The state funds tuition (making it in essence free) for a limited number of students with high scores on the state exam, which means universities actively compete for these top students. The higher the number of high-scoring students, the higher the quality of admissions.

The top five universities for admissions quality in 2017 were Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) (95.6 out of 100 for the Unified State Exam) MIPT (94.1), HSE Moscow (93.9), St. Petersburg State University (90.7) and ITMO University (90.3).

For the second consecutive year, ITMO has shown a significant increase in the quality of state-funded admission among the country's strongest universities: the average score for first-year applicants increased by 3.4 points compared to 2016.

Monitoring on the quality of admissions to higher education has also revealed the trends in demand for state-funded placements for various majors. There are universities that attracted the strongest applicants in the country for several, or all of their majors. This was the case for 80% of majors at ITMO University, which allowed it to occupy the fourth place in the majors ranking after MGIMO, MIPT and HSE (Moscow). The most popular majors at ITMO University were "Computer Science and Computer Engineering", "Mathematics" and "Aeronautical and Rocket and Space Technology."

Almost 250 universities in Russia offer the "Computer Science and Computer Engineering" major. The top three were ITMO (95.3), St. Petersburg State University (94.1) and HSE Moscow (92.8).

The survey also ranged the universities based on the admitted number of “olympiad” - academic competition - winners. They can be admitted without taking into account their state exam scores and have other privileges. The universities that managed to attract the highest number of these students were HSE Moscow and ITMO University. ITMO gained almost twice as many winners this year, who now comprise a third of all those admitted (from 17.1% admitted without entrance exams to 31.2%, which is 390 people). HSE went up from 35.6% admitted without entrance exams to 45.1%. Also MGIMO, RANEPA, St. Petersburg State University, and MIPT have a high percentage of winners.

The top 25 in quality of admissions included 16 universities from Moscow, six from St. Petersburg, and one from Nizhny Novgorod, Novosibirsk and Sverdlov regions.