Every year when the rankings came out, the administration at Carleton would always be on the defensive. In fact, there was one year when the school's president sent an e-mail to every single student, urging them to ignore what Maclean's had reported. Frankly, no one on the campus (except for the editors of the student newspaper) really cared about the rankings. What's really odd is that Ottawa U which, usually tended to get good marks, has stated that they will not take part; while Carleton, is still part of the survey.
In all honesty, I never considered the Maclean's rankings when it came to time to choose a school. The fact of the matter is that each school, provides their programs differently. Some schools focus more on the sciences while others, focus more on the arts. Considering the source of the data (i.e. random students), should be enough reason for people to be a little skeptical of the results. One student's experience is going to be different then any other student.
To be fair, Maclean's did make a good effort in helping young people make a tough decision. However, there were some factors that were not even considered and some, that should not have even been included.