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Successful Student's Data-Driven Ranking Methodology

At Successful Student, we place each school within rank order by comparison with other schools. The rankings are done behind-the-scenes by using an algorithm that we developed. This algorithm uses data from the U.S. Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (or IPEDS) and using the criteria we have selected, calculates the statistical weights below to produce each school's overall score.

We also partner with Academic Influence to incorporate their proprietary, data-driven rankings which calculates the amount of influence that an institution has in the academic world. Using these ranking tools and this overall methodology provides transparent and objective rankings without any gray area or opaque and hidden methods.

We do not accept any payments or other types of compensation in return for placement in our rankings.

Successful Student's Ranking Criteria and Weights:


Ranking CriteriaWeights
Acceptance Rate15%
Graduation Rate25%
Undergraduate Tuition15%
First Time Undergraduates Awarded Aid15%
Undergraduate Fully Online Enrollment Percentage15%
Academic Influence15%


Ranking CriteriaWeights
Retention Rate 20%
Desirability (Number of Applicants)20%
Graduate Fully Online Enrollment10%
In-District Average Tuition Full Time Graduates10%
In-State Average Graduate Tuition10%
Academic Influence30%