‘Input factors’ refers to the standard numbers that colleges use to make admissions decisions: High school GPA and the standardized college aptitude tests used in the US–the ACT and SAT.
Reading the Charts
These charts are designed to help you “compare & contrast” the college/s which you find appealing, so you can gather the data to support which would be a good match for you!
When you have chosen an institution to look at more closely and its page first loads, you should see something like this:
The chart is a histogram — the ‘y’ axis corresponds to the number of colleges and universities that accept students with the score on the ‘x’ axis. The pink / red values represent the bottom 25% of accepted students, and the blue represents the top 25% of the accepted students. So for any given school, 50% of accepted students will lie within the relevant red and blue lines.
Once the data for this particular college loads, you’ll see two solid lines: one red, one blue:
So 50% of all students accepted by this University–my home institution, Ferris State University–fall between 440 and 590 on the SAT-Verbal section (SATVR).
Since the dark red line is roughly in the middle of the ‘pink’ lines, we can say that Ferris State University’s lower end is very close to average. The high end, however, is little higher than average. So if you have scores between 440 and 590, you’ll be in good company at Ferris.
You should also notice that there is a drop-down list to the upper left of the chart itself.
This drop-down select list shows you all the different standardized tests for which we have data. Choose one of the other factors from the drop-down, and the chart will rearrange itself to show the distributions, but for that test.
Here’s the chart for Ferris State University ACT-English acceptances:
The chart should be read in the same way: about 50% of all students accepted by Ferris State University have ACT-Verbal scores between 18 and 25.