The code is cracked

At last, the top secret formula about how U.S. News & World Report ranks colleges has been revealed. I shall inform my university that Step 3 is particularly important and explains why we aren’t the #1 school in the galaxy.


  1. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Sadly, the real formula probably isn’t much more absurd than that article suggests.

    I would assume there’s an under-the-table auction the parents of legacy admissions are invited to every year.

  2. says

    This is totally bogus, everyone knows they line the walls of a room with posters from schools then fill the room with turd flinging monkeys and judge which posters are the cleanest after a week

  3. Reginald Selkirk says

    Sometimes The Onion strikes out, but the catcher drops the ball. They run to first, and the catcher overthrows the first baseman. By the time the right fielder, who was making eyes with his girlfriend in the stands, realizes what is going on and runs down the ball, The Onion has safely made it home. It happened twice last week.

  4. robro says

    Didn’t they leave out the step of calculating the amount of advertising purchased from USN&WR or its sister publication by a major donor of the school? And did we know that sister publication is the New York Daily News? Now there’s a stellar sibling.

    What I love about Pharyngula: It makes me do background checks.

  5. What a Maroon, el papa ateo says

    “Step 3: Any college whose colors are maroon and gold is immediately eliminated.”

    [quickly checks alma mater’s colors]
    Whew, dodged a bullet there….

  6. Ogvorbis: Heading down the Failure Road. Again. says

    1. I have no idea how much my school weighs

    2, Our student to student ratio was about 11/13 (some of them were not even trying to pretend to be actual students)

    3: Crimson and Gray (or Grey) so we’re good there

    4: Aggregate? Okay. 300 incoming freshman, so 300*1500*24*Moo

    5: Do the old Big Little books count?

    6: I think our most common non-election year banners were for some other college’s sports team

    7: ((Average class size)(Quads per student)) / ((Out-of-state tuition)(Number of West African fusion dance troupes)) + (Nobel Prize winning faculty members – Number of meal plan options)^Number of nicknames for dining hall

    Okay. Math skills time. ((30)(.15)/((31000)(0))+(0-6)^7=4.5/-279936=1.6075102880658436213991769547325e-5

    8: No, sounds about right

  7. Rich Woods says

    Phew, that’s a relief. This is definitely one of the more scientifically-based ranking systems I’ve seen. If only our government’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills* would adopt it in favour of their current one…

    * Of course they don’t mention universities in the department title. Why would they?