Our Data

Where does Niche’s data come from?

Niche.com content comes from a variety of sources, including student, parent, and resident surveys, school administrators, and government databases. This data is then used to generate our rankings and power our school profiles and search tools. If you are a college or university administrator and would like to update your school's information, including photos, videos, and events, please create a free account. Otherwise, if you find a piece of data that is inaccurate or out of date, please contact us.

To help better explain where our content comes from, we’ve compiled a detailed source list separated by content type below.

% Factual Information

Data Sources

Our factual information comes from a variety of sources, including the U.S. Department of Education's NCES (National Center for Education Statistics) and IPEDS (Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System), the U.S. Census Bureau's Five Year ACS (American Community Survey), the FBI's Uniform Crime Reports, NOAA's National Climatic Data Center, Common Data Sets (reports released by some colleges and universities), and the Niche community (including participating school administrators who update their school’s information on our website). In addition to the national data sources listed above, city-specific data sources along with their relevant disclaimers can be found here.

Data Quality

After processing this data, we manually review as much as we can to ensure the data we present is as accurate and meaningful as possible. Much of the data we use is reported in non-uniform ways, and often with reporting errors. We run statistical analyses on this data to detect outliers and also manually check and fix data where appropriate, especially to ensure our presentation reflects the human touch that data can often lack.

👍 Reviews and Polls

Content Usage

Reviews and polls are submitted by people who have registered for our site and have a current or recent association with a school, college, or location. Reviews and polls can be submitted through our various surveys—specifically our College Survey (for current college students and recent alumni), our Student Survey (for current K-12 students and recent alumni), our Parent Survey (for the parents of current K-12 students or recent alumni), and our Local Survey (for current or recent residents of any area across the country).

Spam Detection

Because our content is used to make very important decisions, we take the quality and accuracy of that content very seriously. We go through extensive efforts to weed out poor quality content. Our content team manually reviews content, which anyone can bring to our attention. We also have several automated checks in place to identify and remove bad content. Specifically, we do not allow the submission of HTML content in our reviews, so you won't see any spam links littering our site. We check all submitted reviews for inappropriate or offensive content as well as the word count to ensure appropriate review lengths. Lastly, we require several steps for someone to submit a review, including a registration process and then a survey entry form. Once in the survey, someone must also answer other types of questions to access reviews.

🍏 Rankings

Our college and K-12 school rankings cover a variety of student life topics from Academics to Food. Rankings are based on two types of data: student or parent-provided ratings and reviews and facts/statistics collected from various public data sources. Rankings for a given category are determined by calculating a standardized score for each school (or district) based on a variety of factors from each data type. These scores are then compared across all qualifying schools for that topic and are translated into a final grade that reflects the school’s performance in that area as compared to the performance of all other qualifying schools. Numerical rankings are also given to schools meeting minimum data requirements as outlined in our rankings methodologies. For more information about how rankings are calculated, please see our K-12 and College methodologies.

🔖 Majors

Content on college majors comes from many of the same sources as our school content, including IPEDS, student surveys, and school administrators, as well as a few additional sources, such as the U.S. Department of Labor, O*NET, and state/regional organizations.

Scholarship Listings

Our scholarship database is powered by SuperCollege.com, one of the largest and most up-to-date scholarship databases available.