Originally Published in Hindustan Times Education
A few weeks ago US News and World Report released their college rankings for 2014. Most of the media coverage of this dubious event has concluded that not much has changed, especially among the top 10 colleges. This is important to Indian students for whom US News is sometimes treated as a sacred text. Indian applicants focus is so narrowed on the top 10 (maybe 20) ranked colleges that its almost impossible to convince them to consider applying anywhere else. This is often blamed on a ‘status conscious’ or ‘brand obsessed’ perspective. While this tendency is exaggerated, I offer some reasons why even more supposed practical reasons for sticking with the top 20 are unfounded.