Our MissionWe use data to empower people to make better decisions about careers and education.
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.
While many other education researchers obscure data and promote exclusively elite colleges, we understand that transparency, accessibility, and impact are crucial. We will always be transparent about what data we are using and where it is coming from. We will focus on providing data that really matters to people and could have a tangible impact on their lives, like what their earning potential will be and what it will cost them to get there. Led by well-grounded data, we share the best educational options out there.
Our Product Values
- Transparency - We never hide our sources or methodologies. We recognize the importance of understanding where data points come from and how we are using them. All cited information comes from reputable sources that are clearly listed on every ranking page. We never use vague ranking formulas that make it unclear how schools are evaluated.
- Accessibility - We understand that comparing colleges can be difficult, as many factors go into the decision making process. Critically important information, including tuition rates, post-graduate salary numbers, alumni median debt and student reviews, is often hard to find and even harder to compare from school to school. We make quick, direct comparisons possible by putting all the essential data you need in one easily accessible place. Our products allow for side-by-side comparisons of colleges and are always free of charge.
- Accuracy - Our manual research is key to ensuring that our information is factual. We always strive to have accessible data that is accurate and up to date. Many online degree rankings rely on school-wide, campus-based costs, significantly distorting what an online student should expect to pay. We manually research over 2,000 college tuition rates every year to ensure that we are giving prospective students accurate representations of what they should expect to pay for a specific degree level and major at a school.