At TheClassroom.com, we are committed to bring you the most accurate, consistent data and information about college and the admissions proccess. That's why we share our methodology and data sources. We want to make our processes as transparent and trustworthy as possible.
TheClassroom.com only has data about Bachelor's degree undergraduate programs at four-year universities. Two-year universities are not yet included in our data.
Data is gathered from Department of Education including the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) and the College Scorecard data. Data are taken from the most recent available year within each data category. Auxiliary data sources such as the Measuring University Project (MUP) are also used.
IPEDS Data Detail
To ensure traceability, we use IPEDS data only when it is available as a full .csv download, not from the custom data report generator. Data will be updated when it becomes available.
Data provided in the IPEDS system by the Department of Education only includes ethnicity and race of students that are citizens or permanent residents of the United States. Foreign nationals are broken out as a separate category and ethnicity/race/origin data is not available. We report it for completeness and context.
What is 'other' race/ethnicity?
Students that are reported in the IPEDS system as multiracial or race unknown are combined in the 'other' category.
College Scorecard Data Detail
Full data downloads from the College Scorecard database were also used to fill some data fields. Due to data availability, data from the 2014-2015 and 2013-2014 school years are used, as follows:
2014-2015: Debt amount, familiy income, repayment rates, average age of students.
2013-2014: Earnings of students after attending college.
The Yelp API was accessed and the number of coffee houses and restaurants within 1 kilometer of each institution was counted. Each institution was then scored on a quantile basis and scaled 60-100 (most coffee/food spots = 100, least = 60).
A brief summary of the location of each college is taken from the city's Wikipedia page, with a link for further information. For many colleges, a free-to-use image was sourced from an institution's Wikipedia page.
Editorial descriptions of select colleges were written by TheClassroom.com's in-house editorial team.
TheClassroom studies are conducted using a series of filters, followed by a ranking metric. To reduce spurious results, only colleges of over 500 students are included in results. Additionally, any colleges with missing data points for our reported metrics are omitted.
The diversity score is the likelihood that two students randomly chosen are not of the same category. Student race/origin data from IPEDS is used. Multi-racial or unknown race are grouped into 'other'. The index is then the sum (x)*(1-x) where x is each category fraction. If there are two equal racial categories, then index = (0.5)*(1-0.5) + (0.5)*(1-0.5)= 0.5. An 80-20 split has index = (0.8)*(0.2)+(0.2)*(0.8) = 0.32, meaning the 80-20 campus is less diverse. A 60-20-20 campus with 3 categories would have score (0.6)(0.4) + (0.2)(0.8) + (0.2)(0.8) = 0.56. In college lists, the diversity score is rounded to 3 decimal places.
Filters are applied to many of TheClassroom.com's ranking list. The following numerical filters are used.