In its 9th annual “America’s Top Colleges” ranking, Forbes has once again included Centre College among the best of the 660 colleges and universities nationwide it identifies as distinctive for emphasis on outputs over inputs.
Ranked #5 in the South among liberal arts colleges, Centre enjoys good company with peer institutions Davidson College, Washington & Lee University, Sewanee and Rhodes College.
On that same “Top 25 Southern Schools” list, Centre is ranked #18 overall when compared with much different and larger institutions like state universities in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Texas and Virginia; private universities Duke, Emory, Rice, SMU and Vanderbilt; and engineering-focused schools Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech.
Believing that ROI, or return on investment, matters most, Forbes focuses its methodology on what students are getting out of college, sensitive to the fact that “college has become one of the biggest financial decisions students and their families make.”
Five main categories are used to calculate the rankings: post-graduate success, student debt, student satisfaction, graduation rates and academic success.
The post-graduate success category includes earning data from PayScale.com, where Centre was recently ranked #1 in Kentucky, among all colleges and universities, and #41 in the nation among liberal arts colleges.
In a complementary ranking released along with the “Top Colleges” list, Centre is #40 in the nation in the “Grateful Grads” ranking that looks at private donations and gifts per student over a decade-long period. Among these “Top 200 Show-Me-the-Money Schools,” only two Southern liberal arts institutions—Davidson and Washington & Lee—are ranked higher, earning Centre a ranking of #3 in the South.
This matches the #3 in the South ranking received this past April in Forbes’ first-ever “Best Value Colleges” list, where Centre was also ranked #27 in the nation among liberal arts colleges.
As part of the “Top Colleges” ranking, Forbes also assigns each institution a financial grade, for which Centre received an A.
Unlike other rankings, Forbes does not use the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education that parse out institutions of differing sizes or focus, or those dedicated strictly to an undergraduate, liberal arts degree as opposed to institutions with graduate or professional degree programs. As such, Centre comes in at #100 in the nation among all institutions of higher education considered for the “America’s Top Colleges” list.
by Michael Strysick
July 8, 2016