New magazines are getting into the college ratings game. Forbes recently released its own list of the top 50 colleges in America. According to the methodology, the magazine attempts to figure out what colleges are actually best for undergraduates:
The Forbes ranking helps [undergraduate students] evaluate things that many believe are important criteria when selecting a college: Do students enjoy their classes and overall academic experience? Do graduates succeed well in their occupations after college? Do most students graduate in a timely fashion, typically four years? Do students incur massive debts while in schools? Do students succeed in distinguishing themselves academically? We use more than 10 factors in compiling these rankings, with no single factor counting as much as 20%.
The top schools on the Forbes list represent no big surprises. Schools one through ten are Williams College, Princeton University, Amherst College, West Point, MIT, Stanford, Swarthmore, Harvard, Claremont McKenna, and Yale. Except for West Point, these are all very expensive colleges.
Forbes should get some great credit, however, for using pretty objective factors and for considering undergraduate debt in ranking American colleges.