At a time when many colleges and universities across the nation struggle to meet the needs of their students, things have never looked more promising at the University of La Verne.
La Verne, which is enjoying record enrollment numbers as it begins its 120th year, moved up 57 spots on the most recent Forbes list of America’s Best Colleges, to 264. That places La Verne ahead of such nationally noted institutions as Brigham Young, Baylor, Texas Christian, Purdue, Michigan State, Alabama, Ohio State, Rutgers, North Carolina State and Auburn. It also ranks ahead of regional schools Azusa Pacific, Cal Poly Pomona, Chapman, Cal Lutheran and Cal State Long Beach.
“We continually strive to improve in everything we do at the University of La Verne,” President Devorah Lieberman said. “Our steady rise in the Forbes rankings over the past few years reflects a great satisfaction our students have with the quality of the La Verne Experience — from the small class sizes and high standards of our excellent professors to the rich student life enjoyed among our people and facilities outside the classroom. It also demonstrates the value of a La Verne education as an investment in the future.”
La Verne’s traditional undergraduate enrollment this fall exceeds 2,150 – highest in the university’s history. It welcomed its largest incoming class with record numbers in new traditional undergraduates, Campus Accelerated Program for Adults (CAPA) participants and within its expanding MBA program.
The Forbes ranking represents a list of what the financial publication regards as the top 20 percent of all undergraduate institutions, nationwide. According to Forbes’ Web site, the annual ranking “focuses on the things that matter the most to students: quality of teaching, great career prospects, graduation rates and low levels of debt.” The site states the ranking attempts to evaluate the investment in higher education as a consumer would.
Williams College in Massachusetts tops the Forbes list, which includes such academic heavyweights as Princeton, Harvard, Stanford and MIT in its top 10. The Claremont Colleges, California Institute of Technology and UCLA are among the other highly rated area institutions.
The rankings are prepared exclusively for Forbes by the Center for College Affordability and Productivity, a Washington, D.C., think tank founded by Ohio University economist Richard Vedder. Post-graduate success (alumni listings in Who’s Who in America, salaries of alumni from payscale.com and alumni listed in Forbes/CCAP Corporate Officers List) is given the highest weighting (30%) in the ratings. Student satisfaction (27.5%) comprises evaluations from ratemyprofessor.com, actual freshman-to-sophomore retention rates and predicted vs. actual freshman-to-sophomore retention rates. Other factors are cumulative student debt (17.5%), four-year graduation rate (17.5%) and competitive awards won by students (7.5%).
The complete Forbes 2011 rankings and methodology report are available at www.forbes.com/top-colleges/