Why did my college’s ranking change?

Niche rankings are based on rigorous analysis of academic, admissions, financial, and student life data from the U.S. Department of Education along with millions of reviews from students and alumni. Learn more about our rankings.

The most important thing to understand about your school’s ranking is that it measures how your school compares to all other schools considered in the ranking. Therefore your rankings could change for three reasons:

1. Changes in your school’s data
2. Changes in other schools’ data or the population of schools considered in the ranking
3. Changes in our rankings methodology

Below we expand on each of these concepts:

1. Changes in your school’s data

Niche uses the most recently available data from the U.S. Department of Education as the basis for most statistical factors used in rankings. Our student-driven factors have also been updated based on millions of reviews and datapoints submitted by millions of Niche users over the last year. Learn more about where our data comes from.

2. Changes in other schools’ data or the population of schools considered in the ranking

The biggest change this year is that we’ve expanded the population of schools that we ranked/graded and also updated each school with new data for this year. Our 2018 rankings/grades assess over 3,400 colleges.

3. Changes in our rankings methodology

In general our rankings were calculated in a similar manner to last year. You can read more about our rankings here or view the Best Colleges ranking methodology for our overall ranking of 4-year colleges.

Please contact us with questions or feedback.