How important are rankings?
Posted: Sun Mar 29, 2015 4:58 pm
I've gotten into a number of schools and am having a difficult time deciding where to go. I've been visiting them over the past month, and I have narrowed my decision to four schools. All of which have research I'm interested in and faculty I think I would like to work with. I'm having a tough time deciding where to go, and something doesn't sit well with me with basing my decision based on whichever one is ranked highest. So I'm wondering: how much faith I should place in the rankings (US News)? This is especially difficult for me since the four schools are all on different parts of the ranking spectrum.
- School 1: top 10, not the best research fit but there are a few projects that I'm interested in. Not a great fit in terms of the living location either, but that's mainly because it's far from my significant other.
- School 2: top 20, many research projects in areas that interest me (two of which the school is the lead institution on). However I am a little concerned because the faculty I met with all had only 1-2 graduate students, and I don't know if this is because they scare students away or are just small in that field. Not a great living location.
- School 3: top 30, haven't made my visit yet but I already know I like the surrounding area. I believe there's interesting research going on here, and a few options for me.
- School 4: top 40, two possible projects, one of which sounds really exciting (and the school is the lead institution on). Good living location for me.