If students come back for a second year, that suggests they are satisfied and able to succeed. The schools with satisfied freshmen should score above that dark gray 50% mark.
Schools are required to report the ratio of students per instructor, but look for a small number of students for every full-time instructor as your best indicator of personal attention and a modern well-integrated curriculum.
Who might be attending school with you? We'll look at what degrees most students have received, whether they are on campus or online, a little about their path, and the overall student body size. Our aim is to give some idea of what the campus culture might be.
This donut chart shows you what degrees were awarded by Centralia Beauty College last year, and gives you a good idea of this school's focus. Make sure this school's focus matches your goals.
There are performance problems with many online-focused schools -- you can read about this in an Ididio case study, but you may want some online options to give you greater flexibility.
You will be most happy at a school with a large number of students who are like you, whether that's someone who enters right out of high school, or someone who is transferring, or someone who isn't ready to work towards a degree.
Another breakdown that can help is a view of the student body size. Here we show student counts, including part-time versus full-time students. If the proportion of students that best describes you is relatively small, then is it possible that another school might be better-prepared to meet your needs?
A high proportion of international and out-of-state students speaks to reputation and offers an opportunity for diverse interactions in and out of class.
The NPR article A Campus More Colorful Than Reality: Beware That College Brochure emphasizes the importance of judging a school's diversity based on solid data as promotional materials are eager to suggest a multicultural student body.
Student race is only categorized for non-international students, and international students are listed separately.
The age distribution at a school can tell you a lot about its mission. If you're looking for a traditional undergraduate experience, you may prefer to see students who are mostly younger than 25 (lighter shades), but if you want support as a returning student, a large number of students 25 and older (darker shades) may better suit your needs.
There are multiple outside factors that can affect the gender balance of students recruited by schools. As an example, within less-affluent families higher education is more frequently attained by women than by men, a phenomenon explored in the Atlantic. Therefore, schools serving lower-income populations may be more likely to see a gender imbalance. On the other hand, some colleges may offer predominantly degrees that are stereotypically associated with a single gender, affecting the ratio of men to women accordingly.
In the folders below, you can explore your options for study. The folders are grouped and colored by broad field, and you can see the number of students who have completed degrees in each field by following the colors in our chart showing graduations. You can...