http://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2015/10/value-univers Based on graduate earnings exceeding projected earnings. AMERICAN universities claim to hate the simplistic, reductive college rankings published by magazines like US News, which wield ever-growing influence over where students attend. Many have even called for an information boycott against the authors of such ratings. Among the well-founded criticisms of these popular league tables is that they do not measure how much universities help their students, but rather what type of students choose to attend each college. A well-known economics paper by Stacy Dale and Alan Krueger found that people who attended elite colleges do not make more money than do workers who were accepted to the same institutions but chose less selective ones instead—suggesting that Harvard graduates tend to be rich because they were already intelligent and hard-working before they entered college, not because of the education or opportunities the university provided.