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I have read that the USA was far behind Europe until maybe the 1930s. But just what were the limitations of US colleges prior to that?

EDIT: I realize there was unlikely to have been any published ranking but we would I think get a sense of the limitations of US schools by seeng how many Americans went overseas to study and/or how often someone from Europe would choose to study in the USA. Also what was said about US schools.

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    US News and World Report didn't do rankings in the 19th century. – Ben Crowell Feb 23 '18 at 5:02
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    Nobody ranked universities in 19th century. And they still don't do this in many places in Europe. Ranking is an American invention which gradually penetrate the rest of the world. – Alex Feb 23 '18 at 13:42

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