Advertising Disclosure

Who We Are

TheBestColleges.org is a comprehensive online resource that offers information, rankings, and recommendations about U.S. colleges and universities. We strive to provide helpful, accurate content to help current and future students make informed decisions about their education. Our guides cover a range of topics, including online and brick-and-mortar schools, tuition costs and financial aid, popular majors, and potential careers for successful graduates.

Our top priorities are editorial independence and site transparency, and we are committed to sharing unbiased, data-driven content. These standards allow us to help students identify the best college options based on their geographic location, financial situation, career plans, and other individual factors.

How We Make Money

TheBestColleges.org advertises certain schools and degree programs on guides, rankings, and other pages throughout the site. Sponsors may compensate us for student referrals whenever a reader uses our program-search tool or interacts with these advertisements.

We understand that integrating advertisements into our editorial content can cause confusion for our readers. For this reason, we clearly label every advertisement as an “ad” or “advertisement disclosure.” We also use a complex, bias-free evaluation system to compile our rankings and lists. This measure ensures our advertising relationships never influence the editorial content on TheBestColleges.org.

How We Maintain Editorial Independence

The proprietary ranking methodology we use to evaluate schools on TheBestColleges.org takes dozens of factors into account. These factors include admission and graduation rates, tuition costs for in-state and out-of-state students, class sizes, faculty members, and learning resources. After concluding our assessments, we assign an aggregate score to each college and university. These scores then determine the order of each ranking.

Our writers and editors only use reliable, objective sources when compiling information for our guides. Some of our sources include the National Center for Education Statistics, the Common Data Set Initiative, and Peterson's. In addition to strict standards for source material, our contributors also follow these editorial guidelines:

  • We never include a school in a ranking or guide based on our advertising agreement with that institution.
  • Schools never receive preferential treatment. Our ranking methodology ensures entries on each list have earned their spots based entirely on their evaluation scores.
  • Because we value editorial independence and transparency, our editors continually evaluate the editorial content to ensure it is accurate, current, and bias-free. Our writers and fact-finders are held to high standards of journalistic integrity.
  • For added quality assurance, every college and university we rank has received full accreditation at the national or regional level.

If you have additional questions about TheBestColleges.org, please feel free to contact us.