Ranking colleges is a process designed to facilitate one of a student's most important decisions. While there are many solid numbers we can use and rely on, there are also many outdated or otherwise unreliable figures. Not only that, but much of the college experience is subjective and defies quantification.
Nonetheless, we strive to present a fact-based picture of the colleges we rank. This is so we can help students make their best decision for college. Figures like admission rates can help students with reasonable expectations for admission, and retention rates can help them envision how their fellow students value the education they receive. Graduating salary figures can also help manage expectations, but those numbers are often difficult to collect and might not be terribly reliable. After all, students may spend a few years in entry-level positions or working to find the best position for them.
Ultimately, we strive to present an objective and unbiased view of colleges so that students can set reasonable expectations, discover outstanding schools, and embark on a path toward their best lives. We apply our methodology evenly and consistently so that students can trust that each #1 ranking is meaningful.