Value Ratings: Colleges

You are researching colleges to attend.

What does it mean for a college or university to offer a ‘good value’? To adapt a truism, value is in the eye of the beholder. For you, several considerations matter, such as:

  • Academic reputation
  • Attendance cost
  • Distance from home
  • Graduation rate
  • Starting salary
  • Student loan burden upon graduating

The Challenge

You know that some considerations are more important than others are, but saying precisely how much more is difficult to do. A rating organizations has declared a handful of schools as having “top 100” status– but you have no idea how heavily they weight considerations that are of little relevance or importance to you. There is something peculiar about such declarations, because they seem to suggest that the best fit for one is the best fit for all. You think there must be a better way.

The Solution

After taking the preference survey, your Preference Profile reveals exactly how important each consideration is to you. When combined with actual performance data, you obtain tailored Value Ratings that display how well each college performs in the areas that matter most to you. Your Value Ratings offer more than basic rankings. For example, they tell you if there is one or two outstanding schools, or perhaps if all the colleges cluster together in a mediocre range.

Viewed through your Preference Profile, this complex decision is made simpler


In this example, we see that Colleges E and D are strong performers, followed by College A in a somewhat distant third place. Moreover, we can compare the best Value Rating (86%) to the worst (20%) to understand that there is a more than four-fold difference between the available choices. These are your results. Value Ratings for other people will differ because their underlying preferences differ.

And when decisions are especially consequential, Value Ratings offer additional guidance: Evidence Strength.  Evidence Strength tells you when you are witnessing reliably high performance.

For a look at real school rankings that presume everyone has identical preferences, click here.