U.S. News Starts 2014 Best Colleges Rankings Data Collection

Diane Tolis and Robert J. Morse

Work on the next edition of the U.S. News Best Colleges rankings is under way.

U.S. News started to collect data from the three U.S. News statistical surveys--main, financial aid and finance--on March 19. That statistical data will be used for the 2014 edition of our college rankings, which will be published later this year.

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, school finances, activities, sports and financial aid. This data is used in the Best Colleges rankings that will be published on usnews.com and in the print guidebook that will be available on newsstands.

More than 1,750 U.S. colleges, and a few outside of the United States, received a notification email 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 email, please contact Diane Tolis, U.S. News data collection manager, at dtolis@usnews.com.

U.S. News has included questions for the second year in a row that ask for differential graduation rates based on family income level. These rates were used to produce separate lists, "How Successful Are Colleges at Graduating Low-Income Students?" among them. We also continue to ask for information about each college's connectivity, which was used to produce the Most Connected Colleges rankings.

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 rmorse@usnews.com .

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.