Using a scale that focuses on what students get out of college — and not who gets in — Forbes magazine has ranked the University of Washington 11th in the nation among public universities.
Among all universities and colleges, both public and private, the UW ranked 55th nationally.
The top two schools were Stanford University and Pomona College, and the best state university was the University of California, Berkeley.
“Here is what makes this shift so significant: It may splinter the grip of the East Coast Establishment colleges and open up a more diverse, accessible portfolio of best schools for students,” the editors wrote in their introduction to the list.
Forbes partnered with the Center for College Affordability and Productivity, a Washington, D.C.- based nonprofit, to create the list. Forbes said its rankings “pointedly ignore any metrics that would encourage schools to engage in wasteful spending.”
The editors wrote: “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.”
Although the magazine didn’t single out U.S. News & World Report, the comment was almost certainly a dig at the rival magazine’s methodology. U.S. News has been criticized for rewarding colleges that spend more money and accept fewer students.
In August 2012, Washington Monthly — a national news magazine — ranked the UW 8th nationally, among all colleges and universities. The UW scored well on a new measure: the cost of attending school there. Washington Monthly has been on a decade-long campaign to raise questions about how colleges are ranked, with a particular focus on U.S. News & World Report’s rankings.