Schools and colleges’ rankings like other rankings are based on a clash of indexes. Indexes are a compilation of points as per the factors. The criteria for these rankings are nothing but judgment factors.

These judgment factors are generalized into numbers for a better way of comparison. Some general judgment factors include analyzing:

* Entry Scores Acceptance (ACT and SAT )
* General Review of Facilities
* Student Retention
* Placements
* Salary of the Faculty Members
* Student and Faculty Ratio
* Market Value (this includes how a prospective employer sees an institution)

There are many other minor factors which decide the fate of a college in terms of rankings. These factors are indexed into statistics, so that the list is supported by facts and figures. But the problem with most rankings is the peer evaluation factor. Peer evaluation which is mostly based on surveys is one of the most controversial factors taken for assessment by most college directories. No doubt surveys are tamper proof, but the authenticity of these surveys has been questioned many a times.

Highest overall school or college is an institution which pips other competitors after all the factors are compiled into an overall score. Hence, even if a school lags in a certain criteria, there is a chance that it may catch up in other aspects. This also explains why a certain school which has been given top honors in college rankings doesn’t necessarily top all the individual criteria, but a top college will definitely win in a majority of categories.

Apart from this, some rankings take into consideration the disaster management programs, administrative evaluation, online degrees & programs and even the crime rates. Overall, factors may be similar, but the method is what differentiates a ranking from other ranking systems.

In terms of universities and colleges, some campuses which get the top slots in most rankings on most occasions are:

* Harvard university
* Yale university
* Princeton university
* Columbia university
* Stanford university
* Massachusetts Institute of Technology
* University of Pennsylvania

All in all, it can definitely be concluded that had it not been for rankings, every college will be the same.

Author's Bio: 

A highest overall school will definitely give impetus to online degrees & programs along with certifications and trainings. It is better to understand the college rankings and its factors before you submit your enrolments.