Niche Releases 2022 Best Colleges Rankings for the Age of Test-Optional Admissions

August 16, 2021 – PITTSBURGH – Niche, the leading platform connecting students and families with colleges and schools, today released its 2022 Best Colleges Rankings. With updated data for 4,136 colleges nationwide, Niche’s new rankings are an integral part of the company mission to make researching schools Easy, Transparent, and Free for students and their families no matter what their preferences and priorities are.

To create the college rankings, Niche combines data from sources such as the U.S. Department of Education with user input — reviews and ratings from current students, alumni, and parents — in a thorough analysis of factors including academics, campus, and value for the financial investment to name a few. At a time when families have more data, tools, and choice than ever before, Niche is proud to help lead this transformation and put even more power in students’ and parents’ hands as they go through the college search process.

The most significant change made to the methodology this year was de-emphasizing the importance of SAT and ACT scores. Niche made the decision for several reasons: acknowledgement of socioeconomic and racial disparities perpetuated by standardized tests, challenges making appointments to test in-person due to COVID-19, and an increasing number of institutions adopting test-optional policies. As of the 2022 Best Colleges rankings release, the weight for any factor that considers test scores has been decreased by 50%. Niche chose to reduce instead of eliminate the factors because despite the nearly 1,000 institutions that are test-optional or test-blind for the upcoming admissions year, many still require test scores and the future of standardized testing remains unclear. 

“Our team recognizes that the COVID-19 pandemic, especially as new variants such as the delta variant arise, will continue to have an outsize impact on the college admissions process this year,” says Luke Skurman, CEO and Founder of Niche. “We wanted to make sure our 2022 rankings reflect the current reality.”

Students interested in colleges not currently requiring SAT and ACT scores will find use in the Best Test Optional Colleges ranking. Niche’s Your Best Fit tool is another way for students to make the rankings their own — registered users can input preferences to receive a completely personalized ranking that is generated based on which factors they consider most important. By constantly seeking to improve its platform and rankings, Niche strives to empower students to find where they will belong and discover new schools that would be a great match.

2022 Best Colleges in America:

  1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  2. Harvard University
  3. Stanford University
  4. Yale University
  5. Princeton University

“As we’ve seen the higher ed industry weather enormous change, it has been a top priority of ours to remain a steadfast, reliable resource for students and their families searching for their best fit college,” says Skurman. “Our 2022 college rankings will provide unique and comprehensive insights into top-notch institutions across the country. With ongoing uncertainty surrounding everyday life and the college experience in particular, we’re honored to continue to serve our millions of users at every step of the admissions process.”

Niche’s 2022 college rankings include categories for top public universities, best liberal arts colleges, best value colleges, and many more. Searchers can also view the best colleges by state, metro area, or county and by major. 

For the full list of 2022 Best Colleges rankings, visit:

Niche is the leading platform connecting students and families with colleges and schools. We believe finding the right school shouldn’t be hard, so we’re committed to making it easy for our users to discover and connect with the best ones for them. On Niche, users have access to comprehensive profiles on every school in America — from the ones they know to the ones they have yet to discover. With unique ratings, honest reviews, personalized recommendations, and tools to guide users through every step, Niche is changing the way millions of people find and connect with their school.

Press Contact
Natalie Tsay
PR Specialist