The Ivy Coach Daily

September 18, 2022

Forbes 2022 College Ranking

While US News & World Report grabs most of the headlines, Forbes also publishes a college ranking.

We know, we know. It’s like watching the U.S. Open after Serena was ousted in her third match. The Forbes annual college ranking doesn’t exactly have the gravitas of US News’ annual list. In tennis terms, maybe the Forbes ranking is Venus. Sorry, Venus. But it’s a slow news day in college admissions so we’ll report on the Forbes ranking nonetheless. Topping this year’s chart after the publication redesigned its methodology? The Massachusetts Institute of Technology — for the first time in the institution’s history. Other headlines? Harvard University didn’t even rank in the top ten, a fall from grace mostly due to its retention rate — a retention rate skewed by the pandemic. At the height of the pandemic, in the fall of 2022, only 76% of then first-year Harvard students returned to the school that next academic year due to leaves of absences (this was particularly the case for international students). Yale University also plummeted six slots in this year’s Forbes ranking, largely due to its 65% retention rate on account of the pandemic. MIT, on the other hand, saw a 98% retention rate that fall.

Wondering which other universities scored well in this year’s Forbes ranking? Behind MIT comes Stanford University (#2), University of California, Berkeley (#3), Princeton University (#4), Columbia University (#5), University of California, Los Angeles (#6), Williams College (#7), Yale University (#8), Duke University (#9), University of Pennsylvania (#10), Northwestern University (#11), Rice University (#12), Vanderbilt University (#13), Dartmouth College (#14), Harvard University (#15), Cornell University (#16), University of California, San Diego (#17), Johns Hopkins University (#18), Brown University (#19), University of Chicago (#20), University of Southern California (#21), Georgetown University (#22), University of California, Davis (#23), Amherst College (#24), University of Michigan (#25), University of Florida (#26), Washington University in St. Louis (#27), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (#28), University of Virginia (#29), and University of California Irvine (#30).

But just how valuable is a college ranking that lists Harvard at #15? Or Columbia, a school scarred by a college rankings reporting scandal this year, at #5? Or the California Institute of Technology, a school that regularly appears in the top ten of the US News ranking and has even topped the ranking on more than one occasion, at #45? Or Barnard College at #71, behind North Carolina State University, Raleigh? Oy vey is right. Or Pomona College below New Jersey Institute of Technology? In what world? Or Tulane University behind San Jose State University? That’s cute. The fact is, if Forbes really wants to create clickbait with an annual college ranking, they might consider mixing up its methodology yet again because this year’s ranking, well, it’s just plain silly.

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