Regarding “Howard U. falls to 142nd in U.S. News rankings” [news, Sept. 10]:

The U.S. News and World Report’s ranking of national universities is not very useful. Nonetheless, it gets attention year after year. I didn’t graduate from a “top tier” schools. (In fact, I was politely declined admission to one highly ranked school, whose sports teams I still root against.) Despite the absence of a degree from a U.S. News top-ranked school, I’m gainfully employed, and I can take care of myself. I have three great children now and a wonderful spouse. In short, I’m doing just fine.

My eldest is off to college in three short years. What would be helpful is a ranking system that takes useful things into account, such as graduation rates, post-graduation employment rates, admission rates to graduate school and accessibility, say, to folks who just can’t reach into their pockets and pull out 25 grand or more for tuition each year.

Ryan D. Herrington, Stowe, Vt.