Forbes College Rankings 2009

The 2009 Forbes college rankings were released yesterday and are causing quite a stir on the Internet. Find out which school made the top of the list and how the new methodology impacted the rankings of America's Best Colleges.


West Point

Forbes Magazine released their long awaited list of America's Best Colleges yesterday. The U.S. Military Academy, or West Point, climbed from number six on the 2008 list to the number one spot in the Forbes college rankings of 2009.

Last year's top ranked school, Princeton University, was bumped to the number two spot. The rest of the top five included California Institute of Technology, Williams College and Harvard University.

Forbes College Rankings 2009*

1United States Military Academy$0
2Princeton University$49,380
3California Institute of Technology$48,990
4Williams College $49,530
5Harvard University$50,250
6Wellesley College$50,026
7United States Air Force Academy $0
8Amherst College$50,230
9Yale University$51,400
10Stanford University$51,760

*See the full list of American's Best Colleges on

West Point's tremendous climb up the list may seem surprising, but there is a clear reason for the rank upheaval. Forbes established a new ranking methodology for the Forbes college rankings of 2009.

The new system bases rankings on a very specific set of criteria. According to the new system, 25% of the college rankings are based on student evaluations from the website Another 25% is based on how many of the colleges' alumni, are listed in Forbes' Who's Who in America publication. The final 50% is based equally on three other factors: percentage of students who graduate in four years, average amount of student debt, and number of faculty and students who have won national awards.

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