Trade School Program Methodology

Our goal here at College Values Online is to provide the most current and relevant information necessary for prospective students to find a high-quality education at the most affordable price. We believe that presenting this information allows for greater opportunity to make an informed decision as they plan their educational goals. To this end, we have designed a methodology matrix that helps us to determine which trade schools can provide this education. Based primarily upon per credit tuition costs, we also considered factors like financial aid availability, cutting edge technology, and customizable training options.

Our sources include the National Center for Education Statistics, the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Individual subject rankings may include additional sources, which will be defined within that ranking’s source list.

When developing rankings, the editors at College Values Online search the web to develop a pool of schools that fit the bill of whatever degree program being analyzed. The tuition cap is set at $30,000, which will eliminate any institutions whose costs are greater. From there, we consult our sources and apply the methodology matrix that has been set to determine which schools from the remaining pool will be placed within the ranking. We determine each school’s position by tallying the points they receive based on the methodology.

Featured Programs

Schools that appear in the rankings are there based solely on merit. We do not accept payment in any form from institutions for placement in the rankings.

Trade School Program Methodology:


  • Under $3,000 – 4 points
  • Under $5,000 – 3 points
  • Under $7,500 – 2 points
  • Under $10,000 – 1 point

Institution Accreditation – 1 point
Financial Aid/Scholarship Availability – 1 point
Student Services Offerings – 1 point per
Apprenticeship/Intern Network – 1 point per
Customized Training Options – 1 point per