In its annual list of the top colleges in the country, Forbes magazine ranked Temple at 509th.
Forbes magazine published its annual “America’s Best Colleges” list Aug. 11 and ranked Temple at 509th, moving up the university from its 569th ranking last year.
“In my experience, students and parents look at a lot of different things when choosing colleges. Rankings may be a factor for some, but most students are focused primarily on academics, campus life and location when choosing colleges,” said Bill Black, the senior vice provost of admissions.
Noting Temple’s high-research activity and 36 percent four-year graduation rate, the magazine also examined athletics, tuition, financial aid and admittance rate.
The Forbes list, which reviews 9 percent of 6,600 accredited post-secondary institutions in the country, is designed to rank schools according to the priorities of students, regarding the college experience as an investment.
Forbes uses 10 factors to determine how a college ranks. These include student’s enjoyment of classes, time required to graduate, success after graduation and financial debt that students are left with post-graduation.
Barmak Nassirian, a representative of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, explained his position on the Forbes’ ranking.
“We [AACRAO] tend to view rankings as extreme oversimplifications of fairly complex institutional attributes, and believe they are inherently unfair because of this,” Nassirian said.
Some students agree.
“I’m sure Forbes did a lot of research for the article, and there are a lot of great schools in the country,” said Ryan Toole, a sophomore sports and recreation major. “But I think the rankings are unfair because there really isn’t any way to tell. It’s hard to really tell how great someone’s college experience was and how their careers are working out afterwards.”
This year, Williams College beat Princeton University for No. 1, with Amherst College ranking at No. 3, the United States Military Academy at No. 4 and Massachusetts Institute of Technology taking fifth place.
U.S. News and World Report also published a list of top colleges in the country for 2011, ranking Temple at No. 132.
“Here at Temple, we survey students to find out the Top 5 reasons they chose our university. Consistently, they cite the advantages of our urban location, the affordability of our tuition, our academic quality and variety of academic programs, our diversity and the social atmosphere as the main reasons they decided to come here,” Black said. “For some, rankings may weigh heavily, while for others they probably don’t.”
“How could anyone be able to judge this but the students themselves? I think Temple is one of the better schools in the area and should have gotten a better ranking,” Toole added.
“Every year, our applicant pool gets stronger, and this year’s class is the strongest yet,” Black said. “This alone is an excellent indicator of where Temple is and where it’s going.”
Mark Lauterbach can be reached at email@example.com.