How Our Rankings Are Made

Last Updated: January 27, 2021

At, we create rankings based on factors that positively benefit students. These rankings remain objective, and we evaluate schools holistically by weighing several factors, including quality, financial considerations, and online flexibility.

When determining the key factors, our team incorporates data from national databases. We then plug that data into our unique formula to determine where programs or schools should land in our rankings. In the sections below, we clearly define our methodology to review the important subfactors for students searching for their ideal programs.

Throughout our process, we collect data and weigh metrics to determine the best information for learners to make the most informed choice. While no ranking methodology is perfect, we aim to provide the best possible rankings for prospective healthcare students looking to compare master's programs. To ensure we present relevant and useful information, our rankings remain data-driven and free of editorial influence.

About Our Rankings Data

Our primary data sources incorporate the most current available datasets from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). As part of the Institute of Education Sciences, NCES carries out large-scale evaluations of federal education policies and conducts surveys to better understand where schools can implement improvements.

NCES, as the primary source for information about higher education in the country, reports on the most relevant data points for degree-seekers. Our quality assurance team assesses all schools in the datasets but does not include schools missing a significant amount of data to ensure accuracy and relevance in our calculations. We pulled all data in December 2020 to create rankings with the most relevant information available.

A Breakdown of Our Rankings Calculations

Ranking Factors

When creating our school rankings, our team chooses the factors and subfactors we believe are most relevant and important to students pursuing their master's degree in healthcare. With a student-oriented methodology that reviews quality, finances, and online flexibility, we take these factors and break them down further into subfactors, using reliable data sources in our weighted formula.

In the following section, we detail each factor and subfactor to ensure learners understand how we create our methodology.

Our team creates "best of" rankings and rankings focused on affordability. These affordability-focused rankings are more heavily weighted, incorporating multiple factors and data points to produce the most in-depth program analyses.

Subfactors for Academics

  • Graduation Rate: This factor measures the number of students that graduate from a particular college or university. Schools with high graduation rates indicate increased opportunities and student satisfaction. Candidates can also assume that schools with higher graduation rates indicate the availability of helpful resources and tools for learners.
  • Enrollment Rate: These figures often break down beyond just enrollment, focusing on how many undergraduate and graduate learners currently attend a particular school. Institutions with high enrollment rates indicate sought-after programs.
  • Student-to-Faculty Ratio: Schools that feature lower student-to-faculty ratios indicate a more individualized learning experience. Learners at these institutions can anticipate additional one-on-one attention from instructors, providing them with a more specialized learning experience.

Subfactors for Finances

  • Average Net Price: Average net price measures the total program cost when factoring in all financial aid. Our methodology considers the price of tuition, fees, and materials when determining the average net price. Reviewing this information allows students to determine the amount of financial aid they would need to afford their degree.
  • Loan Default Rate: Loan default rates measure the number of graduates unable to make student loan payments after graduation. Lower loan default rates may indicate that degree-seekers receive lucrative job opportunities after graduation.
  • Average Grant and Scholarship Aid Awarded: Schools with a high average of scholarship aid awarded to students often produce graduates with lower loan debt. This figure indicates the average amount of grant and scholarship funding — not including loans — that students receive. Since students do not repay "free" financial aid, a higher average of scholarship aid lowers their college expenses. This figure factors high in our rankings as it determines a college's overall affordability.
  • Median Debt for Students: The median debt for students measures what graduates owe in loan debt. Lower median rates reflect a college's affordability and a student's ability to graduate on time. This figure weighs heavily in our rankings to determine the most affordable programs.

Subfactors for Reputation

  • Admission Rate: A college's admission rate demonstrates the percentage of accepted students. A high admission rate reflects on a school's reputation. Less selective schools tend to accept more applicants, whereas schools that can afford to be more exacting accept fewer applicants. This figure weighs heavily in our rankings, as it often correlates to higher earnings for graduates.
  • Enrollment Rate: The enrollment rate measures how many undergraduate and graduate students enroll at a college. This factors into a school's reputation, with higher enrollment rates indicating greater desirability to attend a specific college. External factors, such as economic downturns, can also affect enrollment numbers.
  • Average Earnings of Students Working: This figure carries significant weight in our rankings of a school's reputation because it shows which colleges produce graduates with higher earning potential. This measurement indicates students' average earnings six years after they enrolled in college. Schools with larger alumni associations and career resources often yield high-earning graduates.
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