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Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
While some colleges claim not to care what "U.S. News & World Report" says, and experts cite problems in the way its annual rankings are done, many institutions scramble to improve their positions. There are well-documented examples of institutions that have solicited nominal donations from alumni to boost their percentage of giving, encouraged applications from students they had no intention of accepting, or creatively interpreted how they should report the required data to "U.S. News." Others, like Baylor University, simply make it an explicit goal to improve their standing in the rankings. In some ways, "U.S. News" has become the tail that wags the dog. The magazine's annual college guide does not merely compile data on what colleges are doing. It has changed the way many college officials determine their institutional priorities. Possible changes to the rankings formula and alternative to the "U.S. News" rankings are discussed.