August 17, 2010
For the third year in a row, Oklahoma Baptist University is the highest-ranked university in Oklahoma in the latest Forbes.com listing of "America's Best Colleges." OBU ranked third among Baptist-affiliated schools.
Nationwide, OBU ranked 233rd on the "America's Best Colleges" list among 610 undergraduate institutions rated by Forbes.com. The listings are based on an assessment of the quality of the education universities and colleges provide and how much their students achieve, according to the company's website. The rankings were determined through a process conducted by Forbes and the Center for College Affordability and Productivity.
Six other Oklahoma universities were listed in the rankings. The University of Oklahoma was at No. 308, University of Tulsa at No. 367, Oklahoma State University at No. 384, Oklahoma Wesleyan University at No. 461, Oral Roberts University at No. 525 and University of Central Oklahoma at No. 569.
Other Baptist-affiliated schools on the "Best Colleges" list include William Jewell College at No. 157, Ouachita Baptist University at No. 216, Union University at No. 287, Baylor University at No. 346, North Greenville University at No. 365, Mississippi College at No. 368, Georgetown College at No. 380, Carson-Newman College at No. 390, Mercer University at No. 499, and Belmont University at No. 548.
According to its website, Forbes.com launched the "America's Best Colleges" rankings as an alternative to the traditional rankings released annually by U.S.News & World Report. Forbes.com is related to the business and financial news magazine Forbes.
"The staff at CCAP gathered data from a variety of sources," reported David M. Ewalt on Forbes.com. "They use 11 factors in compiling these rankings, each of which falls into one of five general categories. First, they measure how much graduates succeed in their chosen professions after they leave school, evaluating the average salaries of graduates reported by Payscale.com (30 percent), the number of alumni listed in a Forbes/CCAP list of corporate officers (5 percent), and enrollment-adjusted entries in Who's Who in America (10 percent).
"Next they measure how satisfied students are with their college experience, examining freshman-to-sophomore retention rates (5 percent) and student evaluations of classes on the websites RateMyProfessors.com (17.5 percent) and MyPlan.com (5 percent). They look at how much debt students rack up over their college careers, considering the four-year debt load for a typical student borrower (12.5 percent), and the overall student loan default rate (5 percent). They evaluate how many students actually finish their degrees in four years, considering both the actual graduation rate (8.75 percent) and the gap between the average rate and a predicted rate, based on characteristics of the school (8.75 percent)."
As noted during its first report in 2008, the Forbes.com ranking relies entirely on outside databases and surveys rather than on the involvement or cooperation of the colleges.
"Whether they're in the top 10 or near the end of the list, all 610 schools in this ranking count among the best in the country: We review just 9 percent of the 6,600 accredited postsecondary institutions in the U.S., so appearing on our list at all is an indication that a school meets a high standard," Ewalt said.