Editorial Policy and Standards
At BestColleges, we believe in providing accurate and actionable information for students. Our writers, editors, and reporters are constantly asking themselves the question, "What information is vital to students right now?"
Answering this question is what drives us. Our mission is to inform students through straightforward, factual content informed by the latest data and trends.
No student should be left without the resources they need to succeed. Read on to discover how we achieve our mission for students.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
The BestColleges team believes that higher education isn't just about opportunity, it's about outcomes. We want to know if an educational pathway sets all students up for success, regardless of their personal backgrounds or where they are in their educational journeys. We also want our resources to serve students equitably and without bias, including BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and traditionally underserved student populations. This is why our editorial team is committed to content that reflects diverse voices, inclusive language, and sensitivity to a variety of student needs. We are also committed to sourcing staff, writers, and interviewees from a range of backgrounds. Lastly, articles covering sensitive topics are regularly reviewed for accuracy, bias, and inclusive language by professionals with extensive experience in the area of diversity, equity, and inclusion. To learn more about our reviewers, check our contributors page.
Integrity is about honesty, objectivity, and transparency. This is why our content is funneled through a multi-layer editorial process consisting of copy editors, reviewers, and approving editors who are all trained in our editorial standards, house style, and best practices. BestColleges is committed to editorial content that isn't influenced by advertisers or corporate partners. We are upfront with our advertising disclosures, and in our articles we are careful to distinguish between facts and opinions. Our team also strives to include as many voices and perspectives as possible — including student and professional points of view — to fully inform our guides, resources, and news.
Accuracy and Fact-Checking
To provide accurate and actionable information for students, BestColleges has established a robust fact-checking process. It starts with our writers and reporters, who carefully craft our guides and articles according to strict editorial guidelines and sourcing standards. When primary sources are available, we link directly to these sources so that students can dive deeply into the information they need to make informed decisions about their education. Some of our most trusted sources include:
- Career information: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Payscale
- Why we trust the BLS: This official government website from the U.S. Department of Labor provides regularly updated career and salary data.
- Why we trust Payscale: This crowdsourced website lists salary information for multiple career paths and transparently displays how many reported salaries have informed their averages.
- College student outcomes: National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS)
- Why we trust NCES: Housed within the Department of Education and the Institute of Education Sciences, NCES is the U.S. government's official source of education-related data.
- Bootcamp student outcomes: Council on Integrity in Results Reporting (CIRR)
- Why we trust CIRR: Members of this coding bootcamp industry nonprofit adhere to a common and transparent set of outcomes reporting standards and must have their reports audited by a CIRR-approved third party.
Where we fail to live up to our standards, we publish corrections. Finally, the BestColleges team periodically reviews previously published resources and news articles and, where needed, updates them with new and accurate information.
Knowledge and Authority
BestColleges is committed to in-depth reporting, data-driven analysis, and professionally reviewed content. Our review network consists of over 25 paid reviewers with the professional and academic experience to separate fact from fiction. As a team, we are also hungry for data and continually update our content with the latest numbers and trends. We regularly survey thousands of college administrators, employers, and students nationwide to get their take on important issues, which informs our overall content strategy for BestColleges. Because of this, you can be sure that our research, news, and resources are informed by hard data — not just opinions.
Our Reviewer Network
Reviewers at BestColleges bring their professional experience to bear on virtually every subject relevant to college students, such as admissions, college majors, financial aid, and student mental health. Our contract reviewers come from a variety of professional backgrounds, including:
- Business / Accounting
- Career Advising / Counseling
- Coding Bootcamps
- College Admissions
- Computer Science
- Counseling / Psychology
- Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
- Financial Aid
- Historically Black Colleges and Universities
- Mental Health
- Nursing / Healthcare
- Public Health
- Social Work
If you're interested in joining our reviewer network, reach out to us at [email protected]. Reviewers typically have a graduate or terminal degree in their field and several years of relevant professional experience. Responsibilities include suggesting corrections for inaccurate or misleading information, providing clarity on a complex topic, or identifying important omissions.
If you have feedback or questions about content on BestColleges, or if you've discovered a factual error or inaccurate information, please reach out to [email protected].