NWC ranked among nation's best

Northwestern College is again ranked among the nation’s best colleges and universities by Forbes.com. Northwestern is ranked as the fifth-best Iowa college and 279th overall in the latest “America’s Top Colleges” ranking by Forbes.

Forbes included only 650 institutions in its rankings, which its website says are based on “educational outcomes, not reputations.” Compiled by the Center for College Affordability and Productivity, the rankings are influenced by “the things that matter the most to students: quality of teaching, great career prospects, graduation rates and low levels of debt,” according to Michael Noer, who authored the article about the study on Forbes’ website.

The rankings are based on five general categories: post-graduate success, which evaluates alumni pay and prominence; student satisfaction, which includes professor evaluations and freshman-to-sophomore-year retention rates; debt, which penalizes schools for high student debt loads and default rates; four-year graduation rate; and competitive awards, which rewards schools whose students go on to earn doctoral degrees or win prestigious scholarships and fellowships.

Forbes.com selected only 14 Iowa colleges and universities for their America’s Best Colleges list. The complete list of Iowa college rankings includes Grinnell College, 63; Luther, 124; University of Iowa, 269; Coe, 275; Northwestern College, 279; Cornell College, 286; Drake, 312; Wartburg, 378; Simpson, 401; Clarke, 405; Iowa State, 407; Dordt, 488; Central, 570; and University of Northern Iowa, 582.