NWC ranked among best by Forbes.com

Northwestern College is ranked as the sixth-best college in Iowa and 212th out of 600 top institutions in the second-annual America’s Best Colleges ranking by Forbes.com.

Forbes and the Center for College Affordability and Productivity (CCAP) analyzed what they viewed as the top 15 percent of the nation’s colleges and universities. In an article at Forbes.com, Richard Vedder and David Ewalt said those 600 colleges are ranked based on “the quality of the education they provide, the experience of the students, and how much they achieve.”

Forbes and CCAP’s methodology based 25 percent of the rankings on student satisfaction with their course instruction, as recorded on RateMyProfessors.com. Another 25 percent is based on post-graduate success, equally determined by the average salaries of graduates reported by Payscale.com and enrollment-adjusted entries in Who’s Who in America.

An additional 20 percent is based on the estimated average student debt after four years. One-sixth of the rankings are based on four-year college graduation rates. The last component is based on the number of students or faculty, adjusted for enrollment, who have won nationally competitive awards.

Only 14 Iowa colleges and universities were selected for the Forbes.com ranking. In addition to Northwestern, other colleges on the list were Cornell College, 105; Luther, 118; Clarke, 123; Grinnell, 142; Coe, 182; Simpson, 332; Central, 360; Dordt, 394; Iowa, 430; Wartburg, 540; Northern Iowa, 544; Drake, 551; and Iowa State, 587.