US News Releases Twice-Delayed Law and Medical School Rankings | This Week in Admissions News

12/05/20235 minute read
US News Releases Twice-Delayed Law and Medical School Rankings | This Week in Admissions News
The world of college admissions is ever-changing and for students with top university ambitions, it’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest developments. This week, US News released its best law and medical school rankings following two separate delays. Stanford and Yale tied for the top law spot, while Harvard topped the medical list. Check back next week to see what’s new and noteworthy in university admissions!

US News Releases Twice-Delayed Law and Medical School Rankings

After much delay and discussion, US News has released its Best Law and Medical School rankings. For law schools, Stanford and Yale tied for the top spot, followed by University of Chicago and UPenn in number 3 and 4, respectively. Duke, Harvard and NYU tied for the fifth spot. For medical schools, Harvard topped the list, with Johns Hopkins, UPenn, Columbia and Duke rounding out the top five. 

The rankings for Best Medical and Law Schools were delayed following a release of preview rankings. "The level of interest in our rankings, including from those schools that declined to participate in our survey, has been beyond anything we have experienced in the past." Following the feedback about errors in ranking, there were some changes from the previews. For eg., in the law rankings preview, Harvard had tied for the fourth spot with UPenn, but it has moved down the list now. In the medical school list there have been some major changes. Earlier Johns Hopkins had taken the top spot and UCSF School of Medicine and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis were tied for the fourth spot.

Methodology changes to these rankings were based in part on feedback from schools. For instance, there was more emphasis on outcome measures and less emphasis on reputation and selectivity this year, which led to some shifts in the rankings. For both full-time law and medicine, the reputation factors went from a weight of 40% of a school's overall ranking to 25%. For law schools, fully 58% of a school’s ranking is now based on outcomes — how many graduating students pass the bar and get jobs — a substantial increase from prior years. The new ranking of medical schools for research also used new methodology, and included an evaluation of faculty resources, the academic achievements of entering students and research productivity.

The US News rankings took a beating over the past year, with top institutions including Harvard Medical School and Yale Law School quitting and also a series of allegations that the publication uses false data for its listings. Rhode Island School of Design became one the first undergraduate programs to also boycott the rankings. US News promised to reform law school rankings to counter some of the criticism. Considering so many law schools chose not to provide their institution’s statistical data, U.S. News ranked law schools using metrics that are mandatory for disclosure by the American Bar Association. As many medical schools also did not provide data, U.S. News used data from submitted statistical surveys in 2023 (or 2022 if 2023 was not available), and included publicly available metrics from the National Institutes of Health.

Other top stories in admissions news this week:

  1. Kelley School of Business at Indiana University has been ranked the best online MBA program by Fortune magazine. University of Florida's Hough Graduate School of Business, Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University, University of Southern California's Marshall School of Business and Saunders College of Business at Rochester Institute of Technology rounded out the top 5. Of the 100 schools that appear on the list, 12 schools reported salaries higher than the national average of $115,000 for MBA graduates. University of Kentucky Gatton College of Business and Economics reported the highest salary of $140,000.
  2. Stillman College is pulling out of one of the nation’s most popular college rankings, which the university called “flawed” and “misleading.” The private liberal arts college in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, is the first historically Black college to publicly announce its withdrawal from the annual U.S. News and World Report. Stillman College President Cynthia Warrick said the ranking put lower-resourced schools – and HBCUs – at a disadvantage.
  3. PIE News reports the US Citizenship and Immigration Services is investigating a potential fraud in the H-1B visa lottery system. The number of multiple registrations for single beneficiaries in the system has risen dramatically in recent years. This may have given some people an unfair advantage in the selection process for H-1B visas, which allow US employers to hire foreign college graduates. The immigration system’s supply of H-1B visas (generally capped at just 85,000)  is far below the demand, which may contribute to the issue of potential fraud.
  4. A college degree continues to have a robust financial payoff, but Americans increasingly believe that it does not, Forbes reports in an opinion piece. The financial outcomes for college grads are robust. Just 7.8% of programs and 5.3% of graduates have median earnings lower than $34,230 (the median for a high school graduate). In contrast, 19% of major programs and 21.4% of graduates have median earnings higher than $68,640 (2x the median for a high school graduate) based on the US Department of Education’s College Scorecard. However, a recent poll from the Wall Street Journal and the University of Chicago found that 56% of U.S. adults believe that a four-year college education is “not worth the cost” while just 42% believe that it is.
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