Wait, wait, you don’t really care? Or you like to pretend that you don’t care? In that case, here are some off-beat rankings that are more entertaining (but still have substance):
*Architecture Digest’s “The Ten College Campuses with the Best Architecture.” Rather than rank schools based on endowment size and SAT scores, this ranking highlights “campuses with the most significant architectural traditions.” Rankings-favorite Harvard got a shout-out for adding modernist architecture alongside its 1720s structures. Also on the list: Florida Southern College, which has the largest single-site collection of Frank Lloyd Wright buildings in the world.
*Gawker’s “The 25 Most Unranked Colleges in America.” On the day The Daily Beast released list after list after list of random rankings, Gawker managed to come up with 25 schools that are unranked. I like the note at the bottom: “After learning that Thunderbird School of Global Management is, in fact, ranked, we have removed it in favor of a worthy replacement.”
*U.S. News’ “Top 10 Highest College Application Fees.” A ranking often becomes a checklist for students wanting to apply to the nation’s top colleges. But applying to the top ten (or 25, or 50) schools can quickly become expensive — especially with application fees as high as $100. Hence the need for another list.
*Open Secrets’ “K Street Classic.” I realize this isn’t a ranking, but it’s still interesting. For the last few years, the Center for Responsive Politics has set its NCAA Men's College Basketball Tournament bracket using federal lobbying expenditures. (This March their money was on Boston University, which spent $960,000 on federal lobbying in 2010.)
Have you come across an interesting ranking? Tell me about it in the comments section.