The overall Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Rankings 2017 methodology explores four key areas:
Does the college have the capacity to effectively deliver teaching? The Resource area represents 30 per cent of the overall ranking. Within this we look at:
- Finance per student
- Faculty per student
- Research papers per faculty
Does the college effectively engage with its students? Most of the data in this area is gathered through the THE US Student Survey. The Engagement area represents 20 per cent of the overall ranking. Within this we look at:
- Student engagement
- Student recommendation
- Interaction with teachers and students
- Number of accredited programmes
Does the college generate good and appropriate outputs? Does it add value to the students who attend? The Outcomes area represents 40 per cent of the overall ranking. Within this we look at:
- Graduation rate
- Value added to graduate salary
- Academic reputation
Is the college providing a learning environment for all students? Does it make efforts to attract a diverse student body and faculty? The Environment area represents 10 per cent of the overall ranking. Within this we look at:
- Proportion of international students
- Student diversity
- Staff diversity
- Student inclusion
Our ranking table also offers information for prospective students on the average costs and potential benefits of attending each of the ranked institutions. These are:
- Out-of-state tuition and fees: Out-of-state average tuition and fees for full-time undergraduates 2014-15 (IPEDS 2014 data file)
- Room and board: On campus, room and board 2014-15 (IPEDS 2014 data file)
- Salary after 10 years: Median earnings of students working and not enrolled 10 years after entry (College Scorecard 2011 and 2012 data files)
For more detail on the pillars and metrics please read the full College Rankings 2017 methodology.
WSJ/THE College Rankings updates policy
The Wall Street Journal and Times Higher Education will, from time to time, update the online versions of the WSJ/THE College Rankings to reflect the current status of colleges’ ranked position.
Updates may be made if there was a publishing error, or if an institution’s data has been corrected in a way that impacts the public ranking, for example, and upon the annual publishing date.
Times Higher Education will also update an institution’s notification dashboard to be consistent with the ranking information available to the public, and document the updates within the Update History section below.
Editor’s note: 16 June 2017
The U.S. Department of Education announced in January 2017 that it had identified an error in its calculations of the debt repayment variable used in the College Scorecard (College Scorecard Changelog). The error inflated repayment rates for almost all US institutions and this had an impact on the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Rankings 2017, which draw on the College Scorecard debt repayment variable as one of 15 performance indicators.
Our analysis suggests there are challenges with using this variable to create value added models in the rankings at this time. Our primary focus is always on data integrity and making sure that our rankings provide a balanced picture so we have decided to drop this variable from the rankings calculations for the 2016-17 year. The rankings have now been republished in line with our corrections policy, which is available here.