Northwestern rises to No. 15 in Forbes Top Colleges List

Mariana Alfaro, Web Editor

Northwestern ranked No. 15 in Forbes annual list of the country’s best colleges, moving up one spot since last year.

In its ninth annual ranking of the best national colleges and universities, the magazine ranked 660 different schools. Stanford University topped the list, followed by Williams College and Princeton University. For the second year in a row, NU ranked No. 2 in the Midwest Colleges category, after the University of Notre Dame in Indiana and before the University of Chicago.

In an article describing the rankings’ methodology, Forbes writer Caroline Howard said the ranking focuses on “output” rather than “input.” She said the ranking doesn’t focus heavily on SAT scores and high school class ranks but rather on metrics such as undergraduate student satisfaction, post-graduate success and student debt.

“The metrics get to the heart of the relative affordability of attending a particular school as well as the ability of its alumni to pay back student debt,” Howard said in the article.

In March, NU announced it would remove loans from financial aid packages for incoming students, making all financial aid grants and University-funded scholarships. At the time, University spokesman Al Cubbage told The Daily the lack of loans makes NU “unusual” among universities.

In the last five years, NU has increased financial aid for students by 55 percent, with about $160 million available for the 2016-17 year.

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