8/3/2011 12:01 PM ET|
America's top colleges for 2011
Forbes releases its annual lists of top-quality undergraduate institutions and colleges where you'll get the most value for your dollar.
Our annual ranking of the 650 best undergraduate institutions focuses on the things that matter the most to students: quality of teaching, great career prospects, graduation rates and low levels of debt.
Unlike other lists of top colleges, we pointedly ignore ephemeral measures such as school reputation and ill-conceived metrics that reward wasteful spending. We try to 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 rankings are prepared exclusively for Forbes by the Center for College Affordability and Productivity, a Washington, D.C., think tank founded by Ohio University economist Richard Vedder.
For the second year in a row, Williams College, a small liberal-arts school in Massachusetts, has been named as the best undergraduate institution in America. With total annual costs adding up to nearly $55,000, a Williams education is certainly not cheap, but the 2,000 undergraduates there have among the highest four-year graduation rates in the country, win loads of prestigious national awards like Rhodes and Marshall scholarships, and are often rewarded with high-paying careers.
In second place? Princeton University, which boasts nearly nonexistent student debt rates due to one of the most generous financial-aid programs in the nation. Outside of Princeton and Harvard (No. 6), Ivy League schools fare relatively poorly, suggesting that their reputations might be a bit overblown. Yale (No. 14), Brown (No. 21) and Dartmouth (No. 30) crack the top 5%, but the other Ivies -- Columbia (No. 42), Cornell (No. 51) and the University of Pennsylvania (No. 52) -- do not.
Because of our emphasis on financial prudence, the zero-cost military service academies rank highly. The U.S. Military Academy at West Point, which topped the list two years ago, ranks third this time, thanks to outstanding teaching and high alumni salaries, while the Air Force Academy (No. 10) and the Naval Academy (No. 17) glide easily into the top 20. Even the less-prestigious academies -- the Coast Guard (No. 97) and the Merchant Marine (No. 158) -- score well.
Aside from the academies, the highest-ranked public school is the University of Virginia (No. 46), followed closely by the College of William and Mary (No. 49) and UCLA (No. 55).
The rankings are based on five general categories: postgraduate success (30%), which evaluates alumni pay and prominence; student satisfaction (27.5%), which includes professor evaluations and freshman-to-sophomore retention rates; debt (17.5%), which penalizes schools for high student debt loads and default rates; four-year graduation rates (17.5%); and competitive awards (7.5%), which rewards schools whose students win prestigious scholarships and fellowships like the Rhodes, the Marshall and the Fulbright.
In addition to the overall rankings, the Center for College Affordability and Productivity also prepares a "value" ranking that takes into account the overall cost of each school as relative to the quality of the education provided. Predictably, the service academies also dominate this "best buy" list, nabbing the top three spots: West Point, the Air Force Academy and the Naval Academy, in that order.
New York City's Cooper Union, which grants full scholarships to every student, snags the No. 4 value slot (overall ranking: No. 154), with the College of the Ozarks (No. 6 in value, No. 191 overall) and the University of Wyoming (No. 10 in value, No. 361 overall) also giving students amazing value for their educational buck.
|Best colleges for the money: The top 10|
|Rank||School||Total annual cost||Student population||SAT range||Applicants admitted|
|1||U.S. Military Academy||Free||4,621||1140-1350||14%|
|2||U.S. Air Force Academy||Free||4,620||1230-1380||17%|
|3||U.S. Naval Academy||Free||4,552||1140-1360||10%|
|4||Cooper Union (N.Y.)||Free||995||1220-1510||7%|
|5||U.S. Merchant Marine Academy||$7,281||982||N/A||38%|
|6||College of the Ozarks (Mo.)||$8,776||1,347||N/A||9%|
|8||U.S. Coast Guard Academy||$4,600||973||1150-1360||25%|
|9||Brigham Young University, Idaho||$12,920||14,944||990-1230||97%|
|10||University of Wyoming||$24,886*||12,427||970-1220||97%|
|*Out-of-state tuition; in-state students pay $16,576|
See the full list of "best buy" colleges
|Forbes' best colleges: The top 10|
|Rank||School||Total annual cost||Student population||SAT range||Applicants admitted|
|3||U.S. Military Academy||Free||4,621||1140-1350||14%|
|8||University of Chicago||$57,590||15,094||1400-1560||27%|
|10||U.S. Air Force Academy||Free||4,620||1230-1380||17%|
|See the full list of America's best colleges|
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
Two hints ........
1. There are only 7, no more, no less.
2. Those 7 continents, including exactly where one ends & another begins, have a HIGHLY universal acceptance, nothing to do with your "US Only" claim. And as far as you being some type of Professor, you most definitely AREN'T, judging by your inept posts ... or your degree came from a diploma mill, mail order college, or Cracker Jack box. And ANY of those would make it VERY difficult to get a Professor posistion at almost any respectable university
Why do people like you try to insult other peoples intelligence, when only a half-dozen sentences from people like you prove beyond a doubt that their words are lies. The internet is the WORST place to go bragging about your non-existent education & lack of actual knowledge on some certain subject. Yet, some people just can not, or will not, allow themselves to understand that fact. The reason is that on the internet, when you go making false claims, someone who actually IS knowledgable of the specific subject will quickly see through your crap, put you in your place (even if you don't realize it), & show exactly how & where you are wrong, WITH reliable documentation & sources to back their words up.
I have neither a special place in my heart for Iowa, nor do I dislike Iowa. I have never been there. Based on most of the ratings, The U. of Iowa is a good school, and while the community colleges in California might be good relative to other community college systems, I doubt highly that they would surpass U. of Iowa.
With regards to your comments that Iowa is a joke, many Iowans might find your criticism of their state rather humorous. You mean that people that live in any given state such as Iowa, California, or any of the other 48 (not 55 as spoken by Obama -- you slammed Bush after all), shouldn't feel that their state is #1? Are you not aware that in the United States that unless you're a felon, you have the freedom to live wherever you want? There must've been something more attractive in Iowa than you're previous Shangri-la for you to move going kicking and screaming. Shangri-la's education system must be pretty weak as well since you believe that the community college tuition came free. Nothing is free, someone has to pay. I would lay odds that the fees for the "free tuition" you tout was funded by either property, sales or income taxes. And saying that poverty is the main reason for deteriorating education is nothing more than a red herring, it's the unwillingness to accept personal responsibility and the deterioration of the family unit which has historically provided the moral support system.
P.S. - Since I don't stay online all day long reading every detail of everyone's messages, your mistake of not using an apostrophe for the possessive its (as in it's known for corn) went unchallenged initially. You also didn't use any commas in the sentence beginning "I find it depressing ...".
You posted the following:
"When you're in college it is ultimately your responsibility to learn. Teachers are there to guide you, but whether you learn or not is highly depended upon the person trying to gain knowledge, in this case you. The teachers give you books and guides for a reason. Maybe before you start criticizing a state's education you better take a good look at how portray what you have learned because quite frankly, with an answer like that you haven't learned squat. You are the epitome of a retard. And there's a good saying that states "It's better to close your mouth and let people think you're a fool, than to open it and remove all doubt." You should try that sometimes, especially when you don't have a clue what you're talking about."
I offer these corrections:
- Teachers are there to guide you, so whether or not you lean is highly dependent upon the person trying to gain knowledge, and in this case; you.
- Maybe before you start criticizing a states’ education you had better take a good look at how to portray what you have learned because; quite frankly, with an answer like that you have learned squat.
- You should try that sometime, especially when you do not have a clue as to what you are talking about.
BYU is only one of the 'best colleges for the money' if you are willing to accept the cult teachings that they push. Not that they are TOO far out there but my brother joined the morman church, or 'latter day saints', about 3-1/2 years ago and now has had his marriage 'sealed' etc., (had to do that instead of coming to our grandmothers funeral) so when judgment day comes he doesn't have to go to heaven. Nope, God will make him a god and give him his own planet to be 'god' over. And since his marriage is 'sealed' his wife will spend eternity with him producing spiritual babies that get to spend eternity worshipping him! Yeah, that's the school I want to send my kids to! The one that teaches that! (we wont even go into the mormon history of polygamy, child molesting, I mean 'marriage', etc.)
But if you are a megalomaniac with a narcissistic personality disorder that thinks you get to become a god, steals from your brother, lies about it, and when the brother proves it, makes up even more outrageous stories that are also proven to be lies..................hey, send your kids there. It's way cheaper than a real school like BAMA. And at BYU they won't LET your kids question your lies, much less teach them to like they would at a real school. And with a 97% acceptance rate, BYU obviously accepts pretty much anyone crazy enough to believe their fantasies. So what the heck, it's only your childrens futures at stake.
Obviously enough, this post is VERY specifically directed. But my whack-ball brother greg really does believe that craziness.
My son graduated from USNA last yr and wanting to do his career in the Navy was denied that privilege. They separated him after his first yr due to no fault of his own, bottom line a trim the budget down move. After he received his notice, the next day 3 other USNA grads that were also let go decided to take a picture of the 4 of them with the caption " Thank you US government for spending 1 mil on our education, we appreciate it".
After watching his experience with the re-designation board, IMHO, they let the brighter ones go, ex. my son graduated with honors, another a computer engineer who requested IT was let go. They keep the not so bright ones, ex. a grad that barely made it thru only with the help of classmates and staff could not make it thru API, couldn't pass a test was re-des. to IT, go figure.
Mine is SFSU (San Francisco State University), and I received a BA in Political Science, I'm hoping to learn about a specific region of the world, and I'm taking that region's language. I will hopefully start my Master's Program in Political Science as well this semester. I could've went with the popular subjects right now, which is finance/business/accounting (basically anything to do with money, due to the economic collapse), but I wasn't into that-I was into Politics.
The only thing I worry about is not making enough money in order to pay back my school loans and become independent of the government, but in an economic climate that will take years to develop again, I don't know if it will happen.
Some folks decide that they really want to aim for a specific career which requires much schooling. I wanted to teach college math; that takes 10 years after high shool, the tuition for which I worried about very much. Students at the Service Academies very frequently have specific career ambitions which they could not otherwise afford to pursue.
Just...for crying out loud, how about a little optimism, folks? I hate these statistics, too, but they have their uses. I think it's admirable that an 18 year old would be thinking further than next weekend.
You need to go back to school and take a good Geography class. "CENTRAL AMERICA IS NOT....... PLEASE READ....... "IS NOT PART OF NORTH AMERICA" thanks
i'm also a CE major, but have several years to go. what's the oulook like? any specializations that seem hotter than others? just curious. thanks
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
RECENT ARTICLES ON COLLEGE SAVINGS
The Fed's latest statement confirms that it won't be coming to the rescue of depositors soon, but these institutions are worth following anyway.
MUST-SEE ON MSN
- Video: Easy DIY smoked meats at home
A charcuterie master shares his process for cold-smoking meat at home.
- Jetpacks about to go mainstream
- Weird things covered by home insurance
- Bing: 70 percent of adults report 'digital eye strain'