U.S. News & World Report and Forbes are the two most prominent sources of college rankings. The Princeton Review, Newsweek and Washington Monthly also provide their own college rankings based on different criteria.
U.S. News has been ranking colleges since 1983. Its rankings are based on a quantitative algorithm that involves the Carnegie classification along with data on 16 different academic indicators. These indicators include freshman retention rate, the average graduation rate, class size, SAT/ACT scores, faculty compensation and students' high school class standing.
Forbes partners with the Center for College Affordability and Productivity to produce its rankings. Its list is based on factors including student satisfaction, graduation rate, success after graduation, student debt and academic success.