College Rankings

By: Mr. T on August 24, 2008
Forbes magazine recently released its list of the country’s best colleges. Like the U.S. News and World Report list, the Princeton Review list, and others, the Forbes’ rankings are based on debatable criteria. In Forbes’ case, its based on online student student evaluations of lecturers (which I find a little suspect), among other things:
To answer these questions, the staff at CCAP (mostly college students themselves) gathered data from a variety of sources. They based 25% of the rankings on 7 million student evaluations of courses and instructors, as recorded on the Web site Another 25% depends on how many of the school's alumni, adjusted for enrollment, are listed among the notable people in Who's Who in America. The other half of the ranking is based equally on three factors: the average amount of student debt at graduation held by those who borrowed; the percentage of students graduating in four years; and the number of students or faculty, adjusted for enrollment, who have won nationally competitive awards like Rhodes Scholarships or Nobel Prizes.
Also, of note, unlike other rankings that divide up schools by “national universities” versus smaller liberal arts colleges, the Forbes rankings took a very global approach and threw the smaller, private teaching colleges in with the big land grant schools and everything in between. Results for Nebraska? Out of 569 institutions, two local schools did very well: Doane came in at 59 and Nebraska Wesleyan came in at 78. On the other hand, heavyweight University of Nebraska-Lincoln got a 483.


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