Forbes Magazine's List of America's Best Colleges

In 2008, Forbes.com began publishing an annual list of America's Top Colleges.[1] Post-graduate success (alumni salaries from PayScale and data from the federal Department of Education) constitutes 35% of the score. Student debt levels constitute 20% of the score. Student experience (retention rates reported by the Department of Education and data from Niche) constitutes 20% of the score. Graduation rates constitute 12.5% of the score. Academic success (using both the percentage of a school's student body that goes on to obtain doctorate degrees, and those students who have won one of a diverse array of prestigious academic awards) constitutes 12.5%. Public reputation is not considered, which causes some colleges to score lower than in other lists. A three-year moving average is used to smooth out the scoring.

Starting in 2013, four schools that had admitted to misreporting admissions data were removed from the list for two years. The four removed colleges were Bucknell University, Claremont McKenna College, Emory University, and Iona College.[2]

RankingsEdit

Forbes rated Princeton University the country’s best college in its inaugural (2008) list.[3] West Point took the top honor the following year.[4] Williams College was ranked first both in 2010 and 2011, and Princeton returned to the top spot in 2012.[5][6][7] In 2013 and 2016, Stanford University occupied the No. 1 spot, with elite liberal arts schools Williams and Pomona College topping the rankings in the intervening years.[8][9][10][11][12][13] The magazine ranked Harvard University as America's best college from 2017 until 2021, when the University of California, Berkeley topped the list, becoming the first public school to ever do so.[14][15]

America’s Top Colleges (Top 50)[16][17][14]
Institution 2021 2019 2018
University of California, Berkeley 1 13 14
Yale University 2 3 2
Princeton University 3 5 5
Stanford University 4 2 3
Columbia University 5 14 15
Massachusetts Institute of Technology 6 4 4
Harvard University 7 1 1
University of California, Los Angeles 8 38 48
University of Pennsylvania 9 6 7
Northwestern University 10 17 20
Dartmouth College 11 10 9
Duke University 12 9 10
Cornell University 13 11 13
Vanderbilt University 14 27 32
University of California, San Diego 15 79 81
Amherst College 16 28 16
University of Southern California 17 30 30
Williams College 18 19 11
Pomona College 19 12 19
University of California, Davis 20 88 94
Georgetown University 21 15 12
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor 22 20 22
University of Chicago 23 16 18
Rice University 24 21 28
University of Florida 25 70 N/A
Brown University 26 7 8
University of Washington-Seattle 27 64 72
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 28 45 47
US Military Academy 29 32 27
University of Virginia 30 33 34
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign 31 68 56
Wellesley College 32 44 44
Washington University in St. Louis 33 31 36
Georgia Institute of Technology 34 65 88
Emory University 35 55 52
Bowdoin College 36 26 17
Johns Hopkins University 37 22 25
Tufts University 38 34 33
University of California, Santa Barbara 39 84 85
California Institute of Technology 40 8 6
University of Notre Dame 41 18 21
University of Maryland, College Park 42 63 61
Swarthmore College 43 25 24
Middlebury College 44 36 34
University of Texas at Austin 45 76 74
Claremont McKenna College 46 29 26
University of California, Irvine 47 87 96
Colgate University 48 46 45
Carnegie Mellon University 49 37 63
Texas A&M University 50 N/A N/A

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "America's Top Colleges". Forbes. Retrieved October 29, 2011.
  2. ^ "'Forbes' Boots 4 Colleges From Its Rankings". Inside Higher Ed. July 25, 2013. Retrieved May 12, 2014.
  3. ^ "America's Best Colleges 2008". Forbes. August 13, 2008. Retrieved August 1, 2020.
  4. ^ "America's Best Colleges 2009". Forbes. Retrieved August 1, 2020.
  5. ^ Noer, Michael (August 3, 2011). "America's Top Colleges". Forbes. Retrieved August 1, 2020.
  6. ^ Goldstein, Rachel (August 5, 2011). "Williams College Takes Top Spot in Forbes' University Rankings". Time. Retrieved August 1, 2020.
  7. ^ "Forbes Publishes Rankings of America's Top Colleges: Princeton University is No. 1". Forbes. Retrieved August 1, 2020.
  8. ^ Howard, Caroline. "America's Top Colleges 2013". Forbes. Retrieved August 1, 2020.
  9. ^ Howard, Caroline. "America's Top Colleges 2014". Forbes. Retrieved August 1, 2020.
  10. ^ Howard, Caroline (July 29, 2015). "America's Top Colleges Ranking 2015". Forbes. Retrieved August 1, 2020.
  11. ^ Bravo, Kristina (July 30, 2015). "Pomona College is No. 1 on Forbes list of best in US". Southern California Public Radio. Retrieved August 1, 2020.
  12. ^ Rand, Jory (July 30, 2015). "Forbes ranks Pomona College as top college in US". ABC7 Los Angeles. Retrieved August 1, 2020.
  13. ^ Howard, Caroline. "America's Top Colleges 2016". Forbes. Retrieved August 1, 2020.
  14. ^ a b "Forbes America's Top Colleges List 2021". Forbes. Retrieved September 9, 2021.
  15. ^ SFGATE, Amy Graff (September 8, 2021). "SF Bay Area college is the first public university to top Forbes list". SFGATE. Retrieved September 9, 2021.
  16. ^ "America's Top Colleges 2019". www.forbes.com. Retrieved August 15, 2020.
  17. ^ "Here Are America's Top Colleges for 2018". www.forbes.com. Retrieved August 21, 2018.