First off, before we proceed any further, we want to go on record as saying that college rankings do not matter.

Yep, we said it. Never, under any circumstances, should you base your decision on which college or university to attend on the annual college rankings released by U.S. News, Princeton Review, or any other number of rankers. Your decision should be based on your personal preferences, career goals, and place of residence. It will be what fits you, not what fits a room full of analysts at Fortune magazine.

Having said that, we can’t help checking out the stats, just for fun, to see who is where in the list.

The top 25 schools are pretty boring: they play musical chairs with one another but few real upsets happen (“Princeton is number one again? Talk about exciting!”). So the real fun is in seeing which college and universities make the biggest improvements. Therein is the real drama of the college rankings.

We searched the U.S. News 2014 rankings and compared them to the 2013 rankings and found that the following 14 colleges and universities had made the biggest improvements:

San-Diego-State-University-college-rankings

1. San Diego State University

2013 ranking: 183
2014 ranking: 152
Total improvement: 31

Polytechnic-Institute-of-New-York-University-college-rankings

2. Polytechnic Institute of New York University

2013 ranking: 153
2014 ranking: 128
Total improvement: 25

University-of-Massachusetts-college-rankings

3. University of Massachusetts

2013 ranking: 183
2014 ranking: 158
Total improvement: 25

University-of-Cincinatti-college-rankings

4. University of Cincinnati

2013 ranking: 156
2014 ranking: 135
Total improvement: 21

Northeastern-University-college-rankings

5. Northeastern University

2013 ranking: 69
2014 ranking: 49
Total improvement: 20

Stony-Brook-State-University-of-New-York-college-rankings

6. Stony Brook-State University of New York

2013 ranking: 99
2014 ranking: 82
Total improvement: 17

Texas-Christian-University-college-rankings

7. Texas Christian University

2013 ranking: 99
2014 ranking: 82
Total improvement: 17

Loyola-University-Chicago-college-rankings

8. Loyola University-Chicago

2013 ranking: 117
2014 ranking: 101
Total improvement: 16

University-of-Rhode-Island-college-rankings

9. University of Rhode Island

2013 ranking: 167
2014 ranking: 152
Total improvement: 15

University-of-Louisville-college-rankings

10. University of Louisville

2013 ranking: 176
2014 ranking: 161
Total improvement: 15

University-at-Albany-SUNY-college-rankings

11. University at Albany-SUNY

2013 ranking: 143
2014 ranking: 128
Total improvement: 15

Boston-University-college-rankings

12. Boston University

2013 ranking: 56
2014 ranking: 41
Total improvement: 15

DePaul-University-college-rankings

13. DePaul University

2013 ranking: 136
2014 ranking: 121
Total improvement: 15

University-of-Illinois-Chicago-college-rankings

14. University of Illinois-Chicago

2013 ranking: 143
2014 ranking: 128
Total improvement: 15


Source: http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/rankings/national-universities

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