Princeton University was recently named the number one college in America by Forbes Magazine.
An article in the business section of its August 1 issue, noted this is the first time since 2008 that Princeton has topped the list. Second place went to Williams College, following two consecutive years on top of the list.
“Princeton’s general policy is not to comment specifically about any of the growing list of college and university rankings,” said Daniel Day, the University’s director of news and editorial services, in response to a call about the Forbes listing. He referred, however, to a “broader” comment from University spokesperson Martin Mbugua, who noted that “We are pleased with the continued recognition for our quality of education, which is made accessible to all admitted students through our pioneering no-loan financial aid programКthat enables Princeton students to graduate debt-free,Кand the strength of the individual programs we offer. Still, we feel that no formulaic rankings can fully capture the distinctiveness of any institution, or determine which university might be an appropriate match for an individual student.”К
Ivy League schools dominate Forbes’s top ten listings. Yale is number five; Harvard, number six; and Columbia, number eight. At number 51, Cornell University was the only Ivy League institution not to make what Forbes described as “the elite top 50.”
Estimating the cost of attending “an elite private school” at “more than a quarter of a million dollars,” the article wondered whether attending a more affordable school like the College of William & Mary (number 40) or the University of California/Berkeley (number 50), which still cost around $100,000, is worth it. Forbes goes on to suggest that “for many students, the answer is probably not С unless they are accomplished enough to be accepted by one of the schools ranked near the top of our annual list of America’s 650 Top Colleges.”
Forbes reported that the college rankings were “compiled exclusively” for them by the Washington, D.C.-based Center of College and Affordability. Measures were taken of “the things that matter the most to students: quality of teaching, great career prospects, high graduation rates, and low-levels of debt.”
The numbers assigned by the center to five general categories included post graduate success, 32.5 percent; student satisfaction, 27.5 percent, debt, 17.5 percent; four-year graduation rate, 11.25 percent; and competitive awards, 11.25 percent. The complete methodology is available at http://centerforcollegeaffordability.org.
Other top ten institutions on this year’s Forbes list included the University of Chicago (number four); West Point (number seven); Pomona College (number nine); and Swarthmore (number ten). The University of Virginia (number 36) was the highest ranked public school.
Princeton University and the Forbes family have a long history together. Forbes College, one of six residential colleges at Princeton, was created in 1970, when what was previously the Princeton Inn was acquired by the University to create an undergraduate residential college. A gift from Malcolm Stevenson Forbes, Sr. (1919-1990, class of 1941) allowed for extensive renovations to the entire facility in 1984. Malcolm Stevenson Forbes was publisher of Forbes Magazine, which was founded by his father, Scottish financial journalist B.C. Forbes (1880-1954) The newly renovated residential college was named in honor of Malcolm S. Forbes, Jr. (class of 1970), who now runs the magazine.