Forbes: Whitman College 44th among top 650 U.S. colleges

Whitman is ranked among the top 21 liberal arts colleges and the 4th among liberal arts colleges in the West, behind only Pomona, Claremont McKenna, and Colorado College.

Princeton tops the Forbes list as the number one ranked college, followed by Williams College and Stanford University.

"Many national publications recognize Whitman as a leader among colleges given its long history of academic excellence,” said Whitman College President George S. Bridges.

The rankings were compiled exclusively for Forbes by the Washington D.C.-based Center for College Affordability and Productivity. They do not attempt to assess a school’s reputation, nor are they a measure of academic selectivity. The rankings ignore any metrics that would encourage schools to engage in wasteful spending.

According to Forbes, “the rankings focus on the things that matter the most to students: quality of teaching, great career prospects, high graduation rates and low-levels of debt.”

The rankings are based on five general categories: post graduate success (32.5%), student satisfaction (27.5%), debt (17.5%), which penalizes schools for high student debt loads and default rates, four-year graduation rate (11.25%) and competitive awards (11.25%), which rewards schools whose students win prestigious scholarships and fellowships like the Rhodes, the Marshall and the Fulbright or go on to earn a Ph.D. 

“While neither this ranking nor others drive the decisions we make, it is gratifying to learn that a respected publication like Forbes recognizes how capably Whitman prepares students for civic and professional leadership,” Bridges said.