The Fast Online Masters analytics team use the most up-to-date, accurate data we can find. Our methodology is designed to help you find the best school for you.
FOM Analytics Team
To be sure our rankings are free of editorial influence, the Analytics Team operates independently from our editorial team.
We pull current publicly available data from NCES to design our rankings.
If schools do not have data for our key factors, or lack significant data, they are excluded.
Our analysts consider factors that include academic quality, the cost of attendance, and online programming.
Guiding principles for our rankings include academic quality, affordability, and also online competency. Additionally, rankings are grounded in statistical analysis and based on publicly available data.
Minimum Requirements for Schools
- must be an accredited public, private, or nonprofit institution.
- must offer either an online master’s degree program in the given subject or an online postgraduate certificate program in field.
- must submit annual reports to the National Center for Education Statistics.
- must also offer the degree program in the given subject for the ranking.
Our school rankings aim to assess the quality of online master’s programs objectively. They are based on academic outcomes, affordability, and the breadth and depth of online learning opportunities.
1. Academic Quality
Certain factors determine academic quality. Comparing a school’s admission rate to its enrollment rate, for examples, shows the school’s competitiveness. Secondly, graduation rates imply how well students are supported in their degree program.
We consider the program’s cost, the percentage of students borrowing or taking out loans, and the default rate, which shows whether students are finding employment to pay back their loans.
3. Online Offerings
Finally, we take into account how many programs are offered online, and how many students are enrolled. This suggests the school’s overall commitment to online education. Schools also earn more credit for exceptional online student services.