The rating for the cost of tuition and fees assumes in-state tuition for public schools. As you certainly know, if you go to a public school in a state where you can’t claim residency, your tuition price is often astronomically higher. Also, cost does not include room and board, books and spending cash. The theory is that these costs are largely a wash because you have to eat, sleep somewhere and buy books wherever you attend college. Obviously, though, the cost of living in, say, Boston, Mass. is considerably higher than it is in Danville, Ky.
For social, life, campus and locale, student hotness and the quality of professors, TheDC has relied heavily on an amalgamation of information at various websites featuring student-generated information about schools.
The overall rating for academics is a composite of this student-generated data and hard data.
The data for four-year graduation rates and admission rates is all hard data. TheDC has used data for the most recent year available.
Finally, again, the raw score is the cumulative raw score for a school’s standing in each of the eight categories.