To establish the set of colleges included in the rankings, we started with the 1,594 colleges in the 50 states that are listed in the U.S. Department of Education's Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) and have a 2021 Carnegie basic classification of doctoral, master's, and baccalaureate colleges, are not exclusively graduate colleges, participate in federal financial aid programs, and had not announced an impending closure as of June 10,2022. We then excluded 28 colleges with fewer than 100 undergraduate students in any year they were open between fall 2018 and fall 2020 and an additional five colleges with fewer than 25 students in the federal graduation rate cohort in 2019 and 2020.

Next, we decided to exclude the five federal military academies (Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Merchant Marine, and Navy) because their unique missions make them difficult to evaluate using our methodology. Our rankings are based in part on the percentage of students receiving Pell Grants and the percentage of students enrolled in the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC), whereas the service academies provide all students with free tuition (and thus no Pell Grants or student loans) and commission graduates as officers in the armed services (and thus not the ROTC program). Finally, we dropped an additional 49 colleges for not having data on at least one of our key social mobility outcomes (percent Pell, graduation rate, net price, or the number of Pell recipients earning bachelor's degrees).This resulted in a final sample of 1,507 colleges and includes public, private nonprofit, and for-profit colleges.

Our rankings consist of three equally weighted portions: social mobility, research, and community and national service. This means that top-ranked colleges needed to be excellent across the full breadth of our measures, rather than excelling in just one. In order to ensure that each measurement contributed equally to a college's score within any given category, we standardized each data element so each had a mean of zero and a standard deviation of one (unless noted). Missing social mobility data (affecting less than 1 percent of all observations) were imputed and noted with "N/A" in the rankings tables. We adjusted data to account for statistical outliers by allowing no college's performance in any single area to exceed five standard deviations from the mean of the data set. All measures (unless noted) use an average of the three most...

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