Note: The complete directory and related statistics, including some that are listed in the article below, are only available in our College Compass.
On this site, you'll find exhaustive profiles of each of the more than 1,800 colleges and universities U.S. News surveys each year. This online version of the directory allows you to find the kinds of useful information you need to help in choosing which colleges are right for you.
The vital statistics shown in each directory entry are explained below. The data were collected from the schools themselves during the spring and summer of 2012. If a college did not supply the data requested, you'll see an "N/A," for "not available." In some cases when schools did not return the full U.S. News statistical questionnaire, data reported in previous years are displayed.
The directory can help you identify schools that meet your needs. Here's a rundown of the different sections and the information contained in each one:
Quick Stats and Overview sections: Check out the school's address, find it on a map, determine how much it costs to attend, and see how many students are enrolled. The application deadline shown is for the academic year starting in the fall of 2013; a school with rolling admissions makes decisions as applications are received until the class has been filled.
How competitive is the admissions process at the schools you're considering? Schools are designated "most selective," "more selective," "selective," "less selective," or "least selective," based on a formula that accounts for enrollees' test scores and class standing and the school's acceptance rate (the percentage of applicants who are accepted).
The Critical Reading and Math portions of the SAT or the ACT Composite scores shown represent the range within which half the students scored. Twenty-five percent of students scored at or below the lower end of the range, and 25 percent scored at or above the upper end of the range. The admissions statistics are for the fall 2011 entering class.
Figures cited for tuition, room, board, and required fees are, in almost all cases, for the 2012-2013 academic year. For public schools, we list both in-state and out-of-state tuition. If data for the 2012-2013 academic year are not available, we provide figures for 2011-2012 or, in some cases, we use the school's estimate for 2012-2013.
• School mission: In this section, read the mission and unique qualities of the school, as reported by the institution. You can get a feel for the overall tone of the institution from this statement.
• In addition to school-provided statistics, the summaries on more than 500 colleges' directory pages provide insight into student life at the school. Discover what clubs and organizations you might be able to join, what sports teams you'll cheer for, and how many majors a school offers. You may also find out if you'll be required to live on campus and what there is to do off campus.
Applying: Along with all of the application deadlines for fall 2013 admission—for regular decision, early decision, and early action—you'll find a link to the online application.
The high school academic requirements are noted, plus whether the school requires SAT or ACT scores or at least uses them in admissions decisions. Various academic and nonacademic factors that are, or might be, considered in admissions decisions are rated on their relative importance: very important, important, considered, or not considered.
A look at the admissions statistics for the fall 2011 entering class will tell you the proportion of all applicants who were accepted, as well as the proportion of early decision and early action applicants who got in compared with the acceptance rate of non-early applicants. You'll find out how many freshmen enrolled, what percentage were accepted early, how many were men or women, and how many were from out of state.