Northwestern moves up to No. 16 on Forbes Top Colleges list

Julia Jacobs, Summer Editor

Northwestern ranked No. 16 in Forbes’ annual list of the country’s best colleges, moving up three spots since last year.

This year NU ranked second in the Midwest following the University of Notre Dame in Indiana. Pomona College topped the list, with Williams College and Stanford University taking the No. 2 and No. 3 spots, respectively.

NU ranked 17th on the same Forbes list in 2013.

In its eighth year, this year’s list included a new measurement taking into account a survey on Facebook asking for a rating of the student’s satisfaction with their school on a scale from one to five, according to the Forbes article.

Colleges that make the list are characterized by a low student-to-faculty ratio, with 90 percent of top schools having an 8:1 ratio or fewer. The vast majority of the 25 schools on the list also have 84 percent or more of their students graduating in four years.

Northwestern’s overall student-faculty ratio is 7:1, and the University has a four-year graduation rate of 86 percent.

The factor with the most weight on the ranking is post-graduate success, which is determined by alumni salary as well as reception of awards such as the Nobel and Pulitzer prizes and rankings on national leadership lists. Forbes also takes institution’s student debt into account, highlighting the importance of a new era of “return-on-investment education.” Other factors include student satisfaction, graduate rates and academic success.

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