Data Citations and Methodologies

Data and Rankings Calculation

Data Source Citations on CollegeSimply

Data are refreshed from public and private data sources on an annual basis, shortly after data sources are updated. Schools rankings and listings presented are all algorithmically computed based on publicly available data sets and no schools pay to be included or rank on the website. CollegeSimply draws from the following data sets.

  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS)

    U.S. Department of Education NCES National Center for Education Statistics. Data for list of colleges colleges, characteristics, enrollment, prices, financial aid, test scores and majors.

  • College Scorecard Data

    U.S. Department of Education College Scorecard. Data for student demographics, post graduation earnings and student debt.

  • Wintergreen Orchard House

    Data for college GPA's and application dates.

  • Common Core of Data

    U.S. Department of Education Common Core of Data for public K12 schools. K12 school lists, school and district data.

  • Civil Rights Data Collection

    U.S. Department of Education data collection for public K12 schools. Data for advanced program enrollments and disciplinary actions.

How CollegeSimply Presents College Admission Chances

Below is a brief explanation of the admission chance ratings you will find on this website. Chances are estimated from data published by the US Department of Education or licensed from Wintergreen Orchard House.

Admission Competitiveness

Competitiveness Description
SafetyA score estimated to be higher than the traditional range for applicants admitted to the school.
GoodA score above the 75th percentile but within the the traditional range for students who attend this school.
Avg +A score estimated to be above the median for applicants granted admission but less than the 75th percentile.
Avg -A score estimated to be lower than the median for applicants granted admission, but above the 25th percentile.
ReachA score estimated to be below the 25th percentile but still within the range of applicants granted admission.
LowA score estimated to be lower than the traditional range for applicants granted admission.

Estimated Admission Chance Calculation

Estimated admission chance percent is computed by measuring the test score's relative strength amongst other historically admitted students, combined with the school's overall acceptance rate. In the case of many top tier schools, a test score or GPA may be in the top quartile of competitiveness admission chances are still low due to high competition amongst many qualified applicants. Admission chances are directional estimates only to help quantify a score's impact on your application.

College Rankings Calculation

Input factors for college rankings include graduation rate, SAT composite score, ACT composite score and acceptance rate. Only public four year and private not-for-profit schools with comprehensive data are included in the "Best Colleges" ranking. A composite ranking is calculated using an equal weighting of a school's national rank on the above four data points.

K12 Rankings Calculation

Input factors for state public high school rankings include state standardized test performance (40% weighting), graduation rate (30% weighting), percent of ACT/SAT test participation (10%), AP program enrollment (10%), AP test pass rate (10%). Grade K-8 school rankings are calculated based on standardized test performance (90% weighting) and graduation rate (10% weighting).