Jieun Choe, executive director of college admissions and K-12 programs, Kaplan Test Prep, issued the following statement today regarding how students should view the U.S. News & World Report rankings in the college admissions process:

“The U.S. News & World Report rankings have long been a part of the college search process and can be helpful as an aggregate source of data around student population, academic life and other considerations. The statistics behind the rankings can offer useful insights. For example, freshman retention rate can be a good indicator of how happy students are, while financial aid profiles can indicate a school’s likelihood of offering need- or merit-based aid. But the actual rank ordering of schools is a debatable measure that’s more important to schools and their alumni than it is for college applicants.

Our advice to students is to forget about where a college falls in the rankings. Find schools that have the academic programs and social environment they want, visit the schools and talk to students and alumni. Ultimately, students should just apply to schools that are the best overall ‘fit’ for their academic, financial and lifestyle needs.”

To arrange an interview with a Kaplan Test Prep college admissions expert, please contact Russell Schaffer at russell.schaffer@kaplan.com or 212.453.7538.

About Kaplan Test Prep

Kaplan Test Prep ( www.kaptest.com) is a premier provider of educational and career services for individuals, schools and businesses. Established in 1938, Kaplan is the world leader in the test prep industry. With a comprehensive menu of online offerings as well as a complete array of print books and digital products, Kaplan offers preparation for more than 90 standardized tests, including entrance exams for secondary school, college and graduate school, as well as professional licensing exams for attorneys, physicians and nurses. Kaplan also provides private tutoring and graduate admissions consulting services.

Note to editors: Kaplan is a subsidiary of The Washington Post Company (NYSE: WPO)

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