Alumni giving rate (5 percent): The average percentage of living alumni with bachelor's degrees who gave to their school during 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 is an indirect measure of student satisfaction.
To arrive at a school's rank, we first calculated the weighted sum of its scores. The final scores were rescaled: The top school in each category was assigned a value of 100, and the other schools' weighted scores were calculated as a proportion of that top score.
Final scores for each ranked school were rounded to the nearest whole number and ranked in descending order. Schools that received the same rank are tied and are listed in alphabetical order.
Most of the data come from the colleges – and U.S. News takes pains to ensure their accuracy. We obtained missing data from sources such as the American Association of University Professors, the National Collegiate Athletic Association, the Council for Aid to Education and the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics.
Estimates, which are never published by U.S. News, may be used when schools fail to report particular data points. Missing data are reported as N/A in the ranking tables.
U.S. News believes that because some schools are unable to report key educational characteristics or because they have certain other characteristics, it would be unfair to try to compare them statistically with the other schools that are part of the rankings.
We have created a group of Unranked HBCUs that are listed alphabetically at the bottom of the HBCU rankings table. Those institutions that have indicated that they don't use the SAT or ACT in admissions decisions for first-time, first-year, degree-seeking applicants are not ranked.
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