up in the murky backwaters of the big rankings' listings, most prominently the U.S. News America's Best Colleges annual publication.
Not that my opinion matters one iota about this, but people often ask me why colleges sweat the rankings so much every year and why they play their games. There's an easy answer: money. Think I'm being too cynical? Well, maybe I can quantify my contention. Take a look at this: