Forbes Ranks Valley Colleges in Report

By Melissa Crash

Published 07/31 2014 04:23PM

Updated 07/31 2014 10:19PM

A new report ranks what students are really getting out of the college experience, as opposed to how they got accepted.

Forbes partnered with the Center of College Affordability and Productivity to compile a list that focuses on 650 schools, and compares them to specific factors like graduation rates, student satisfaction, and post-graduate success.

Is college really worth it? A question many people have, but aren't sure how to answer. The Forbes list of the top 650 colleges has officials at ISU looking at their output, rather than input.

Tradara Mclaurine, with the ISU Career Center said, "We can't improve until we really know what the students are wanting. So if the students are participating in those surveys and providing honest feedback, we know what we need to do to make sure we are meeting those needs."

17 Indiana colleges made the cut. IU and Purdue ranked close to the top 100, with ISU ranking 647. But officials say, many factors weigh into those calculations.

"We have a first destination survey that we encourage our graduates to participate in, so then that way we can see where they are in regards to their job search at graduation, after graduation, and six months out," said Mclaurine.

Student loan debt was one of the major components on the list. John Beacon, the Vice President of Enrollment, Marketing and Communications at ISU says, he see's Indiana State relatively affordable compared to the others.

"Average cost of the schools in the top fifty is about 60,000 dollars a year, that's two thirds of the cost to come to Indiana State," said Beacon.

Whether or not students transfer out, is also a major indicator when it comes to student success.

But college rankings aren't the most important thing officials take into account.

"But at the same time, we're not making decisions based on weather or not we would be in or out of Forbes magazine," said Beacon.

The proof is in the ranking, and improvement is the next step.

"We're not satisfied where they are, but we continue to strive to make them better," said Beacon.

Universities making the cut in Illinois, are Northwestern University ranking number 19th.

While University of Illinois in Champaign ranked 68th.

Depaul, Illinois State, and a few more colleges landed spots on the list.

Click here for the complete list.

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