Northwestern College is listed among the top 15 percent of the nation’s colleges and universities and ranked the ninth-best college in Iowa in the third annual America’s Best Colleges ranking by Forbes.com.
Forbes and the Center for College Affordability and Productivity (CCAP) analyzed 610 institutions and ranked them based on “the quality of the education they provide, the experience of the students, and how much graduates achieve,” according to David Ewalt, who authored the article about the study on Forbes’ website.
Forbes and CCAP’s methodology based 30 percent of the rankings on post-graduate success, determined by the average salaries of graduates reported by Payscale.com and percentage of alumni listed in Who’s Who in America and on Forbes/CCAP Corporate Officers List. Another 28 percent is based on student satisfaction as indicated by freshman-to-sophomore retention rates and recorded on RateMyProfessors.com and MyPlan.com.
Eighteen percent is based on the estimated average student debt after four years, and another 18 percent is based on four-year college graduation rates. The last component is based on the number of students, adjusted for enrollment, who have won nationally competitive awards.
Forbes.com selected only 14 Iowa colleges and universities for their America’s Best Colleges list. Iowa colleges’ rankings range from 78th (Grinnell College) to 502nd (Iowa State University); Northwestern was ranked 387th. Others on the list were Central, Clarke, Coe, Cornell, Dordt, Drake, Iowa State, Luther, Simpson, the University of Iowa and Wartburg.