What’s the ROI on a college degree in 2023? Niche releases annual Best Colleges rankings with updated Value methodology

August 29, 2022 – PITTSBURGH – Niche, the leading platform connecting students and families with colleges and schools, today released its 2023 Best Colleges Rankings. With updated data for 4,050 colleges nationwide, Niche’s new rankings feature an updated methodology to better evaluate an institution’s return on investment (ROI).

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 strives to put even more power in students’ and parents’ hands as they go through the college search process.

The most significant change made this year was an overhaul of the Value methodology. As Value is a factor in numerous categories, the change impacted many rankings, including the overall Best Colleges. Four factors in the previous methodology were dropped in order to end reliance on older, less comprehensive data sets. New factors — sourced from the US Department of Education, American Community Survey (ACS), and Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) — include Average ROI by age 30, Median Earnings 1 Year after Graduation, Percent of Graduates Employed 2 Years after Graduation, YOY Difference between 1st and 2nd Year Earnings and more.

“Even before the pandemic, high school students and their families were questioning the value of higher education, in large part due to how expensive it’s become in the past twenty years or so,” said Ryan Bell, Principal Strategist at Niche. “Our updates to our Value methodology come at a time when prospective college students are more intent on choosing a school that will yield a good return on investment than ever before. We hope our new and improved value rankings will help those students make one of the most important financial decisions of their lives.”

2023 Best Colleges in America:

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

“We know that choosing where to go to college is a major life decision, and we’ve always been committed to helping students and their families make their choice with as much information as possible,” said Luke Skurman, Founder and CEO of Niche. “With a mix of comprehensive data and millions of reviews, our 2023 Best colleges rankings are a guide to the thousands of excellent institutions across the country. We’re proud to continue to support students and families throughout the college admissions process, from research all the way to enrollment.”

Niche’s 2023 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 2023 Best Colleges rankings, visit: https://www.niche.com/colleges/rankings/


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.

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