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These are the best schools…say actual students

These are the best schools…say actual students
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New grad school ranking list uses data from students who actually attended those schools

schools-grad-rankingOne of the most popular trends in higher education, it seems, is to rank college, universities, and graduate schools in ways that are more meaningful not just to prospective students and parents, but to the institutions themselves.

Recently, rankings have included everything from comparing institutions based on their social media standings, on their graduation rate, and on their ability to provide career success.

Now, a new ranking system from Graduate Programs has released the second ever Graduate School Rankings. It’s a comprehensive list of the best graduate programs in the country, based solely on ratings and reviews posted on graduateprograms.com.

Data analysis based on actual experience, this extensive list of programs was compiled using information submitted by current and recent grad students between Sept. 1, 2012 and April 15, 2014. The rankings encompass reviews posted by more than 60,000 students participating in over 1,500 graduate programs. Ratings are based on a 10 star system (with 1 being the worst and 10 being the best).

Graduateprograms.com assigns 15 ranking categories to each graduate program at each graduate school. Rankings cover a variety of student topics, such as academic competitiveness, career support, financial aid, and quality of network—characteristics that experts say are crucial for choosing graduate programs that could potentially lead to student debt if the ROI isn’t there.

For a given graduate program, rankings are determined by calculating the average score for each program based on the 15 ranking categories. These scores are then compared across all ranked schools for that program and are translated into a final ranking for that graduate program, i.e., business and management. A given graduate program is not ranked until a minimum threshold of graduate student surveys is completed for that graduate program.

(Next page: The best and worst grad schools)

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