Ranking Methodology

How do we rank schools?

How do we rank schools?

Academic Rating

The CollegeCalc academic rating identifies the most academically rigorous and effective colleges. Four year public and private not for-profit colleges are eligible for consideration. Non-traditional schools, community colleges or for-profit institutions are not considered as many do not report sufficient 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.


The relative dollar value of a college ranks the relative academic value per net tuition dollar spent. The rating additionally factors in average discount from list price and scholarship aid directly funded by the institution. A score of 50 represents a median value school.

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

Rating and Ranking Calculation

Academic Rating and Value scores are based on the methodology of our partner site CollegeSimply. A detailed examination of the data and ranking calculation can be found here.

Ratings are color coded on site as follows
  • 90 Top quartile, 75th percentile+
  • 50 Secondary quartile, 50th to 74th percentile
  • 25 Third quartile, 25th to 49th percentile
  • 10 Lowest quartile, 0 to 24th percentile