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Grist For The Discussion Mill

Forbes is offering, as an alternative to the monopoly on college rankings established by U.S. News & World Report, its own hierarchy of the institutions of higher education in America. The magazine claims to use a formula that "ranks 569 undergraduate institutions based on the quality of the education they provide, and how much their students achieve." Unlike the U.S. News approach, this list does not put research universities and liberal arts colleges into separate categories. I'm pleased to see my own alma mater is ensconced among the top five, but surely the surprisingly poor placement of some very highly regarded schools will make this list quite controversial. Here are the top 50 from Forbes with a few others of note included:

1. Princeton University 2. California Institute of Technology 3. Harvard University 4. Swarthmore College 5. Williams College 6. United States Military Academy 7. Amherst College 8. Wellesley College 9. Yale University 10. Columbia University 11. Northwestern University 12. Wabash College 13. Centre College 14. Massachusetts Institute of Technology 15. Bowdoin College 16. United States Air Force Academy 17. Middlebury College 18. University of Chicago 19. Smith College 20. Pomona College 21. Wesleyan University 22. Haverford College 23. Stanford University 24. Hamilton College 25. Sarah Lawrence College 26. Barnard College 27. Brown University 28. Whitman College 29. New College of Florida 30. Brandeis University 31. Vassar College 32. Boston College 33. Bryn Mawr College 34. Kenyon College 35. Franklin and Marshall College 36. United States Naval Academy 37. Colby College 38. Washington and Lee University 39. Westminster College 40. Claremont McKenna College 41. Rice University 42. Cooper Union 43. University of Virginia 44. Colgate University 45. Bates College 46. Knox College 47. DePauw University 48. Tufts University 49. College of William and Mary 50. Hampden-Sydney College 51. Oberlin College 58. Trinity College 60. Connecticut College 61. University of Pennsylvania 66. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill 70. Mount Holyoke College 71. Cornell College 73. University of California, Berkeley 74. Colorado College 76. Georgetown University 77. University of Notre Dame 79. College of the Holy Cross 80. Duke University 81. Johns Hopkins University 82. Emory University 84. Dickinson College 86. Bucknell University 92. Skidmore College


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