Data Collection Begins for the 2013 Best Colleges Rankings

U.S. News sends more than 5,000 surveys to colleges to start gathering the statistical data for the next Best Colleges rankings.

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U.S. News is once again hard at work on the next edition of the Best Colleges rankings.

We recently started collecting the statistical data that will be used for the 2013 edition of our college rankings, which will be published later this year. Data collection for the three U.S. News statistical surveys—the main one, financial aid, and finance—began on March 27.

These surveys gather information on such factors as enrollment, faculty, tuition, room and board, SAT and ACT scores, admissions criteria, graduation and retention rates, college majors, faculty, school finances, activities, sports, and financial aid. This data is used in the Best Colleges rankings that will be published on and in the print guidebook that will be available on newsstands.

More than 1,760 U.S. colleges, and a few outside of the United States, received a notification E-mail from U.S. News with details on how to access our password-protected online surveys. Nearly all regionally accredited, four-year bachelor's degree granting U.S. colleges should have received such a notice. If you are from a college that did not receive the data collection survey E-mail, please contact Diane Tolis, U.S. News data collection manager, at

U.S. News has added some new questions to the surveys, including differential graduation rates based on income and race and those that ask for information about each college's connectivity.

[Learn more about U.S. News's plans to collect more data from colleges.] 

If you are from a college and have questions about the U.S. News Best Colleges rankings or their methodologies, contact Robert Morse, U.S. News director of data research, at

U.S. News works on the college rankings 12 months a year. We hold and attend meetings throughout the year with higher education experts in order to listen to their suggestions and criticisms, as well as to understand the latest campus trends. These consultations with college presidents, deans, institutional researchers, and high school counselors give us an opportunity to gather feedback on our rankings methodology.

We would like to thank all the colleges that participate in our Best Colleges data collection. We understand that it takes a lot of work to fill out the surveys, and we appreciate the efforts taken to provide us with the most accurate data available.