Brown U. is No. 21 on Forbes’ list of America’s Best Colleges

Everyone’s loves a good list, so here’s one passed along by a colleague: Brown University is No. 21 on Forbes magazine’s annual ranking of America’s best colleges. It placed fourth-highest among the eight Ivies.

Further down the list are Providence College (#156), the University of Rhode Island (#375), Roger Williams University (#477), Johnson & Wales University (#542) and Rhode Island College (#571).

The list is prepared for Forbes the Center for College Affordability and Productivity in Washington, D.C. Here’s how the group comes up with its rankings:

The rankings are based on five general categories: Post Graduate success (30%), which evaluates alumni pay and prominence, Student Satisfaction (27.5%), which includes professor evaluations and freshman to sophomore year retention rates, Debt (17.5%), which penalizes schools for high student debt loads and default rates, Four Year Graduation Rate (17.5%) and Competitive Awards (7.5%), which rewards schools whose students win prestigious scholarships and fellowships like the Rhodes, the Marshall and the Fulbright.

Update: Rankings, rankings everywhere – Providence College’s new spokesman, Steve Maurano, writes in to say his school has been named a “Best Buy” for 2011 by the Fiske Report, which is widely used by guidance counselors.

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