How do we rank schools?


The collegecalc.org academic rating is intended to identify the most academically rigorous and effective colleges. Four year public and private not for-profit colleges are eligible for consideration. Nontraditional schools, community colleges or for-profit institutions are not considered as most do not report comprehensive enough data to formulate a rating.

Current inputs to the academic rating formula are incoming freshman standardized test scores, college selectivity and graduation rate. The overall academic score assigned by the rating process is a national percentile ranking of all rated colleges. A score of fifty represents the median ranked college.

$ Value

The relative dollar value of a college ranks the relative educational value per net tuition dollar spent. The score is computed by comparing a school's academic rating to average annual net price paid by students. A score of 50 represents a median value school. Inclusion on the collegecalc.org best value list is determined by both a high value score and the school exceeding certain baseline academic thresholds.

Colleges which receive a score of 'n/a' did not report comprehensive enough data for consideration.

Ratings are color coded on site as follows.

  • Top quartile, 75th percentile+
  • Secondary quartile, 50th to 74th percentile
  • Third quartile, 25th to 49th percentile
  • Lowest quartile, 0 to 24th percentile