Forbes Ranks U-M In “America's Top Colleges”

Forbes Ranks U-M In “America's Top Colleges”

Just like baseball and apple pie, America loves rankings, and it stands to reason that affinity will spill over to higher education. 

For the seventh year, Forbes partnered with the Washington, D.C.-based Center for College Affordability and Productivity to rank the nation’s top 650 colleges. According to Forbes, their calculations are heavily based on the “results” of attending a college. 

 “We’re not all that interested in what gets a student into college. Our sights are set directly on ROI: What are students getting out of college.”

Michigan earned a ranking of 45, behind schools like Kenyon College (No. 42), Middlebury College (No. 30), and Davidson College (No. 22) . Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusets topped the list, followed by Stanford University and then Swarthmore. The prevelance of small, private schools in the rankings is explained. 

“While the elite liberal arts and STEM schools are neck-and-neck in the ranking race, their similarities are unmistakable: age, location, endowment and low debt for students. Colleges are like a fine wine. The average age of the top 100 colleges is a venerable 170 years, with an average founding date of 1843.”

Geographically, the list was dominated by Northeastern schools, with the Midwest being represented sparsely. 

“Most are in the Northeast, followed by the West Coast, with the Midwest mildly under-represented (the top school in that region is Minnesota’s Carleton College at  No. 16) and few great schools in the Sunbelt.”

One has to wonder exactly how the rankings and ROI were calcuated with U-M falling behind many lesser known institutions. Fellow Big Ten school Northwestern is ranked at No. 19, and Notre Dame is close by at No. 17. 

Do you agree with the results?

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