The APCA Ranking Report provides the most comprehensive, commercially independent comparison of collegiate athletic programs. It emphasizes factors that collegiate student athletes have identified as the most important: a strong academic program, a successful team record, diverse academic opportunities, university commitment to the athletic program, the ability to play in front of a crowd and during the postseason, and a sufficient athletic scholarship (when a scholarship is applicable).

The formula rewards programs that do not discriminate against student athletes. A program will receive a higher score if it allows student athletes to take any academic major of their choosing, operates in accordance with NCAA policy, and does not impose additional restrictions on student athletes who may want to transfer to another college or university.

The APCA Ranking Report is created using readily available data that has been provided by schools and collected by independent sources, including the NCAA and the federal government. It is important to note that the lack of sufficient data to determine whether a school is in compliance with a particular factor will not result in a penalty. Just like the Standardized Academic Test, a school is not hurt by a wrong or incomplete answer.  It can only improve its score with a correct answer, or in the case of the Ranking Report, compliance.

The APCA hopes its ranking system will encourage schools to adopt and emphasize policies that benefit their student athletes and provide prospective student athletes with a more complete understanding of the program they are joining.

There is no other single source where this aggregated data is readily available, transparent and entirely focused on student athletes.