Overall Best Colleges
Find out why this college ranked the way it did. The longer the bar, the better the college performed. Green bars show a better than average ranking. Yellow is about average and red is below average.
We were unable to rank Bismarck State College for overall quality. This usually means there was not enough data for all of the factors we use in our ranking system. Any data we do have is available below allowing you to see how the college is ranked on individual factors.
Student Body Caliber
Students committed to their education challenge each other and themselves to grow and excel. These students can also become lasting and valuable career connections later in life.
Combined SAT (High Importance)
The average of the 25th and 75th percentile Math and Reading SAT scores, as reported by IPEDS is calculated.
Composite ACT (High Importance, if SAT is Not Available)
Where ACT score is reported instead, the same calculation is performed using the composite score and a formula to convert that score to an equivalent SAT score. This factor neither hurt nor helped the overall standing.
The more resources a college can dedicate to supporting students' educational goals the better.
Average Faculty Compensation (Medium Importance)
Competitive salaries and benefits can attract the best of the best to a college or university. (Compensation is adjusted for cost of living).
Expenditures Per Student (Medium Importance)
This measure only includes spending that directly benefits students, such as instruction, academic support, research and student services.
Student to Faculty Ratio (Low Importance)
The student to faculty ratio measures how many students there are per instructional faculty member. The lower the ratio, the more potential there is for interaction with professors and individual support and attention when needed. About 52% of the colleges in our system rank as well or better on this factor.
Percent Full-Time Teachers (Low Importance)
This metric looks at how many instructors are full-time vs. part-time. The more full-time teachers the better, as they tend to have more time on campus to meet with students and are more invested in their jobs. About 66% of the colleges in our system rank as well or better on this factor.
A school can be doing a lot of things right, but if few of its students graduate, does it matter?
Freshmen Retention Rate (High Importance)
This measures how many freshmen return to the same school for the sophomore year. The higher the freshmen retention rate, the more likely these students were satisfied with the school, and the university is successfully supporting its first-year students.
6 Year Graduation Rate (High Importance)
This measures the number of students that were able to graduate with a degree in six years. The higher the rate of graduation, the more likely the college is delivering on its promise of a higher education, and students are receiving the support they need to complete their degree successfully.
Expected vs. Actual Graduation Rate (Low Importance)
Colleges with highly selective acceptance rates are also more likely to have higher graduation rates, simply due to the caliber of the students and not necessarily to the educational prowess of the school. Expected graduation rate tells us how many students should have graduated based on the type of students that enroll. A higher than expected graduation rate is indicative that a school is doing a proportionally better job at graduating students, regardless of that students' academic standing upon acceptance.
Life after college should reward students for seeking a higher education. These metrics are all related to the earnings students' realized after attending school.
Student Loan Default Rate (High Importance)
A vast majority of students rely on student loans to earn a degree, with the expectation that their entry-level salaries will sufficiently cover the cost of these loans. Students who default on loans within three years after graduation may not have been provided with a sufficient education or may have overpaid for their degree. The lower the default rate on student loans the better. About 54% of the colleges in our system rank as well or better on this factor.
Starting Salary Boost (Medium Importance)
Compared to other schools, how much more money can a student expect to make by attending this university? This metric compares the salaries earned by students in each major at a college and calculates how much more or less money those students make than those graduating with the same major at other colleges. This measurement focuses on early career earnings.
Mid-Career Salary Boost (Medium Importance)
This metric is similar to the starting salary measure above but focuses on the prolonged impact the college might have on a student by looking at the relative boost to earnings mid-career.