Northwestern moved up five spots to No. 17 in Forbes’ annual ranking of the best colleges in the country Wednesday.
Stanford University, followed by Pomona College and Princeton University, topped this year’s list.
NU is ranked as the second best college in the Midwest behind the University of Chicago, which placed 14th overall.
This year, Forbes also added a financial grade to the college rankings, giving NU an A+. The new score is based on balance sheet health, operational soundness, admissions yield, freshmen receiving institutional grants and instructional expenses per full-time students.
The Center for College Affordability and Productivity and Forbes calculate the rankings based on post-graduate success, student satisfaction, student debt, graduation rate and nationally competitive awards. Post-graduate success makes up the largest part of the score, about 38 percent, and includes alumni salary data. Overall, the Forbes rankings focus on college “output,” as opposed to high school influences, such as SAT scores or class rank.
— Annie Bruce