CHESTERTOWN, MD—Washington College climbed a remarkable 113 spots in the annual Forbes list of America’s Top Colleges. The nation’s tenth oldest college, WC was ranked #107 overall among the 650 colleges and universities surveyed, landing at #95 among private colleges and #24 among schools in the South.
The rankings are prepared by the Center for College Affordability and Productivity, a Washington, D.C. think tank founded by Ohio University economist Richard Vedder. In presenting the list, Forbes described its ranking criteria as “focused on the things that matter the most to students: quality of teaching, great career prospects, graduation rates and low levels of debt. … We try and evaluate the college purchase as a consumer would: Is it worth spending as much as a quarter of a million dollars for this degree?”
The data used for the list fall into five categories, the most influential (30 percent of the overall ranking) being “Post-Graduate Success.” Success is measured by how much alumni earn and how many are listed in “Who’s Who in America” and on the Forbes Corporate Officers list.
The category of “Student Satisfaction,” which accounts for 27.5 percent of a school’s overall score, considers evaluations from RateMyProfessors.com and the retention rate from freshman to sophomore year. Other categories are student debt, four-year graduation rates, and the number of nationally competitive awards such as Rhodes Scholarships, National Science Foundation Fellowships and Fulbright Awards a school’s alumni earn.
First on the Forbes list for the second year in a row is Williams, followed by Princeton, West Point, Amherst and Stanford. Among Maryland schools, Washington College ranked below only the Naval Academy (#17) and Johns Hopkins University (#101). For the full rankings list, visit: http://www.forbes.com/top-colleges/list/