How does Noodle rate colleges?

There is no one-size-fits-all in education. Our College Report Card goes beyond the basics by providing a comprehensive portrait of a school, presenting information across multiple categories. This allows students the ability to compare their options and make decisions based on the factors that fit their individual needs.

Noodle aggregates a wide variety of data sources to create our Report Cards. We aim to choose sources that offer raw data rather than sources that assign subjective weights to certain measures.

Noodle provides detailed information on 4,483 colleges. You can see the report cards at the top of any college profile.

Here is an in-depth look at how we compile our Report Card:


This score tells you how selective a college is when admitting students. It considers the following:

SAT scores (the 25th and 75th percentile scores for both the math and reading sections)
Admission rate
Percent of students from top 10 percent of their class

Education Quality

Educational Quality

This score tells you how well a college will help you learn, based on expert and student assessments of the education quality. It considers the following:

Academic quality
Intellectual life


This score tells you how well-regarded a college is. It considers the following:

US News rank
Number of affiliated Nobel Prize winners
Twitter authority
Search engine popularity


This score tells you about the amenities of the surrounding neighborhood. It considers the following:

Local atmosphere
Surrounding city
Off-campus dining


This score tells you about how well graduates are doing in the working world. It considers the following:

Median starting salary of students in their first jobs after college graduation
Median salary of students 10 years after college graduation
Percentage of students who graduate a college within six years

Sports Culture

This school gets high marks from our sources for athletics. It considers expert and student assessments of the performance and popularity of athletics on campus.

Arts Culture

This school has a thriving arts scene. It considers assessments from several sources about arts culture, and is not limited to arts schools.

Party Culture

This school has high scores for nightlife, Greek life, and alcohol use.




The meta-rank (Beta) combines the top rankings from the most respected publishers into a single grade


You can think of this grade as a measure of what people who think about colleges a lot think about this school.

There are lots of ways to evaluate and compare colleges and lots of opinions about what a good college even is. One thing that most people agree with is that each student will be looking for something a bit different from their undergrad experience and from the institution that's going to be their home for 4 years. This hasn't stopped heaps of publishers and experts from releasing general rankings every year - and unfortunately graduate schools, employers, and even the relatives you only see at family reunions can care a lot about these rankings. Until we get to know you better we'd like to share what these experts are saying about universities and offer an easily digestible grade for each one.

Because rankings change their methodologies and we're constantly bringing more rankings into our calculation it's going to evaluate a wide-range of measurements - US News cares a lot of about selectivity, while the Social Mobility Index is more focused on economic factors. We look at the relative prestige of these sources and how applicable their rankings are to most of our users to combine them into a single grade - we take that weighted average and assign a letter grade based on the distribution of schools. Also, since pretty much all of our rankings only look at the Top-X schools - even being in a ranking shows that someone thinks you're special - that's why our grades currently go from A+ to B- and schools that aren't ranked anywhere just aren't getting a grade.

Our College Report Cards are generated from various data sources such as government surveys and major publications. These results are based on objective quantitative and qualitative analysis. They are not affected by compensation received from partnerships or advertisers.