Performancing Metrics



We know that you have big goals and even bigger dreams. The staff at Master’s Programs Guide has a big dream too: We want to curate college rankings that make the journey toward achieving a master’s degree easier for all students. 

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Reliable research and well-harvested data are the main ingredients in our recipe for success. We don’t make recommendations based on personal opinions or financial incentives. Our revenue and content are completely separate, and sponsored schools have no impact on our rankings. The only way to make it onto one of our lists is to have an incredible academic program! 

We have a time-tested four-part formula designed for ranking the best colleges in the nation that we’d love to share with you. 


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So how do we score our rankings? We prioritize five key factors that are important to students. 

Graduation Rate makes up 25% of our base score. This stat factors in how many students start college at a given institution and actually finish there — they don’t transfer schools or drop out completely.

The other main component and 25% of our formula is Affordability. We gauge affordability by taking the average cost to you over the course of your degree program, with financial aid availability and fees in mind, from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). We then juxtapose that data with all other schools that offer the same degree.

We base 20% of our ranking score on overall future Earnings Potential. This information comes exclusively from Payscale.

Another 20% of our formula takes into account the overall Selectivity of a school. We are able to ascertain a school’s selectivity score by checking their acceptance rate using data from the NCES.

Finally, the breadth of Online Graduate Offerings makes up the last 10%. Schools get a boost if they offer a wide variety of programs entirely online.


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Transparency is crucial when providing information like this. We never want you to have to wonder whether or not the information you get from Master’s Programs Guide is objective and unbiased. 

If you ever have any questions about that, then please feel free to contact us with additional questions. It is our goal to provide everything you need to make a smart, informed decision about your future. 

Michael Templeton
Managing Editor

Kacey Reynolds Schedler
Contributing Editor