What are some important facts or statistics to consider when evaluating a college?

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What are some important facts or statistics to consider when evaluating a college?

Reecy Aresty
College Admissions/Financial Aid Expert & Author Payless For College, Inc.

What are some important facts or statistics to consider when evaluating a college?

Here are a few: % of students who graduate in 4 yrs % of gift aid vs self-help & what % of financial need does the school traditionally meet % of teaching assistants, if any Prospects for internships Study abroad programs available % of students who go on to graduate school Job prospects upon graduation Surely, you'll have some additional ones.

Bill Pruden
Head of Upper School, College Counselor Ravenscroft School

What are some important facts or statistics to consider when evaluating a college?

Freshmen retention rates and graduation rates are arguably the two best statistics to look at. The freshmen retention rates measures the percentage of students who return to a given school for their sophomore year. While there are many reasons why student leave a school, the retention rates are a quick way to see how satisfied students are with their school experience as well as how stable a school’s student body may be. Too, it also offers sense of what at the initial stage stunt are making progress towards their degrees. It is by no means a definitive measurement of the college experience—graduation rates tell more about the overall academic program—but together they offer a good statistical snapshot of the academic side of a school.

Nancy Milne
Owner Milne Collegiate Consulting

What are some important facts or statistics to consider when evaluating a college?

Obviously the academic press at a college is important. However, when you aren't in class it is also critical that you are happy and feel connected. What extracurricular activities are available, does the campus empty out on the weekend, are the residence halls in good shape and well staffed? The National Survey on Student Engagement is a wonderful resource, if the school has participated in the research.

Lora Lewis
Educational Consultant Lora Lewis Consulting

What are some important facts or statistics to consider when evaluating a college?

Different things matter to different students. Some might want to know how many students study abroad in a particular year, or how many participate in research opportunities, or the percentage that are part of the Greek system. Look for stats and facts on the aspects of colleges that are important to you. But if you want to check just a few stats that will give you good insight into students' satisfaction with a college, look at freshman year retention rates and graduation rates. This will tell you how many people were happy enough with their education after freshman year to return for sophomore year and how many people valued their experience enough to remain and earn a degree. Particularly with public universities (many of which are currently facing budget woes) it can also be helpful to check out schools' four-year graduation rates. If significant numbers of students are taking five years or longer to earn a degree, it can be an indication that they aren't able to get the classes they need to graduate in a timely manner...and are therefore continuing to pay college expenses and delaying entry into the work world. This could be very valuable information if you have a certain timeframe to complete your education or if you are working within a budget.

Rana Slosberg
Owner Slosberg College Solutions LLC

What are some important facts or statistics to consider when evaluating a college?

Some important facts or statistics are: -- Facts or statistics related to the college criteria that are important to you -- The college results of the National Survey of Student Engagement (http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/nsse.htm) -- Four year graduation rate -- Freshman retention rate -- Average class size -- The middle 50% GPA and test scores -- Selectivity -- % of financial need met -- Average college debt of graduates.

Karen Ekman-Baur
Director of College Counseling Leysin American School

What are some important facts or statistics to consider when evaluating a college?

There are many aspects which should be considered when evaluating a college/university, but a couple of statistics which I always feel are revealing are the Freshman Retention Rate (the percentage of students who return to an institution for the second year) and the Graduation Rate (the percentage of students who begin at a university and graduate, usually within four years, from that institution). In my opinion, low percentages in these areas could be indications that things aren't functioning quite as they should be in the environment of that college/university. Institutions surely want to keep their students. Reputable institutions want their students to be happy and to succeed. Therefore, these institutions strive to provide a challenging academic program, while also providing a wide spectrum of extracurricular activities in which students can become involved. A variety of services are usually in place to help students who may be having difficulties academically, organizationally, psychologically, or socially, or otherwise adjusting to the demands of college life, so that a student can find his/her niche and have a successful college/university experience. When I see low Freshman Retention Rates or low percentages of graduates, my first thought is: Why? Why do so many students not want to return to that particular institution for a second year? Why is the institution unable to support such a large number of their entering students through four or five years of study, seeing them through to a successful graduation? Of course, there will always be students who made an inappropriate college/university choice to begin with or have to leave the institution for a variety of other personal reasons, but these isolated instances would not reveal a strong statistical trend. The Freshman Retention Rate and the Graduation Rate do, however, reveal statistical trends, which I feel are well worth considering when evaluating an institution.

Kerrie Troseth
College Counselor

What are some important facts or statistics to consider when evaluating a college?

The most important one, in my opinion, is the school's average ACT/SAT score of their current freshman class. The ACT/SAT is a predictor of how well you will do with college level coursework. If your score is within the ACT/SAT average score range of the school, then you match the school's curriculum level. If you scored lower than the average, then you need to consider that the school's curriculum may be a bit rigorous for you. It is understandable that some students do not test well, but this is just one statistic to consider. Another statistic is how many students return for their sophomore year. Schools that have 90% or above are doing something right to keep students attending. Schools in the 79% or lower are facing an obstacle in keeping students at their institution. Percent of acceptance is another factor to consider. This number is the number of students who applied and those who were offered admission. The lower the percent, the more difficult or selective the college is in admission. Now, consider that most college bound students would LOVE to go to an Ivy League school, and many of those students apply to those colleges. Those schools receive an overabundance of applications with few open spots. So the percent of acceptance can be misleading. Just keep in mind that schools with lower percents should be your "reach schools". Usually, schools with 25-50% acceptance rates are good "likely schools", and schools over 50% are usually good "safety schools".

Sarah Contomichalos
Manager Educational Advisory Services, LLC

What are some important facts or statistics to consider when evaluating a college?

Important statistics include:freshman retention rate. 4 & 6 year graduation rates, strength or weakness in particular programs or fields of study of interest to the applicant and data on financial aid and scholarships.

Zahir Robb
College Counselor The Right Fit College

What are some important facts or statistics to consider when evaluating a college?

A few numbers I focus on are: 1) Student retention. Is the school doing a good job of accepting the right students and providing them with the experience and support they need to stay on into their sophomore year. 2) Graduation rates. What percentage of and how long does it take students to graduate? 3) Admission trends. Is the school becoming more or less selective? Are applicant numbers going up or down? Where are applicants coming from? Diversity? All of these statistics can show the direction a college is going.

Tira Harpaz
Founder CollegeBound Advice

What are some important facts or statistics to consider when evaluating a college?

Two of the statistics I consider to be very important are the freshman retention rate and the 4 and 6-year graduation rate which can be found in the US News rankings or on the common data set for a school. Ideally, you want to be at a school where most freshman return for a second year and where most of the students graduate in 6 years. Other statistics I would look at include the SAT/ACT averages (to see if your scores are within range), the percentage of in-state and out-of-state students in a public university, and the diversity of the student body.