The rankings of US colleges and universities take into account different combinations of various indicators and greatly depend on the organization that prepares the rating. Rankings may be developed by various magazines, newspapers, websites, scientists or other enthusiasts. Besides evaluation of educational establishments in general, there may exist ratings of particular courses, programs or departments.
The interpretation of ratings, their accuracy and usefulness are often debated. The extensive variety of ranking methods and relevant criticism mean that there is no common opinion in this sphere.
We are using our own ranking methodology and take into account, among other things, the following main indicators:
– Retention: six-year graduation rate (proportion of students who earn their degree within the same institution they enter) and first-year student retention rate (proportion of students who continued their studies after the first year);
– Resources of faculties: average size of classes, salary on a faculty, faculty degree level, student-faculty ratio, and proportion of full-time faculty;
– electivity of students: standardized test scores of enrolled students, proportion of admitted students of the best ones of their high school class, as well as proportion of accepted applicants;
– Financial resources: spending per one student;
– Graduation rate performance: comparison of expected and actual graduation rate;
We also take into account rankings of universities and colleges from other sources.