Forbes College Rankings

2008 marked the first year that Forbes entered the college ranking fray. They choose to use a methodology that included the following percentages: Listing of Alumni in the 2008 Who’s Who in America (25 percent); student evaluations of professors from Ratemyprofessors.com (25 percent); four-year graduation rates (16 2/3 percent); enrollment-adjusted numbers of students and faculty receiving nationally competitive awards (16 2/3 percent); average four year accumulated student debt of those borrowing money (16 2/3 percent). They did not break colleges down into different schools as U.S. News does, but instead choose to separate private and public colleges instead.

Complete College Rankings

Methodology: In conjunction with Dr. Richard Vedder, an economist at Ohio University, and the Center for College Affordability and Productivity (CCAP), Forbes inaugurated its first ranking of America’s Best Colleges in 2008. They based 25 percent of their rankings on seven million student evaluations of courses and instructors, as recorded on the Web site RateMyProfessors.com. Another 25 percent depended upon how many of the school’s alumni, adjusted for enrollment, are listed among the notable people in Who’s Who in America. The other half of the ranking was based equally on three factors: the average amount of student debt at graduation held by those who borrowed; the percentage of students graduating in four years; and the number of students or faculty, adjusted for enrollment, who have won nationally competitive awards like Rhodes Scholarships or Nobel Prizes. CCAP ranked only the top 15 percent or so of all undergraduate institutions.

Top Private Colleges

This is a digital slide show of the top twenty-five private colleges compiled from the complete college rankings listed above. Each college slide reveals its overall rank, cost, class size, student to faculty ratio, SAT and ACT ranges, percentage of applicants admitted, application deadline and early admission dates. Cost includes tuition, room and board, books, fees and other expenses.

Top Public Colleges

This is a digital slide show of the top twenty-five public colleges compiled from the complete college rankings listed above. Each college slide reveals its overall rank, cost, class size, student to faculty ratio, SAT and ACT ranges, percentage of applicants admitted, application deadline and early admission dates. Cost includes tuition, room and board, books, fees and other expenses.

America’s 50 Best Colleges

This link takes you to a digital slide show of the top fifty colleges compiled from the complete college rankings listed above. Each college slide reveals its cost, class size, student to faculty ratio, SAT and ACT ranges, percentage of applicants admitted, application deadline and early admission dates. Cost includes tuition, room and board, books, fees and other expenses.

Featured Colleges

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) has a CollegeNavigator tool that we used to help us gather some of the top ranked colleges in the U.S. with programs that can be completed entirely online. Below is a list of accredited schools that have a wide selection of online certificate, undergraduate, and graduate degrees for students to choose from (source: NCES.ED.gov: CollegeNavigator, data 2018).

American InterContinental University
American InterContinental University
American InterContinental University — "Serious about success? With your busy schedule and the desire to move your career forward, at AIU, the Serious U™, you can earn an accredited associate, bachelors or master’s degree at a pace that works for you anywhere, anytime, 24/7. American InterContinental University® is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission."
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Antioch University
Antioch University
Antioch University — "Serious about success? With your busy schedule and the desire to move your career forward, at AIU, the Serious U™, you can earn an accredited associate, bachelors or master’s degree at a pace that works for you anywhere, anytime, 24/7. American InterContinental University® is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission."
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Colorado State University - Global Campus
Colorado State University - Global Campus
Colorado State University - Global Campus — "At CSU-Global, our mission is to provide academically authoritative, career-focused online degree and certificate programs in an adaptive environment beyond traditional higher education models. Designed for working adults, our professionally relevant degrees undergo continual evaluation to ensure alignment with fast-changing market and industry practices and innovation."
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Florida Institute of Technology
Florida Institute of Technology
Florida Institute of Technology — "What we are is a private, coeducational, residential, research-intensive, doctoral granting university located in the beautiful City of Melbourne on Florida’s sunny “Space Coast.” We are a community of researchers, scholars and learners hailing from all around the world. We are engineers, aviators, innovators, leaders, educators, athletes and astronauts. We are Florida Tech."
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Grantham University
Grantham University
Grantham University — "Grantham delivers a high quality, relevant education and offers exceptional flexibility, accessibility and affordability to deserving, working adults trying to better their lives. You do your part by working hard to earn your degree. And we do ours by providing you an exceptional Grantham experience that leads to an even more amazing career."
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Johnson & Wales University
Johnson & Wales University
Johnson & Wales University — "As a student at Johnson & Wales University College of Online Education, you’ll benefit from competitively priced tuition, small class sizes, personal advising, financial assistance options, flexible credit transfer policies and the opportunity to learn from faculty who bring years of expertise, experience, and mentorship to your education - all in our convenient online format."
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Northcentral University
Northcentral University
Northcentral University — "Northcentral University is a premier online graduate university and a global leader in providing unprecedented access to U.S. regionally accredited higher education. We hold all members of our community to the highest ethical standards of professional and academic conduct and the rules and regulations of U.S. higher education."
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South University
South University
South University — "South University is a private academic institution that offers focused and balanced curricula at the associate’s, baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral levels. A broad-based core curriculum is offered, promoting critical thinking, effective verbal and written communication, and skills for life-long learning."
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University of Wisconsin Colleges Flex
University of Wisconsin Colleges Flex
University of Wisconsin Colleges Flex — "The UW Flexible Option is a self-paced, competency-based education format that allows busy adult learners to start any month, study at their own pace, and earn credit using their existing knowledge. To maintain rigorous academic standards, distinguished UW System faculty oversee all aspects of UW Flexible Option programs. Several programs are available in this flexible format, and more are on the way."
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Walden University
Walden University
Walden University — "As a student at Walden, you can participate in online courses on a weekly basis whenever it’s convenient for you; gain practical experience through in-person academic residencies or virtual field experiences; collaborate with expert faculty and fellow students around the corner or around the world; and find the support you need when you need it 24/7."
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