The College of William and Mary climbed nine spots in Forbes Magazine’s annual list of “America’s Best Colleges” released Aug. 1, with a significant jump in the component ranking of payscale salary.
The school also improved in federal student debt and students who borrow, indicating that students are facing, in general, less debt from federal loans.
The College moved from no. 49 to no. 40 overall and was named 21st among research institutions. The largest jump, from no. 282 last year to no. 82 this year, was in the federal student debt ranking.
The only other Virginia public university with a place in the top 50 of Forbes’ rankings was the University of Virginia at no. 36 overall.
“The main moral of the rankings is there are a zillion of them and we consistently do well in all of them,” College President Taylor Reveley said. “You can count on William and Mary, whatever the nature of the ranking, to do well, despite the fact that we are the most lean financially of the leading national universities.”
Washington and Lee University was no. 15 and the University of Richmond was no. 73, rounding out the Virginia schools in the top 100.
The rankings for the survey are based on five categories: post-graduate success, student satisfaction, debt, four-year graduation rate and competitive awards.
According to the component rankings, the College placed no. 59 in the debt default rank, up from no. 82 last year.
“We are very pleased that [William and Mary] students take loan repayment seriously, which has resulted in our current 0.6 percent default rate being the lowest among the Virginia four-year public institutions,” Director of Financial Aid Ed Irish said.
The Center for College Affordability and Productivity, which compiled the rankings along with Forbes, weighted the debt default rankings as 5 percent of the total rankings. Student evaluations from www.ratemyprofessor.com were weighted as 17.5 percent of the total, more than any other factor.