Best College Rankings: No. 50 – 100

If you hadn’t already noticed, this is college rankings month.

US News & World Report, the big college rankings  gorilla, released its latest lists of the best liberal arts colleges and best universities earlier in August.  Forbes Magazine rolled out its best college list this month too and the Washington Monthly unveiled its picks for  best colleges a few days ago.

For all you college rankings junkies out there, here’s where you can find the latest results of the annual collegiate beauty pageants:

US News Best College Rankings

Washington Monthly College Rankings

Forbes Magazine’s Best Colleges Rankings

In a perfect world, there wouldn’t be such slavish attention to college rankings. Teenagers would look for schools that work for them academically and financially and pecking orders wouldn’t exist.

Of all the rankings, I like Forbes Magazine’s the best because the academics, who designed the methodology, have attempted to measure the type of learning experience students have in college and what kind of success they encounter getting jobs when they graduate. Strangely enough, US News doesn’t use these measures. The factor that US News weighs most heavily in its methodology is the institutional reputation of each school. To me, that’s just nuts.

If you’re interested, I wrote a post last year on Forbes’ college rankings for my blog over at CBSMoneyWatch:

The Best Colleges You’ve Never Heard Of

Frankly, I’m bored with always sharing the names of the colleges or universities, which manage to win the yearly rankings competitions, whether they deserve to or not, and in the process hog all the media attention.  So today, instead of sharing the names of the top 25 or 50 schools, I’m going to start at No. 50 — Lawrence University — and end at No. 100 — Washington & Jefferson College.

These schools come from the Forbes list, which ranks 610 top four-year colleges and universities. There are about 2,800 four-year colleges and universities in this country.

Forbes Best College List

50. Lawrence University (WI)

51. Colorado College

52. Georgetown University (Wash., DC)

53. Emory University (GA)

54. Bates College (ME)

55. Macalester College (MN)

56. Bucknell University(PA)

57. Brandeis University (MA)

58. Wofford College (SC)

59. Wheaton College (IL)

60. Virginia Military Institute

61. Lafayette College (PA)

62. University of North Carolina

63. Barnard College (NY)

64. DePauw University (IN)

65. University of California, Berkeley

66. Oberlin College (OH)

67. Dickinson College (PA)

68. Principia College (IL)

69. Reed College (OR)

70. Cornell University (NY)

71. UCLA  (CA)

72. Wake Forest University (NC)

73. Kalamazoo College (MI)

74. Hamilton College (NY)

75. Knox College (IL)

76. Washington University, St. Louis (MO)

77. Denison University (OH)

78. Grinnell College (IA)

79. Mount Holyoke College (MA)

80. Skidmore College (NY)

81. Westmount College (PA)

82. Juniata College (PA) (My daughter’s school)

83. Connecticut College (CT)

84. University of Richmond (VA)

85. St. Mary’s College of California (CA)

86. Occidental College (CA)

87. Sweet Briar College (VA)

88. Johns Hopkins University (MD)

90. Furman University (SC)

91. Drew University  (NJ)

92. University of Michigan

93. University of Florida

94. Cooper Union (NY)

95. Wells College (NY)

96. Trinity College (CT)

97. University of Illinois

98. Gustavus Adolphus College (MN)

99. Franklin and Marshall College (PA)

100. Washington & Jefferson College (PA)

Lynn O’Shaughnessy is the author of The College Solution and she also writes a college blog for CBSMoneyWatch.com. Follow me on Twitter.

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One Response to Best College Rankings: No. 50 – 100

  1. Linda August 29, 2010 at 5:58 pm #

    The Washington Monthly link declares itself to be the Sept 2006 issue. Are the rankings shown current?
    I love the contrast of the ratings from US News rankings, which are generally of little import anyway, since they value criteria potentially irrelevant to a college applicant.

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