Biola celebrates its US News ranking despite ongoing report concerns

With the integrity of university placements still being investigated, Biola has chosen to promote its recently earned ranking.

Phoebe Vrable, News Editor

Over the span of the past four months, schools have opted out of or been dismissed from the U.S. News & World Report rankings, most notably including Ivy League school Columbia University. Despite consistently securing a place amongst the top 5 colleges, Columbia math professor Michael Thaddeus brought key data into question, eventually resulting in their dismissal. 

Understandably, the resulting mass fallout has opened the door for nationwide educational concern. United States Secretary of Education, Miguel Cardona, has even gone as far as to call the foiled pursuit “a joke,” according to the Washington Post.  

Although further investigations are needed before universities like Columbia will release specific grievances committed, it is clear that both the colleges and the design of these ranking systems are being challenged. Both lend themselves to monetary incentives, perceived status and likely concealed fabrication.


Sophomore sociology major Aniya Elkins views rankings as a helpful tool, especially when it comes down to specialty majors.  For her, rankings are “important because it shows the academic rigor of the school and it also can be ranked by the best programs which can help students decide where they want to study their major.” 

Senior political science major and Commuter Senator Grace Kelly expressed that she approached her college decision “already trusting Biola.”  Although she had heard of Biola’s ranking via their endorsements, she stated that Biola already checked the boxes for her. “I knew what kind of school I wanted,” she added, clarifying that she didn’t seek out placement information. Rather than looking to US News and World Report as an authoritative source, she felt that her priorities for choosing a college were already verified through awareness gained outside of these rankings. 

In spite of the growing concerns for validity, these Biola students shared an outlook which implied that Biola has put their money where their mouth is, regardless of the ranking’s credibility or foul play from other institutions. Nonetheless, concern and further investigation is still relevant and valid. 


Another important factor in the equation is accountability. According to CNN, even if the reports are fabricated, colleges have stated that there is still a pervading awareness which board members are sensitive to– an awareness which frames their big decisions as being liable to something bigger outside of the student body. In other words, even if the rankings are corrupted, the system could still hold sway over decisions, potentially encouraging them to be wiser. 

On the other hand, concern still exists that because these rankings are perceived by the public as valuable, the decisions of colleges will be harmfully informed by the possibility of appraisal. This could alter the ethos of colleges’ Enrollment, Marketing and Communications departments to focus on public relations in ways which specifically bolster their national ranking and thus, monetary gain. 

As the investigations unfold, students, faculty, and university wellbeing will have to re-examine concerns and priorities for themselves. Most importantly, it begs the question, do national rankings ultimately favor the best interests of college students?

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