2017 Niche Standout Schools Methodology

The 2017 Stand Out Schools ranking is based on rigorous analysis of academic and student life data from the U.S. Department of Education along with test scores, college data, and ratings collected from millions of Niche users. The list is limited to only public high schools with 1) at least 50% of students eligible for Free or Reduced Lunch and 2) a Niche College Readiness Grade of B or higher. Learn where our data comes from.

Factors Considered

Factor Description Source Weight
College Readiness Grade Based on SAT/ACT scores, AP enrollment, graduation rates, and survey responses on college readiness from students and parents. Niche 60.0%
Free/Reduced Lunch Percentage of students qualifying for free or reduced lunch. National Center for Education Statistics 40.0%

This ranking assesses 2,555 U.S. public high schools where at least 50% of students are eligible for Free or Reduced Lunch. 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.