2017 College Readiness Ranking Methodology

The 2017 College Readiness Ranking is based on rigorous analysis of data from the U.S. Department of Education along with test scores, college data, and ratings collected from millions of Niche users. Learn where our data comes from.

Factors Considered

Factor Description Source Weight
Top Colleges Score Average score of colleges that students are most interested in or go on to attend, based on Niche Best Colleges ranking. Self-reported by Niche users 25.0%
Parent/Student Surveys on College Readiness Niche survey responses scored on a 1-5 scale regarding the college readiness provided by the school. Self-reported by Niche users 20.0%
AP Test Pass Rate Percentage of AP students who pass at least one AP exam. Civil Rights Data Collection 10.0%
Composite SAT/ACT Score Average SAT/ACT composite score (normalized to the same scale), as reported by Niche users from this school. Self-reported by Niche users 10.0%
Culture & Diversity Grade Based on racial and economic diversity and survey responses on school culture and diversity from students and parents. Niche 10.0%
Graduation Rate Percentage of 12th grade students who graduate. U.S. Department of Education 10.0%
State Assessment Proficiency Percentage of students at or above proficiency levels on state assessments. For comparison across states, percentiles within each state were calculated, then compared. U.S. Department of Education 10.0%
AP Enrollment Percentage of students enrolled in at least one AP course. Civil Rights Data Collection 5.0%

This ranking assesses 17,760 U.S. public high schools. The same methodology is used to produce the Niche College Readiness Grade for each ranked school as well as additional schools. Statistics obtained from the U.S. Department of Education represent the most recent data available, usually from 2014–2016, as self-reported by the schools.

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