We use data to empower people to make better decisions about careers and education.


Our Optimal Choice schools offer high alumni salaries and low tuition, meaning they have a Salary Score above the 60th percentile and below-average tuition. We researched the salary and tuition information of over 1,700 colleges that offer bachelor's degrees to find the ones that offer the best value without the high price tag.


We have collected over 85,000 ratings and reviews from students. Learn which schools are improving graduate outcomes at GradReports.


We independently research thousands of colleges to identify the ones offering the best quality and price. View our rankings at OnlineU.


Since 2010, we've given away over $915,000 of our profit in needs-based scholarships. Visit our scholarships page to learn more and see our recent winners.

Optimal helps prospective students make informed, data-driven decisions to improve their collegiate experience and their post-college careers. We provide over 85,000 in-depth student reviews and college rankings for every major based on alumni salaries and manually researched tuitions. Our tools provide accessible and transparent data regarding cost and earning potential, allowing students to choose educational paths to success without the burden of insurmountable debt.

Optimal Board Advisor

Distinguished higher education change advocate, Richard Vedder, has joined the Optimal team as an advisor and op-ed author.

Views and opinions expressed in board advisor's writing are their own, and do not necessarily reflect those of Optimal.

Dr. Richard Vedder
Professor Emeritus at Ohio University, Author, & Higher Education Change Advocate
Athens, OH

Vedder is an esteemed figure in the higher education sector, writing frequently for numerous notable outlets including Forbes, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg Opinion, and Inside Higher Ed. He has also authored several books regarding issues within the higher education sector, including "Going Broke by Degree: Why College Costs Too Much" and "Restoring the Promise: Higher Education in America."

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As part of our mission to make college more accessible, Optimal has given away over $915,000 of our profit in need-based scholarships since 2010.

The Optimal Scholarship Program has been temporarily suspended. We intend to resume, so please continue to check back in future quarters.


Three Optimal team members take part in a planning meeting.


At Optimal, we embrace a culture of growth, experimentation, and creativity. Our small and agile team allows all members to exercise great responsibility and freedom, leading each person to have a measurable impact on our business. We also offer unique benefits like tuition reimbursement and charitable donation matching. We enjoy solving hard problems just as much as we enjoy our wine and cheese parties and snuggling with our troop of quirky office dogs.