Forbes ranks Northwestern as one of America's top colleges

Northwestern College is again ranked among the nation’s best colleges and universities by Northwestern is ranked as the eighth-best Iowa college and 417th overall in the 2013 “America’s Top Colleges” ranking by Forbes.

Forbes, in partnership with the Center for College Affordability and Productivity, included only 650 institutions in its rankings, which its website says are based on educational output. “We look at factors that directly concern today’s incoming students: Will my classes be interesting? Is it likely I will graduate in four years? Will I incur a ton of debt getting my degree? And once I get out of school, will I get a good job and be a leader in my chosen profession?” writes Caroline Howard, 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; student 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. selected only 14 Iowa colleges and universities for their America’s Best Colleges list, available at The complete list of Iowa college rankings includes Grinnell College, 64; Drake, 162; University of Iowa, 183; Iowa State, 232; Coe, 287; Cornell College, 288; Luther, 295; Northwestern College, 417; Clarke, 419; Central, 455; Dordt, 465; Simpson, 473; University of Northern Iowa, 519; and Wartburg, 545.