Goshen College is ranked in the top 4.5 percent of U.S. colleges and universities

GOSHEN, Ind. – Goshen College ranks in the top 4.5 percent of U.S. colleges and universities, according to Forbes magazine and the Center for College Affordability and Productivity (CCAP).

In its second annual ratings of America’s Best Colleges, Goshen College placed 177th on an elite list of 600 institutions – selected from more than 4,000 U.S. colleges and universities – based on its quality of education, affordability, student satisfaction, achievements by alumni and several other factors.

Forbes and CCAP ranked Goshen as the 43rd best college in the Midwest and the 113th best liberal arts college in the United States. Goshen also placed 21st among the top 25 Best Value Midwestern Colleges and 138th on the national list of the 200 Best Value Colleges. The latter ranking put Goshen ahead of such prestigious institutions as Harvard University, Wellesley College, the University of Notre Dame and Williams College.

Sixteen Indiana schools made the top 600 list, with Goshen placing seventh among them – ahead of such fine universities as Indiana University, Bloomington, University of Evansville, Butler, Taylor, Purdue and Ball State. Of the16 ranked Indiana colleges and universities, Goshen College was ranked fourth in affordability.

President James E. Brenneman said Goshen’s high rankings are a tribute to the college’s core values as well as its hard-working students, faculty members and staff and its generous supporters.

“Goshen seeks to provide an outstanding Christ-centered liberal arts education that emphasizes academic excellence and excellent student outcomes,” Brenneman said. “These ratings are a reflection of those values, the outstanding work by students, faculty and staff and the prayers and generosity of our alumni and friends.

“At the same time, it’s important to keep ratings in context because what may be the right college for one student may not be for another. Still, ratings are part of being accountable to prospective students and their parents, and we are pleased that Goshen stacks up so well compared to the very best private colleges and public universities,” Brenneman said.

The ratings were released earlier this month by Forbes, a major U.S. publishing, media and online company that is well known for its business publications as well as its annual listings and rankings, and the Center for College Affordability and Productivity of Washington, D.C., which conducts research on higher education issues.

According to Forbes and CCAP, America’s Best College rankings are focused on measuring how well colleges meet student needs: “While some college rankings are based partly on school reputation as evaluated by college administrators and on the amount of money spent, we focus on things which directly concern incoming students: Will my courses be interesting and rewarding? Will I get a good job after I graduate? Is it likely I will graduate in four years? Will I incur a ton of debt getting my degree?”

To address those questions, Forbes and CCAP based 25 percent of its rankings on 4 million student evaluations of courses and instructors, as recorded on the Web site RateMyProfessors.com. Another 25 percent was based on post-graduate success, equally determined by enrollment-adjusted entries in Who’s Who in America, and by the average salaries of graduates reported by Payscale.com. An additional 20 percent was based on the estimated average student debt after four years. One-sixth of the rankings were based on four-year college graduation rates – half of that being the actual graduation rate, the other half the gap between the average rate and a predicted rate based on characteristics of the school. The last component was based on the number of students or faculty, adjusted for enrollment, winning nationally competitive awards.

Liberal arts colleges and private schools dominated the rankings; 46 of the top 50 schools are private and only one of the top 50 is a traditional state university.

As in the release of its initial rankings last year, Forbes and CCAP conceded that its new list is intended to provide an alternative to the well-known annual ratings released by U.S News & World Report. Forbes also acknowledged that no ranking system is perfect.

“Of course, some readers may disagree with the way we construct our rankings or the weights we apply to the data. Or they may want to consider other variables, such as campus crime rates or SAT scores,” according to Forbes.

In addition, Forbes and CCAP also stated, “It is important to note that if a school appears on this list at all, that indicates it meets a certain level of quality. The last school on our ranking is by no means the worst school in the nation.”

According to the U.S. Department of Education, there are more than 4,000 college campuses in the United States. Forbes and CCAP evaluated only 600 of the top undergraduate institutions, or 15 percent.

Although Goshen placed higher, at 159th, in the 2008 rankings, it achieved a higher numerical score this year – 48.94 versus 47.82 points. Scores for the top 600 institutions this year ranged from a high of 87.12 to a low of 14.34 points.

The Indiana colleges and universities ranked above Goshen College and their ratings were: Wabash College, 32; DePauw University, 47; University of Notre Dame, 50; Earlham College, 91; Huntington University, 97; and Hanover College, 133.

Indiana institutions ranked below Goshen College were: Indiana University, Bloomington, 266; University of Evansville, 303; Butler University, 329; Taylor University, 355; Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, 404; St. Mary’s College, 435; Purdue University, West Lafayette, 507; Ball State University, 513; and Valparaiso University, 520.

Learn more at www.forbes.com or www.centerforcollegeaffordability.org.

– By Richard R. Aguirre

TOP RANKED INDIANA COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES

Rankings by Forbes.com for 2009 (and 2008 rankings in parentheses) and costs, including tuition, fees, room and board, books and other expenses.

No. 32, Wabash College (12) – $37,7550

No. 47, DePauw University (42) – $42,175

No. 50, University of Notre Dame (77) – $49,030

No. 91, Earlham College (94) – $42,694

No. 97, Huntington University (65) – $29,390

No. 133, Hanover College (132) – $35,120

No. 177, Goshen College (159) – $32,290

No. 266, Indiana University, Bloomington (214) – $36,343

No. 303, University of Evansville (252) – $36,875

No. 329, Butler University (333) – $40,526

No. 335, Taylor University (308) – $33,498

No. 404, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (448) – $18,495

No. 435, St. Mary’s College (319) – $39,948

No. 507, Purdue University, West Lafayette (487) – $34,294

No. 513, Ball State University (461) – $18,700

No. 520, Valparaiso University (460) – $37,410

Editors: For more information about this release, contact Goshen College News Bureau Director Jodi H. Beyeler at (574) 535-7572 or jodihb@goshen.edu, or Director of Public Relations Richard R. Aguirre at (574) 535-7571 or rraguirre@goshen.edu.

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Goshen College, established in 1894, is a residential Christian liberal arts college rooted in the Anabaptist-Mennonite tradition. The college’s Christ-centered core values – passionate learning, global citizenship, compassionate peacemaking and servant-leadership – prepare students as leaders for the church and world. Recognized for its unique Study-Service Term program, Goshen has earned citations of excellence in Barron’s Best Buys in Education, “Colleges of Distinction,” “Making a Difference College Guide” and U.S. News & World Report‘s “America’s Best Colleges” edition, which named Goshen a “least debt college.” Visit www.goshen.edu.

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