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Re: How to Best Determine Rankings?
I think that the QS World University Rankings are most often referenced, although there are several other rankings as well. The QS ranking is also available by subject (i.e. business). You can typically find a list of rankings on the Wikipedia page of each university and this will give a good indication of the general ranking.
In general I would consider your list of universities ranked as follows (but the advice above about looking at other factors is important as well):
Columbia - Top 20
UNC Chapel Hill & Boston University - Top 100
Western and Minnesota - Around Top 100 (or just outside of this)
Florida State - >200