2017 Best College Campuses Methodology

The 2017 Best College Campuses ranking is based on key statistics and student reviews using data from the U.S. Department of Education. Top-ranked colleges offer outstanding campus resources across classrooms, labs, performance venues, housing, food, and recreational facilities. Learn where our data comes from.

Factors Considered

Factor Description Source Weight
Student Surveys on Campus Quality Niche survey responses scored on a 1-5 scale regarding the quality of campus facilities at each school. Self-reported by Niche users 50.0%
Campus Food Grade Niche Campus Food grade, which incorporates meal plan cost and student surveys regarding food on campus. Niche 15.0%
Campus Housing Grade Niche Campus Housing grade, which incorporates factors such as average housing costs, housing capacity, housing crime rates, as well as student surveys regarding dorms on campus. Niche 15.0%
Local Area Grade Niche Local Area grade, which incorporates factors such as median rent, local crime rates, access to amenities, as well as student surveys regarding the local area around campus. Niche 15.0%
Safety Grade Safety grade, which incorporates factors such as campus crime rate, local crime rate, as well as student surveys regarding health and safety services on campus. Niche 5.0%

 

This ranking assesses 1,423 4-year colleges and universities. The same methodology is used to produce the Niche Campus Grade for each ranked school as well as additional 4-year colleges. Statistics obtained from the U.S. Department of Education represent the most recent data available, usually from 2014–2016, as self-reported by the colleges.

For more details about how we calculate our rankings, click here.