Forbes ranks Goshen College 159th best college in the nation

GOSHEN, Ind. — In its first ratings of America’s Best Colleges, Forbes.comranked Goshen College 159th out of all U.S. colleges and universities, based on the quality of education provided, how much students achieve and several other key factors. Sixteen Indiana schools made the list, with Goshen placing seventh among them — ahead of such universities as Taylor, Butler, Ball State and Purdue.

President James E. Brenneman said that he was pleased that Goshen College placed so highly in the rankings, which 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 ratings.

“Outside rankings have their limitations, but they are part of being accountable so it’s satisfying to know that Goshen College stacks up well against peer private colleges as well as public universities that are much larger than Goshen,” Brenneman said. “I believe this high ranking demonstrates that Goshen College is providing an outstanding Christ-centered liberal arts education that emphasizes academic excellence as well as global citizenship and compassionate peacemaking.”

According to, the methodology of the rankings “attempts to put itself in a student’s shoes” by asking such questions as: How good will my professors be? Will the school help me achieve notable career success? If I have to borrow to pay for college, how deeply will I go into debt? What are the chances I will graduate in four years? Are students and faculty recognized nationally, or even globally?

Forbes based 25 percent of the rankings on seven million student evaluations of courses and instructors. Another 25 percent of the rankings depended on how many of the school’s alumni, adjusted for enrollment, were listed among the notable people in Who’s Who in America. The other half of the ranking were based equally on three factors: the average amount of student debt at graduation held by those who borrowed; the percentage of students graduating in four years; and the number of students or faculty, adjusted for enrollment, who have won nationally competitive awards.

The data show that students strongly prefer smaller schools to big ones. “Small liberal arts schools shine in our rankings,” said. “Probably due to both the quality of their faculty and the personal attention they can provide.”

According to the U.S. Department of Education, there are more than 4,000 college campuses in the United States and this ranking only included 569 undergraduate institutions, or the top 15 percent.

In releasing the rankings, conceded that the new list was intended to provide an alternative to the well-known annual ratings released by U.S News & World Report. also conceded there was an “inherent absurdity in ranking colleges and universities with mock precision from first to 569th,” especially when a student who does well at one outstanding college or university may struggle at another and it’s more important to match the student to the school.

“Nonetheless, we believe that these rankings reflect, in a very real way, the quality and cost of an undergraduate education at a wide range of American colleges and universities. And when families have to make a decision with a six-figure price tag and lifelong impact, we think they deserve all the information they can get,” said

The Indiana colleges and universities ranked above Goshen College and their positions were: Wabash College (12); DePauw University (47); Huntington University (65); University of Notre Dame (77), Earlham College (94) and Hanover College (132).

Institutions in the state ranked below Goshen College were: Indiana University, Bloomington (214); University of Evansville (252); Taylor University (308); St. Mary’s College (319); Butler University (333); IUPUI (448); Valparaiso University (460); Ball State University (461); and Purdue University, West Lafayette (487).

Professor Brenda Srof, chair of the Goshen College faculty and director of the graduate program in nursing, was quoted by as stating that Goshen College offers much to students.

“The unique integration of faith and academic life is great, as are the strength of the relationships between the faculty and the students, the low student-to-faculty ratio and faculty interest in both the academic and campus community,” Srof said. “The longstanding tradition based on the core value of college in international education and cross-cultural understanding is extremely important.”

Top rated Indiana colleges and universities by

No. 12 Wabash College
No. 47 DePauw University
No. 65 Huntington University
No. 77 University of Notre Dame
No. 94 Earlham College
No. 132 Hanover College
No. 159 Goshen College
No. 214 Indiana University, Bloomington
No. 252 University of Evansville
No. 308 Taylor University
No. 319 St. Mary’s College
No. 333 Butler University
No. 448 IUPUI
No. 460 Valparaiso University
No. 461 Ball State University
No. 487 Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Editors: For more information about this release, contact Goshen College News Bureau Director Jodi H. Beyeler at (574) 535-7572 or or Director of Public Relations Richard R. Aguirre at (574) 535-7571 (work), (574) 524-5946 (cell) or


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