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Reading Our College Report

Campus Setting

This describes the general geographic area in which the college is located, ranging from rural to large city.

2011–2012 Total Expenses

The sum of tuition, fees, books, supplies, room, board and other expenses for an in-state student.

Estimated Average Discount

The 2011–2012 average amount of federal, state, local government or institutional grant, or scholarship aid received per in-state student. It is calculated by subtracting the Estimated Average Net Price from the Total Expenses for a college. We provide both the dollar amount and the percentage that dollar amount represents of the Total Expenses  for an in-state student.

Estimated Average Net Price (In-State)

This is the average price students actually paid to attend this school in 2011–2012. 

 Type of Institution

These generally follow the Carnegie Foundation categories. We have used three designations: National Universities, Liberal Arts Colleges and Regional Universities.

Number of Undergraduates

The latest undergraduate enrollment data.  Includes full-time and part-time students. 

SAT Scores

The 2011 Reading and Math SAT scores for incoming freshmen. The range shown indicates the 25th and 75th percentile, meaning 50%  of students scored within this range, while 25% scored above it, and 25% scored below.  

Student/Faculty Ratio

The number of students per faculty member in 2010.

Transfer Out Rate

Percent of first-time, full-time students who transferred out of the college or university.

Institutional Type Rank

This is the school’s rank among all schools of its type of the 177 schools we measure. We classify each school as one of the following three types: National Universities, Liberal Arts Colleges and Regional Universities.

The Alumni Factor Overall Rank

This is the college’s rank among all Alumni Factor schools regardless of the type of institution.


This provides a summary of the school across all aspects of performance. Much of the data referred to in the summary is visible on this 2-page summary itself. When we 

refer to Ultimate Outcomes – the six benefit combinations most desired by students – you will find details in Chapter 9. 

Rank of Attributes by Institution Type*

The college’s ranking in each attribute versus its peer schools in its institution type.

Overall Rank of Attributes*

The college’s ranking in each attribute among all measured colleges, regardless of institution type.

Other Key Alumni Outcomes*

This reports key graduate outcomes by percentage, based on alumni responses.

Alumni College Activities*

These show the percent of alumni who reported participation in specific activities during their undergraduate years.

Performance Charts*

These graphs depict a college’s performance on Career Preparation, Value for the Money and Alumni Net Worth compared to all college grads, based on alumni responses.

Alumni Employment*

This provides a simple break-out of how graduates of the college are employed, based on responses. Those who are not employed, either because they cannot  find work or because they have removed themselves from the labor force (through disability, retirement or the choice to stay at home), are noted as “other.”

Income Distribution*

This shows the household income distribution of a college’s graduates compared to the income distribution of all college graduates, based on responses. 

% Accepted

The number of students accepted in 2011 as a percentage of the total applicants, and the rank among all 177 Alumni Factor schools.

 % Accepted Who Enroll

The percent of students who were accepted that enrolled, and the rank among all 177 schools.

Freshman Retention Rate

Percent of full-time freshmen who successfully move on to their second year, and the corresponding rank among all 177 schools.

Graduation Rate

The percent of full-time, first-time students who complete their program “within 150% of the normal time to completion”, as required by the Student Right-To-Know Act (typically 6 years).

Demand Index*

This index shows how many students apply to the college for every one who enrolls as a freshman. It is the ratio of the number of applicants to the number of freshmen enrollees.

Reputation Index*

Compares the percentage of students who enroll in the school (U) to the percent of students who are accepted (T). A school whose Reputation Index is strong will have a low percentage of students who are accepted and a high percentage of accepted students who enroll. Using Harvard University as  an example, a mere 6% of applicants are accepted and of those, 76% enroll – yielding a 12.67 Reputation Index (ranks #1). In our view, this index is the best way to judge a school’s reputation in the market.

Political Spectrum*

A visual representation of the political views of alumni from this school based on their responses to specific questions about current social and political issues. 


Unless otherwise indicated, data other than the rankings and graduate reponses themselves (indicated by *) are based on numbers reported to the National Center for Education Statistics.


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