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

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

+ More

All figures are for the 2012-2013 academic year. Note that numbers may not add up to 100 percent because of rounding. 

Housing: What types of college-owned, -operated or -affiliated housing are available for undergraduates on campus? Are students required to live in campus housing? Where are the nearest airports and train and bus stations? Does public transportation serve campus? 

During the 2012-2013 academic year what proportion of undergraduates worked on campus? How much can undergraduates expect to earn per year from part-time, on-campus work? All the information is for the 2012-2013 academic year. 

Sports: In this section, you'll find information about the school's intercollegiate varsity sports program. Is the school a member of either the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) or the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA)? During the 2012-2013 academic year, how many intercollegiate varsity sports – and which ones – were offered for men and women? 

Clubs and Organizations: A sense of the extracurricular opportunities on campus can be gleaned from a list of major clubs and organizations, the numbers of fraternities and sororities and the proportion of undergraduates who are members. All the information is for the 2012-2013 academic year. 

Campus Info and Services 

In this section, you'll find out if students are permitted to have cars on campus, which student services are offered – counseling services, remediation and career-placement services, for example – an idea of the size of the library's collection and information on computer resources. 

How many computers does the school have for students to use? Is a wireless network available to all students? Where on campus are computers available for student use? Campus security services are enumerated, too. All the information is for the 2012-2013 academic year. 

Disabled Students: Students with learning disabilities can find out whether the school offers a specific program for them and what services offered to learning-disabled students are available. All the information is for the 2012-2013 academic year. 

Likewise, physically disabled students can find out about services provided and whether campus housing specifically for disabled students is available. All the information is for the 2012-2013 academic year. 

Paying for School 

One statistic you will surely want to know is the sticker price: tuition, room and board and required fees. We give figures 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 show figures for 2012-2013. We also provide estimates of the cost of books and supplies, transportation and personal needs for the 2013-2014 academic year. In some cases, a comprehensive fee is listed, which includes tuition, room and board and other expenses. 

In addition we have listed each school's net price calculator that helps students determine how much it will cost them to attend the school and whether they qualify for need-based financial aid

Anyone planning to apply for financial aid for the fall of 2014 will find a rundown of the necessary forms and deadlines. Which types of need-based scholarships and grants are available to students? What are the criteria used in awarding institutional need-based aid? What criteria are used in awarding institutional non-need-based aid? What loan programs are available? What tuition payment plans are open to undergraduates? 

The data on financial aid packages given out to undergraduates during the 2012-2013 school year include the percentage of undergraduates who applied for aid, the percentage determined by the school to have financial need and what percentage had their need fully met by an aid package that excluded parent or other private loans. 

In addition, we give the average financial aid package (including grants, loans and jobs) and the proportion of students receiving a package; the average amount of gift aid (scholarships or grants) and the proportion receiving such aid; the average amount of self-help aid (work study or loans) and the proportion receiving such aid; and the average need-based student loan.