The College of William and Mary earned the top honor on Business Insider’s list of “The 20 Public Colleges with the Smartest Students,” published Monday.
Following the College, the University of California, Berkeley, came in second, while Georgia Institute of Technology took the third slot. The University of Virginia finished fourth, and the University of California, Los Angeles, ranked fifth.
Business Insider’s list was compiled using data from the website Niche, a site that provides reviews of colleges and K-12 schools. According to its website, the site’s data comes from reviews by students and parents, as well as from information from government databases and administrators.
Niche Director of Marketing Erin Kelly said the criteria used to create the list were based on user reviews.
“William and Mary is only one of six colleges on our site that received either an A or A+ in Academics grades,” Kelly said in an email. “Our Academic grades have extensive criteria, as does our data.”
She said the Academic grades ranking is based on students’ ratings of their professors and the academic environment, and more open-ended reviews of specific majors. Academic grades also take into account the school’s retention rate, SAT scores and faculty among other factors.
According to the Business Insider article, the site also used Niche’s lists of smartest girls and smartest guys in creating its list of smartest students. The College ranked fifth on Niche’s list of smartest girls, with a score of 9.85 out of 10. It ranked second in the category of smartest guys, earning a 9.93 out of 10.