They may add survey data collected from 1600 high school counselors, who are being asked to rate colleges on a scale of 1 to 5. This data may–or may not–be used in calculating the rankings the next time they come out.
Many members of the National Association for College Admissions Counseling are outraged, largely because they believe the rankings are misleading, counterproductive, and based on faulty methodology. College counselors generally want students to make college choices that reflect their values, educational needs, and no on someone else’s opinion of what is good or bad.
Opinions are opinions, even if they come from experts. Every time I am asked, “what’s the best college,” I always answer, it depends on who’s asking. For me, the best college might be a small, private liberal arts college. For you, it might be a large, public university.
The answer depends on the criteria that are important to you, not the criteria that some editor at US News cooked up.