Frequently Asked Questions
Have questions about our College Rankings? Check out our most frequently asked questions below. For more information about BestColleges.com visit our About Us page.
BestColleges.com was initially launched in 2013. As the number of online education opportunities grew, BestColleges.com relaunched in early 2014. That year, we published our first college rankings lists and expanded resource guides for online students, becoming the website you know and love today.
We provide many different resources for students at all stages of their educational journey. Whether they are just starting to look for schools, trying to figure out how to pay for college, or looking for career advice, we have something for every student.
A few examples of our resources include:
All of our rankings and resources on our site are free. If you want to share our resources on your own website, we do ask that you include a link to the original content for attribution purposes.
No, BestColleges.com is not a 501c nonprofit.
We strive to keep the content of our website as up to date as possible. Rankings are refreshed annually and we regularly review our guides to ensure that they reflect the latest information and best practices.
For the past four years, thousands of students have trusted BestColleges.com to help them on their path to a college degree. We've spent tens of thousands of hours researching higher education programs and the issues affecting students. Additionally, in the previous two years we began our own proprietary research on the state of online education, which you can review in our Annual Trends in Online Educations Reports for Educators and Students. We continue to engage in the dialogue surrounding higher education through editorial content and thought leadership galleries.
Our resources have been featured on websites for a variety of organizations and universities. We've been mentioned by Berkeley University, Cornell University, Duke University, Johns Hopkins University, the City of Seattle, the State of Connecticut, Yahoo Finance, Autism Speaks, USDA.gov, Microsoft, and many other institutions.
Contact our media relations team to learn more.
About Our Rankings
To learn about how to utilize rankings for your college search, visit our Rankings Guide. The guide provides more information about how to make rankings work for you and what kind of things to avoid when using rankings.
We source our data exclusively from the governmental database: The National Center for Education Statistics.
An overview of our rankings methodologies can be found on our Methodology Page. Specific methodologies are included with each school ranking.
No. Only accredited, not-for-profit colleges are eligible for our rankings.
Yes, in fact we encourage reviewing them! If you are an employee of the university, please contact our Media Relations Team to coordinate any updates. Please note, that the only thing that cannot be updated is the school's listed tuition under the separate school profile page, it is pulled directly from the NCES database.
There is an increasing competitiveness to the online education marketplace, and as more colleges add online programs, shifts in rankings tend to occur. The annual data updates in the NCES database can also cause slight changes. We also updated our methodology for 2017 to reflect the growing marketplace and better reflect affordability for price-conscious students.
No. Schools cannot buy their way onto our rankings, they are independently ranked.