education

West Point No. 1 in Forbes college rank

Brown, Wheaton crack top 100, with PC next at No. 235

PHOTO COURTESY BROWN UNIVERSITY
BROWN TRAILED IVY LEAGUE compatriots Harvard, Yale, Princeton and Columbia in Forbes magazine’s latest list of the nation’s 600 best colleges.
Posted 8/6/09

NEW YORK – Eight local universities and colleges have made Forbes magazine’s second-annual ranking of America’s 600 best colleges, but only two were able to crack the top 100.

Brown University ranked 72nd on the list, which was released yesterday, and Wheaton College in Norton, Mass., was 92nd.

Forbes said the listing measured the quality of education, the student’s experiences while in school, and graduates’ achievements, based on information compiled by the magazine and the Center for College Affordability and Productivity (CCAP).

The U.S. Military Academy at West Point topped the Forbes list, with Princeton University, California Institute of Technology, Williams College, Harvard University, Wellesley College, the U.S. Air Force Academy, Amherst College, Yale University and Stanford University rounding out the top 10.

Among other local schools, Providence College ranked 235th; Stonehill College in Easton, Mass., 337th; the University of Rhode Island, 408th; Rhode Island College, 508th; Bryant University, 582nd; Roger Williams University, 584th.

“To our way of thinking, a good college is one that meets student needs,” wrote Richard Vedder and David N. Ewalt in the Forbes report. “While some college rankings are based partly on school reputation as evaluated by college administrators and on the amount of money spent, we focus on things which directly concern incoming students: Will my courses be interesting and rewarding? Will I get a good job after I graduate? Is it likely I will graduate in four years? Will I incur a ton of debt getting my degree?”

Forbes said 25 percent of a college’s ranking was based on student evaluations of courses and instructors on the Web site RateMyProfessors.com. Another 25 percent was based the success of graduates, as measured the number of entries in Who’s Who in America, adjusted for enrollment, and the average salaries of graduates reported by the Web site Payscale.com.

Twenty percent of a school’s score was determined by the estimated average student debt after four years. Other factors in the ranking: the four-year college graduation rate, and the number of students and faculty, adjusted for enrollment, who have won prestigious honors such as Rhodes Scholarships and Nobel Prizes.

Forbes noted that the evaluation made for some surprises.

Boston College, for example, ranked 16th, while the Ivy League’s Dartmouth College appeared at No. 98. Meanwhile, liberal arts schools Centre College in Kentucky and Union College in New York ranked 14th and 26, respectively.

More information is available at www.forbes.com.

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