How to Use the 2014 U.S. News Best Colleges Directory

U.S. News provides key statistics for nearly 1,800 colleges and universities.

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Note: The complete directory and related statistics, including some that are listed in the article below, are only available in the U.S. News College Compass.  

On this site, you'll find exhaustive profiles of each of the nearly 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 choose 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 2013. 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 data are accurate as of Sept. 10, 2013. 

The directory can help you identify schools that meet your needs. Here's a rundown of the different sections and some of the key information contained in each one. 

Overview and Quick Stats 

Check out the school's address, find it on a map, determine how much it costs to attend, see how many students are enrolled and get the latest acceptance rate for those who applied. The application deadline shown is for the academic year starting in the fall of 2014; 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. 

Figures cited for tuition, room, board and required fees are, in almost all cases, for the 2013-2014 academic year. For public schools, we list both in-state and out-of-state tuition. If data for the 2013-2014 academic year are not available, we provide figures for 2012-2013. 

In the School Mission 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. 

U.S. News Rankings

A school's rank indicates where it sits among its peers in the 2014 edition of the U.S. News Best Colleges rankings. You'll see a description that indicates which category of institution the school falls into, followed by its rank within the group. The categories include National Universities, National Liberal Arts Colleges, Regional Universities and Regional Colleges

The Regional Universities and Regional Colleges categories are further subdivided by location: North, South, West and Midwest. All the colleges in the National Universities, National Liberal Arts Colleges, Regional Universities and Regional Colleges that are in the top three-fourths of their categories are ranked numerically. 

Others in the bottom 25 percent of each of those categories are placed in the second tier, also referred to as Tier Two, and are listed as Rank Not Published. You cannot compare the ranks of institutions in different categories because schools are compared only with their ranking category peers. 

Schools that specialize in business, engineering and art, as well as international schools, are labeled as such and are also listed as Unranked, which means that they are not ranked. U.S. News did not calculate a numerical rank for Unranked programs because the program did not meet certain criteria that U.S. News requires to be numerically ranked. 

In addition, schools with fewer than 200 students; schools with a high percentage of older, part-time students; 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; and some schools that did not receive enough responses on the peer assessment survey to allow us to use their peer score as part of the overall ranking are not ranked and thus listed as Unranked.