University's top college ranking rises

Thursday, July 25, 2013

St. Cloud State's standing among the nation's top four-year colleges improved in the most recent "America's Top Colleges" ranking by Forbes magazine.

The University is ranked among an elite 24 percent of colleges and universities based on student satisfaction, post-graduate success, student debt, graduation rate and nationally competitive awards, according to an analysis published yesterday by the New York-based bi-weekly.

Elite and affordable

Forbes promotes its 2013 ranking with the taglines "The Only Schools That Matter. The best years of life are also among the most expensive. Choose with care."

Only 23 of "America's Top Colleges" cost less than St. Cloud State, on an annual basis.

That puts St. Cloud State among the top 4 percent most affordable colleges.

St. Cloud State ranks 504th among 2,774 four-year schools, according to Forbes, which developed the ranking with the Center for College Affordability and Productivity, Washington D.C. View the searchable, sortable "America's Top Colleges" ranking.

The ranking of 650 top colleges includes just four Minnesota public schools: University of Minnesota (109th), University of Minnesota Morris (386th), St. Cloud State (504th) and Minnesota State University Mankato (595th). 

Missing from the 2013 ranking are five colleges in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system and three colleges in the University of Minnesota system.

The "America's Top Colleges" news story argues "state schools offer an excellent education for much lower tuition bills than their average private counterparts."

For example, 286th-ranked Saint John’s University, Collegeville, is ranked just 33 points higher than St. Cloud State, yet costs 76 percent more. View "America's Top Colleges" sorted by annual cost.   

St. Cloud State earned five nationally competitive awards in 2012 and 2013, including the Simon Award, Heiskell Award, HEED Award, Hobey Baker Award and Innovative Program of the Year Award. Get award details at the Distinctions website.

The U.S. has 2,774 four-year colleges, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, an agency of the U.S. Department of Education. That count is from 2009-10, the most recent academic year available.

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