Lawrence ranked best in state

Carolyn Schultz

Forbes.com released its first annual “America’s Best Colleges” ranking In August. Forbes.com placed Lawrence University at 68th best in the country, making Lawrence the best-ranked school in the state of Wisconsin. The report, which ranks 569 undergraduate colleges and universities, was compiled by Richard Vedder of Ohio State University and the Center for College Affordability and Productivity. All of the big-name schools made the list, though not in the order one might expect.
The ranking methodology was designed so that the rankings would reflect what a student would deem important when choosing a college. Forbes.com and the CCAP gathered their information from the students themselves, basing a quarter of the rankings on professor evaluations posted on RateMyProfessors.com and another quarter on the achievements of alumni, specifically if they are noted in “Who’s Who in America.”
The rest of the ranking is equally weighted between the percentage of students who graduate in four years, the debt students owe at graduation and the national awards won by both students and faculty.
Those working for Forbes.com wished to create a report that would “reflect … the quality and cost of an undergraduate education at a wide range of American colleges” and to give families “all the information they can get.”
Forbes.com cited the report as being an “alternative” to U.S. News & World Report, which has traditionally dominated the field of college rankings.
While Lawrence tops the state, it is followed by Carroll University, ranked 96th, and Ripon College, ranked 109th. Only two Wisconsin state schools made the list: UW-Madison at 335th and UW-Milwaukee at 527th.
Surprisingly, finishing behind Lawrence are many big-name schools that have dominated other college rankings. These schools included the University of California – Berkley at 73rd, Georgetown at 76th, Johns Hopkins University at 81st, Vanderbilt at 105th, and Dartmouth at 127th.
Lawrence also topped other prominent Midwest schools, including Macalester, ranked 126th, and Washington University in St. Louis, ranked 146th.
The rankings show that students prefer smaller liberal arts schools that can provide personal attention from professors. With this in mind, it’s no surprise that Lawrence out-shone the competition.

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