Do college rankings really matter?

‘Ranked no. 1 in India’

‘Part of the top 100 universities in the world’

‘Under the top 10 colleges in Delhi University’

We hear these phrases quite often. Considering the fact that most of us are still in college, we hear it a lot more often than others. The question comes, what is it that makes these colleges so good? Or, you know what, let me rephrase that – What is it that makes these colleges better than the rest? For the sake of the readers, I’ll limit my opinion to only Delhi University.

The first criteria has to be, hands down, the faculty. What makes the college good is its professors. However, now with most of the college professors being on adhoc, does this really count as a criterion? None of them are permanent professors belonging to the college, are they? So, on that one, we’ll conclude that the professors in all DU colleges are pretty much the same.

That brings us to our second category, Infrastructure. Not really a big deal to be honest, but for some it is (Amitians, am I correct here?). Yes, I know that majority of the colleges in DU do not possess air conditioners.

Only two out of the hot – shot colleges i.e. Stephen’s and SRCC do (or so the students say). If we really have brought in this category, then even Deen Dyal Upadhyay is centrally air conditioned, however, doesn’t really come amongst the cream when it comes to college rankings, so that makes one wonder on whether infrastructure is really considered while these so-called rankings are made.

That brings us to the third comparison, year of establishment. Now this is pretty basic – the older the college, the more prestigious it is and hence finds its way up the ranking ladder. Hence our newbie underdogs tend to fall a little behind. As for location, even north campus possesses a few not-so-famous colleges, so we won’t exactly go there.

The year of establishment also gives us the next criterion – alumni. Every Laurel or Hardy would guess that the older the college, the more alumni it gives off. Here is where the prestigious, old colleges take the cake. However, there are a lot of oldies in the list that bag the top positions without having world famous Bollywood actors as their alumni, so we can safely say that this is one of the criteria, but we aren’t exactly sure. However, fret not, my underdog friends, there was a time when Stephen’s had just been established and was literally begging for students (confirmed by my great-grandfather, whom Stephen’s approached. As I distinctly remember “Please study in our college” – talk about irony). The point is, that there will come a time where people would pray to get into even one of the off-campus colleges. So our ‘comparison’ says that, most of the colleges are pretty much the same.

The bottom line is, it doesn’t matter if your college is the best or may not be known to many, as long as you are doing what you want. Rankings keep fluctuating – Harvard isn’t number one anymore, MIT is. So, breath and enjoy doing the course of your choice – the grass on the other side will always be greener.

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