TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Forbes: America's Top Colleges (Return on Investment)

Forbes 2Forbes, Ranking America's Top Colleges 2014:

For the seventh year, Forbes has partnered with the Washington, D.C.-based Center for College Affordability and Productivity (CCAP) for America’s Top Colleges. The Forbes list of 650 schools distinguishes itself from competitors by our belief in “output” over “input.” We’re not all that interested in what gets a student into college, like our peers who focus heavily on selectivity metrics such as high school class rank, SAT scores and the like. Our sights are set directly on ROI: What are students getting out of college? ...

Student Satisfaction (25%):  Professor ratings (RateMyProfessor) (10%), actual (12.5%) and predicted (2.5%) freshman-to-sophomore retention rates
Post-Graduate Success (32.5%):  Salary of alumni ( (10%), America’s Leaders List (22.5%)
Student Debt (25%):  Average federal student loan debt load (10%), student loan default rates (12.5%) and predicted vs. actual percent of students taking federal loans (2.5%)
Graduation Rate (7.5%):  Actual graduation rate (5%) and the actual vs. predicted rate (2.5%)
Academic Success (10%):  Students who win prestigious scholarships and fellowships (7.5%) or go on to earn a Ph.D. (2.5%)

Here are the Top 25 colleges, with their corresponding U.S. News & World Report ranking:

  1. Williams (1 Liberal Arts "LA")
  2. Stanford (5 National Universities "NU")
  3. Swarthmore (3 LA)
  4. Princeton (1 NU)
  5. MIT (7 NU)
  6. Yale (3 NU)
  7. Harvard (2 NU)
  8. Pomona (4 LA)
  9. U.S. Military Academy (17 LA)
  10. Amherst (2 LA)
  11. Haverford (9 LA)
  12. Pennsylvania (7 NU)
  13. Brown (14 NU)
  14. Bowdoin (4 LA)
  15. Wesleyan (17 LA)
  16. Carleton (7 LA)
  17. Notre Dame (18 NU)
  18. Dartmouth (10 NU)
  19. Northwestern (12 NU)
  20. Columbia (4 NU)
  21. Cal-Tech (10 NU)
  22. Davidson (9 LA)
  23. Duke (7 NU)
  24. Chicago (5 NU)
  25. Tufts (28 NU)

Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink


Not that I am suggesting these rankings are unreliable, but I remember that in the first year they came out, half of the Ivies were ranked below #30, including the two that are in the teens this year, and that my liberal arts alma mater has bounced around dozens of places, sometimes in adjoining years, despite being largely static in US News and other rankings. But congrats to Northeastern for coming in 209th place!

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Jul 31, 2014 7:10:55 AM