Grab the pitchforks, Ivy Leaguers: The U.S. News and World Report rankings are here. As always, they totally don't matter if your school went down a couple of notches, and they are literally the most important thing on Earth if your school did well. (For what it's worth, any stats major can see the ultimate problem with the rankings—since U.S. News and World Report is constantly tinkering with its metrics, you can't make meaningful comparisons over year-to-year progress. So, hypothetically, if your school shoots up 10 slots in 2014, the school might not have actually gotten any "better." U.S. News is just now factoring in, say, science labs on campus, and you go to a major research university. There are many reasons why these rankings are dumb, but that particular problem takes the cake.)
Anyway, there were few surprises this year. Princeton takes the top spot, while Harvard falls to No. 2. Yale is third, Columbia is fourth, and most of the top 10 has hovered around their respective spots for over a decade. This occurs, because top-10 schools tend to have a lot of $$$$. You're not going to see UPenn all of a sudden lose everything, drop to 185, and start admitting crack addicts like a collegiate Detroit.
6. University of Chicago
Here's a completely random assortment of bigger/notable schools you might be curious about:
18. Notre Dame
23. University of Southern California
37. Penn State
41. University of Illinois
52. Ohio State
52. University of Texas
69. Virginia Tech
73. Michigan State
201. UNC-Charlotte (the Mr. Irrelevant of the rankings this year)
Amherst Williams was named the top liberal arts school.
In case you're so, so bored, here's what changed this year about the rankings, via the Huffington Post: "Morse said the publication expanded the use of the graduation rate performance, "reduced the weight assigned to the high school class standing of newly enrolled students and gave slightly more weight to SAT and ACT scores." They also made changes to the weight of the peer assessment score and increased the weight of retention rates." Now go watch a cat playing dubstep. Please.