I suppose rankings serve a purpose. When you have well over 3,000 four-year, degree-granting institutions of higher learning available from which to choose, inevitably, you'll discover that some are better than others. I guess we need a kind of Consumer Reports resource to help us sift through the piles of glossy literature that pours forth from these schools. Many can seem much the same as all the others, so I imagine we need some kind of sorting protocol. That's what the U.S.News rankings claim to do.
Can you tell that I'm not a rankings kinda guy? If you can, you're perceptive. All I have to do is look at the new U.S. News rankings and see that Harvard scores a "100" to claim the #1 spot. Poor Princeton. At #2, it could muster a mere "99" score. Old Nassau students and alums worldwide mourn. Not really, because the overwhelming majority of those associated with Princeton and Harvard couldn't care less about what U.S.News thinks of them. Well, maybe their (and all the other ranked schools') marketing people give pause for good or bad thought, but in most cases, these rankings (and most of the others) inspire a large, lazy yawn.