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?

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.

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.

Laura O'Brien Gatzionis
Founder Educational Advisory Services

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

The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) is a wonderful resource to utilize when evaluating colleges. The college student report evaluates how students spend their time academically and what they are gaining from the collegiate experience. Many colleges and universities include the results of the survey on the official institutional website. Another interesting statistic is the four-year graduation rate which can be found on the U.S. Department of Education site for the National Center for Education Statistics.

Kiersten Murphy
Executive Director and Founder Murphy College Consultants LLC

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

Important stats: Retention rate, 4 year graduation rate, percentage offered financial aid vs. merit aid, percentage of graduates employed or in grad school 6 months post grad, percentage of students living on-campus, percentage of students involved in Greek Life, percentage of students who study abroad, etc.