The annual rankings include only some 25 percent of America’s more than 2,000 four-year colleges and universities.
With a rank of 92nd in the West and 496th in the U.S., Western ranks ahead of the University of Northern Colorado, Colorado Mesa University, Fort Lewis College, the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and Metropolitan State University of Denver. To view the list, visit Forbes.com/top-colleges.
Western State Colorado University President Dr. Greg Salsbury says the improved ranking by Forbes captures the momentum underway at Western.
"We are very proud of this ranking because it shows continued improvement in postgraduate success, student satisfaction and more," President Salsbury says. "With growing programs such as Petroleum Geology, which boasts an average starting salary of $96,000 per year for a recent graduate, students who choose Western experience a fantastic education geared toward their future success."
Western State Colorado University boasts graduate success stories spanning the globe, with alumni working as CEOs of major corporations, neurosurgeons, airline pilots and owners of international travel destinations. Recent graduates have landed jobs with major national brands such as Red Bull, gone on to pharmacy and medical school, and launched many successful businesses, including an advertising agency and an eco-friendly resort in Costa Rica.
The Forbes rankings are based on five general categories: postgraduate success, which evaluates alumni pay and prominence; student satisfaction, which includes professor evaluations and freshman-to-sophomore-year retention rates; debt, which penalizes schools for high student debt loads and default rates; four-year graduation rate; and academic success, which rewards schools whose students win prestigious scholarships and fellowships such as the Rhodes, the Marshall and the Fulbright or go on to earn a PhD.
Western has recently been ranked on other top-colleges lists, including Business Insider's America's Smartest Colleges, Washington Monthly's Best National Liberal Arts Colleges, G.I. Jobs magazine's Military Friendly Schools, Outside magazine’s Top 25 Colleges for Outside Readers, ESPN’s Top 10 Best Colleges in the U.S. for Skiers, and Mountain Bike Action magazine’s Top 10 Colleges for Mountain Bikers.
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