How is the overall score calculated?

The table below summarizes the minimum overall score required for each STARS rating:









An institution’s STARS score is based on the percentage of points it earns by pursuing relevant credits across the four main categories: Academics (AC), Engagement (EN), Operations (OP) and Planning & Administration (PA).  In addition, an institution may earn up to four Innovation & Leadership (IN) points for exemplary and path-breaking initiatives that are not covered by other STARS credits or that exceed the highest criterion of a standard credit. To earn these “bonus points”, you can choose from a catalog of IN credits and/or pursue open-ended innovation credits.

Scoring formula

A = Total points earned across AC, EN, OP, and PA
B = Total points available across AC, EN, OP, and PA
C = Innovation points earned (maximum 4)

Formula: (A/B*100)+C = STARS score

Scoring Example









  • Model Community College earned 90 points out of a total of 180 points available. Therefore, the percentage of available points earned is 50.
  • The college also claimed 2 Innovation & Leadership points, which are added to the percentage of points earned.
  • The college’s overall STARS score is 52, making it eligible for a Silver rating.

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