School Rankings

“Rankings generate huge hype, which is far more likely to serve the publisher’s purpose than the readers’. … Applicants need help in widening their knowledge of schools that may be right for them, not narrowing their choices according to a ranking system.” – Kenneth Auchincloss, Newsweek
Deciding on a school is not an easy task. There are many schools from which to choose, each with it’s own unique qualities and problems. Despite what any medical, dental, pharmacy, podiatry or optometry school may try to tell you, no school is the “perfect” or “ideal” school.
There are a number of magazines and publishing companies that “rank” schools, especially medical schools. The most popular of which is the US News and World Report annual medical school ranking.
In our opinion, these ranking systems are of little value. Rankings do not take into account your individual needs and requirements. Additionally, the ranking criteria used has little to no correlation with your eventual breadth of knowledge, personal development, or future success.
The inability to factor in these critical intangibles, along with unknown weighting formulas, makes the ranking of schools a process which we feel has little value. We suggest you put “school rank” at the end of your reasons to attend any particular school.
When choosing the best school for you, visit the Web sites of the schools in which you are interested. Ample information is available from each school and from their respective accrediting associations. Additionally, you should spend time using the SDN Forums to read student input on their schools.
As you move forward in your application process, use SDN’s Interview Feedback as a valuable tool to learn more about each school. When you have narrowed your selection of schools to which you will apply (if you have the financial resources) physically visit the schools that most interest you.
In the end, make the choice that’s right for you.

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