Forbes Best College List Is Some Serious Bullshit: University of Miami Ranks #479

Also-ran news mag US News & World Report is such a money and publicity maker that it's no surprise other publications would try to move in on its game. 


So along comes Forbes -- which has a habit of making nonsensical lists (honestly, do you hear about Forbes more often for breaking news or for one of its dumb lists? What a joke of a magazine) -- with its list of the 600 best colleges in America. It is bullshit. 

The U.S. Military Academy is apparently "the best college" in all of America! And guess what, the University of Miami (my alma mater) is 479 out 600! It's a far cry from its respectable 51st ranking on the US News list. Even FAU (whose SAT range tops out at 1120, while Miami's begins at 1160, and yes I am one of the few who thinks the SAT actually matters, damnit) ranks better than Miami on the Forbes list.

Here are Florida colleges that made the top 500: 

61 New College of Florida

186 University of Florida

219 Florida State University

264 Eckerd College

299 Florida Southern College

307 Rollins College

319 Stetson University

416 University of North Florida

445 University of South Florida

447 Florida Atlantic University

475 University of Central Florida

479 University of Miami

500 Florida International University


580 Florida Institute of Technology

581 Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach

What? This goes against the general consensus in Florida higher education: UF is the best public, and UM is the best private. We'll try to make sense of it after the jump.


Forbes treats Liberal Arts Colleges like "real" schools, while they get their own list from US News. So mixing the two together is sure to bring a bit of a shakeup to the rankings, but Forbes' methodology seems to be a bit biased to Liberal Arts schools. Florida's public liberal arts school, New College, is the highest ranking in the state by far. No offense, but if I wanted to do drugs and hang out with "interesting people" in Sarasota, I'd join the circus. Just kidding, mostly.  


More importantly 25% of the rankings come from, get this, student evaluation from RateMyProfessor.com. No wonder the US Military Academy is #1. Respect is big there, and those kids are never going to log online and talk shit about their professors. Some Miami kids can kind of be dicks -- but that doesn't necessarily mean the school's bad. 

Let's not even get into the fact that RateMyProfessor.com asks users to gauge instructors on the basis of "Hotness." 

12.5% of the weight comes from alumni listed in Who's Who in America. Is that an actual thing? Seriously? 

The rest of Forbe's methodolgy includes: 


1. Listings of Alumni in the 2008 edition of Who's Who in America (12.5%) 

2. Salaries of Alumni from PayScale.com (12.5%) 

3. Student Evaluations from Ratemyprofessors.com (25%) 

4. Four-Year Graduation Rates (16.66%)

 5. Students Receiving Nationally Competitive Awards (8.33%) 

6. Faculty Receiving Awards for Scholarship and Creative Pursuits (5%)

 7. Four-year Debt Load for Typical Student Borrowers (20%)

Apparently neither the quality of students nor campus life matters.


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