Why did my school’s ranking change?

Niche rankings are based on rigorous analysis of key statistics from the U.S. Department of Education along with millions of reviews from students and parents. 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. For private schools in particular, we also collect data directly from schools via our Claim Your School process. If you are a school administrator and would like to update your data, please Claim Your School. 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. This year we had enough data to rank about 10%┬ámore schools than last year. Since each school’s ranking/grade is calculated relative to all other schools assessed, the inclusion of more schools had an impact on each school’s rankings. As a result, many schools saw their rankings fall year-over-year. As outlined above, rankings factors for all schools were updated with new data for this year.

3. Changes in our rankings methodology

As mentioned above, the biggest change for 2018 was that we’ve expanded the universe of schools that we ranked (about 10% more┬áthis year) which impacts distributions for all factors and scores. We also did more to directly compare public and private schools when calculating ranking factors and grades. While this did not materially impact a school’s ranking, it did cause some shifts in grades. Most notably for private schools, Overall Grades increased slightly across the distribution and Diversity Grades decreased slightly across the distribution. Otherwise, the methodology is generally similar to last year.

Questions?
Please contact us with questions or feedback.