We obtain our data from many different sources, both public and private. The majority of our information about each college comes from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics, a branch of the Department of Education. Additional data sources are documented in the methodology articles related to each particular ranking.
We use the most up-to-date data available. That being said, IPEDS is generally a year behind, as data from the most current year is still being collected and distributed. For example, our 2018 rankings will be using data from the 2015-2016 year. This may be the reason for slight data differences between our website and other sources. Again, this is the most up-to-date data available to us, and is based upon public data reported directly from colleges.
Because most factors do not change very much on a year-to-year basis, we find it to be quite accurate for making decisions about a college and predicting future trends.
However, sometimes there is a bug or a misreporting of data. If you think you see an error, please let us know and we will look into it.
For more information on our data and rankings, visit the FAQ area of the College Factual website.