The Anatomy of College Rankings

Everyone seems to be doing their own college rankings these days. Forbes and Washington Monthly recently joined the likes of U.S. News and World Report in offering their assessments of the best universities in the U.S. Two ratings systems, developed by Times Higher Education and Shanghai Jiaotong University, assemble lists of the top institutions in the world.

If you've ever wanted a handy way to determine which of these systems would work best for a prospective college student—the actual answer is probably "none of them"—The Chronicle of Higher Education has an excellent interactive graphic that lets you know that, among other things, Forbes factors in whether or not a school has "professionally successful alumni," a nebulous sort of measure that it gets from determining the number of people from a particular university that appear in Who's Who in America 2008.

From the Chronicle's, it's easy to see what each assessment prizes: As pointed out by Daniel de Vise at The Washington Post's College Inc. blog, Washington Monthly prioritizes access by low-income students, as well as service-related opportunities. Unsurprisingly, Kiplinger focuses on finances. And, the Academic Ranking of World Universities (which is administered by Shanghai Jiaotong U.) only cares about publications and awards.

Actually, an argument could be made that U.S. News' much-maligned standards are the broadest and give the best overall rankings—if you care about those sorts of things.


Seventy-five years ago, on January 27, 1945, the Soviet Army liberated the Auschwitz concentration camp operated by Nazi Germany in occupied Poland.

Auschwitz was the deadliest of Nazi Germany's 20 concentration camps. From 1940 to 1945 of the 1.3 million prisoners sent to Auschwitz, 1.1 million died. That figure includes 960,000 Jews, 74,000 non-Jewish Poles, 21,000 Roma, 15,000 Soviet prisoners of war, and up to 15,000 other Europeans.

The vast majority of the inmates were murdered in the gas chambers while others died of starvation, disease, exhaustion, and executions.

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via Barry Schapiro / Twitter

The phrase "stay in your lane" is usually lobbed at celebrities who talk about politics on Twitter by people who disagree with them. People in the sports world will often get a "stick to sports" when they try to have an opinion that lies outside of the field of play.

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via Stu Hansen / Twitter

In a move that feels like the subject line of a spam email or the premise of a bad '80s movie, online shopping mogul Yusaku Maezawa is giving away money as a social experiment.

Maezawa will give ¥1 million yen ($9,130) to 1,000 followers who retweeted his January 1st post announcing the giveaway. The deadline to retweet was Tuesday, January 7.

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