Rankings for International Students Methodology

College Factual’s Rankings for International Students were designed to help students who wish to study in the U.S. discover colleges and universities that will offer them a high-quality educational experience.

Quality is paramount to these rankings, which is why our quality ranking methodology is a heavily weighted factor. Students want to know they will be attending a college that delivers on its promises of advancing graduate's careers and not leaving them drowning in debt.

We also include as a factor the number of international students studying at the school, whether the presence of international students is increasing, and whether the school accepts TOEFL.

We take it as a positive factor if there are a high number of international students on campus as this means the school will be devoting resources to that group. If the number is growing, it means the school likely has programs in place to encourage students from other countries to apply and make the process easier for them. It also means students are likely having positive experiences and recommending the school to others.

Although international students are choosing U.S. colleges to be able to experience an American education, it is also helpful for them to have other international students on campus they can bond with and share information. A school with a larger percentage of international students means more opportunities for students to connect with peers and help each other navigate new experiences in a foreign country.

When it comes to studying internationally, students have a lot to think about between applications, student visas, travel plans, insurance, and more. One thing they shouldn’t have to worry about is finding a quality college that will support their unique needs as international students and give them good chances of finding a job after graduation. That’s why we created this ranking.

Methodology Factors for Overall Rankings:

High Importance

College Factual's quality ranking metrics.

Medium Importance

The percentage of international students on campus (the higher the better).

If the number of international students at that school is on the rise.

Low Importance

Raw number of people from other countries (not percentage).

We consider the following factors to be positive indicators of quality and are weighted of low importance, although they are not necessary for a school to be ranked:

  • If the school accepts TOEFL scores.
  • If the school accepts IELTS scores.
  • How high the minimum TOEFL score is.

Methodology for Rankings by Country of Origin

In addition to overall rankings, we also feature rankings specifically catered to students from 50 different countries. These are the countries who are sending enough students to the U.S. that allows us to make meaningful use of the data. Here is the methodology for rankings for specific countries:

High Importance

College Factual's quality ranking metrics.

Medium Importance

The percentage of international students on campus from that country (the higher the better).

If the number of international students from that country is increasing.

Low Importance

  • Raw number of people from the country (not percent).
  • The number of international students (from any country) at the school.
  • If the school accepts TOEFL scores.
  • If the school accepts IELTS scores.
  • How high the minimum TOEFL score it