Forbes released its 2013 college rankings today, placing California schools Stanford University and Pomona College in the top two spots and moving Harvard University down towards the bottom of the top 10.
Forbes notes that there are many major shifts currently happening in higher education, but one overlooked change may be “the rise of non-Ivy League, West Coast colleges.” With an apparent dig at U.S. News & World Report’s rankings — which most recently had Harvard and Princeton tied at the top spot — Forbes writes that they are looking at “output” over “input.”
We’re not all that interested in what gets a student into college, like our peers who focus heavily on selectivity metrics such as high school class rank and SAT scores. Our sights are set directly on ROI: What are students getting out of college.
This might help explain the selection of the top two schools. Forbes notes that Stanford and Pomona both stand out as schools with high retention rates — 98% and 99% — and average starting salaries for graduates — $58,200 and $49,200.
Although U.S. News releases separate lists for universities and liberal arts colleges, Forbes pits the schools against each other, causing smaller schools like Swarthmore College to beat out Harvard and MIT. Williams College, the top liberal arts school on U.S. News’ rankings, places third for the smaller schools on Forbes’ list and ninth overall.
Here are Forbes’ top 10 schools for 2013:
- Stanford University
- Pomona College
- Princeton University
- Yale University
- Columbia University
- Swarthmore College
- United States Military Academy
- Harvard University
- Williams College
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology
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