America's Best Colleges 2008 (Forbes) - We're #524
America's Best Colleges America's Best Colleges 2008 Michael Noer and Richard Vedder 08.13.08, 6:00 PM ET
Competition is good.
Choosing a four-year undergraduate college is one of the biggest decisions a typical American family can make. And for too many years, information about the quality of American higher education has been monopolized by one publication, U.S. News & World Report.
We offer an alternative.
In conjunction with Dr. Richard Vedder, an economist at Ohio University, and the Center for College Affordability and Productivity, Forbes.com inaugurates its first ranking of America's Best Colleges, an annual list. In this report, the CCAP ranks 569 undergraduate institutions based on the quality of the education they provide, and how much their students achieve.
CCAP's methodology attempts to put itself in a student's shoes. How good will my professors be? Will the school help me achieve notable career success? If I have to borrow to pay for college, how deeply will I go into debt? What are the chances I will graduate in four years? Are students and faculty recognized nationally, or even globally?
To answer these questions, the staff at CCAP (mostly college students themselves) gathered data from a variety of sources. They based 25% of the rankings on 7 million student evaluations of courses and instructors, as recorded on the Web site RateMyProfessors.com. Another 25% depends on how many of the school's alumni, adjusted for enrollment, are listed among the notable people in Who's Who in America.
The other half of the ranking is based equally on three factors: the average amount of student debt at graduation held by those who borrowed; the percentage of students graduating in four years; and the number of students or faculty, adjusted for enrollment, who have won nationally competitive awards like Rhodes Scholarships or Nobel Prizes.
Generally speaking, big state schools performed poorly: the University of Wisconsin, Madison, ranked 335th; the University of Texas, Austin, 215th; and the University of Minnesota 524th. California public schools scored relatively well, with the flagship Berkley campus coming in 73rd place.
How do the BigTen schools rank?
272 Penn State
292 Ohio State
327 Michigan State
Are we ready to stop rowing in tar? Bob? Tom?
As Hook and Smee learned, fear the clock.