2018 School District Academics Grade Methodology

The 2018 School District Academics grade is based on rigorous analysis of academic 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
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 30.0%
Composite SAT/ACT Score Average SAT/ACT composite score (normalized to the same scale), as reported by Niche users from this district. Self-reported by Niche users 15.0%
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 15.0%
Graduation Rate Percentage of 12th grade students who graduate. U.S. Department of Education 10.0%
Parent/Student Surveys on Academics Niche survey responses scored on a 1-5 scale regarding the academics in the district. Self-reported by Niche users 10.0%
Student-Teacher Ratio Ratio of students to full-time teachers. Please note: Student-teacher ratio is not a representation of average class size. National Center for Education Statistics 10.0%
AP Enrollment Percentage of students enrolled in at least one AP course. Civil Rights Data Collection 5.0%
AP Test Pass Rate Percentage of AP students who pass at least one AP exam. Civil Rights Data Collection 5.0%


Statistics obtained from the U.S. Department of Education represent the most recent data available, usually from 2014–2016, as self-reported by the school districts. Niche also collects data directly from schools via our school data update form. If you work for a school and would like to update your data, please claim your school.

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