Forbes College Rankings: Stanford Top; Harvard, Yale, Bottom

Forbes college rankings were released today. Surprisingly, Harvard University dropped down the list to number eight. Two California colleges moved to the top: Stanford University at number one, and Pomona college to second place.

Forbes saw a major shift in the previous geographical balance, referring to the “rise of non-Ivy League, West Coast colleges.” It took issue with the recent rankings of US News & World Report, which placed Harvard and Princeton as equal number one.

The Forbes criteria was based on not what attracts students to enter a particular college but rather what the student got out of their time there. Forbes explained their concept thus: “We’re not all that interested in what gets a student into college, like our peers who focus heavily on selectivity metrics such as high school class rank and SAT scores. Our sights are set directly on ROI: What are students getting out of college.”

On this basis, it is easier to understand why Forbes selected Stanford and Pomona. Both colleges have a high student retention rate – 98% and 99% respectively – with average starting salaries for students ranging from around $49,000 to $58,000.

Here are Forbes’ college rankings for 2013:

1. Stanford University
2. Pomona College
3. Princeton University
4. Yale University
5. Columbia University
6. Swarthmore College
7. United States Military Academy
8. Harvard University
9. Williams College
10. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

How do you feel about Forbes college rankings? Are they fair and reasonable? You can have your say in the comments feed below.

Photo Credit: Forbes.com