About the StateUniversity.com College Rankings

The StateUniversity.com Difference

The software to rank schools was engineered by the same team responsible for the Site Search Engine, JRank.org – currently one of the most popular site search tools on the internet.

This ranking system of U.S. public and private educational institutions is statistical and based on U.S. government surveys and reports provided by the schools themselves. Great pains are endured by the agencies responsible for the data collection to ensure both its accuracy and validity. Based on the data provided by these schools, we rank the schools on a combination of factors including student retention, faculty salary, and student / faculty ratio.

How are StateUniversity.com's rankings different? The primary difference between StateUniversity.com college rankings and other popular ranking systems is the absence of peer evaluation and peer surveys. Some other popular ranking systems rely heavily on peer evaluations - colleges' evaluations of other colleges - in determining the "best" schools. In recent years, peer evaluations have come under fire by college ranking critics, who assert that the peer surveys introduce bias and inaccuracy into the process. And increasingly, fewer schools are participating in peer surveys, which could make for an uneven ranking across the board.

Whether purely statistical or based on peer evaluations, college rankings are controversial. While many people find them useful as a quick gauge of a university's quality, others (including academic institutions) complain that everything their school has to offer can't be summed up in a quick ranking score. Some even accuse schools of worrying too much about their rank on national surveys and not enough about the quality of education within their walls.

You can find a great explanation of other ranking systems on our blog:
U.S. College Rankings - How U.S. News Report College Rankings and Other Systems Work

For a detailed history of different college ranking systems and methods, read College Rankings - History of Rankings.

Factors Affecting the StateUniversity.com Score

StateUniversity.com uses many different measures in determining the rank of a particular school. The most important factors are a school's ACT/SAT scores, its student retention, faculty salary, and student / faculty ratio.

A school's score can be between 0 and 100, with the best possible score being 100. The list of top schools can be found on our Top-Ranked Schools Overall page.

It's important to note that some schools do not have enough data to be ranked in our system, and these schools will not appear in our lists.

School Safety Ratings and Campus Crime

The StateUniversity.com School Safety Ratings are based on campus crime statistics as reported by 450 of the largest U.S. colleges and universities. Each college's safety score, which can range from 0 to 100, is calculated based on the number and type of campus crime reported during the calendar. The underlying statistics are compiled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. For more information about our campus safety ranking visit our blog's post on the Safest Campuses.