The Best Colleges for Just About Everything (According to Forbes)

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American business magazine Forbes has become well known for its various lists. From the 400 Richest Americans and the 100 Most Powerful Women to Baseball’s Most Valuable Teams and America’s Most Expensive Zip Codes, if there’s a list to be drawn up, you can bet your proverbial bottom dollar you’ll find it at Forbes.

We’re always particularly interested in what they have to say about American colleges. Here’s the roundup of Forbes’ take on U.S. education in terms of top colleges, best business schools, best research universities, and more.


America’s Best College


This is one list that the leading establishments all want a piece of. To get in the top 100 is exciting and to be listed in the top fifty is an honor. To be ranked number one is the ultimate goal and in 2012 that honor went to Princeton University in New Jersey. Coming in at number two and three were Williams College in Massachusetts and Stanford University in California. Rankings are based on post graduate success, student satisfaction, debt, four-year graduation rate, and competitive awards.

America’s Best Private College

As it turns out America’s best private colleges are also America’s best colleges overall. Once again, Princeton University, Williams College, and Stanford University take the top three spots in the Forbes rankings.

America’s Best Research University

At the risk of repeating ourselves, Princeton University comes up trumps again here. Stanford takes second, with Harvard in Massachusetts making itself at home at number three.

Best Southern College

Washington and Lee University in Virginia takes first place in the Forbes list of best southern colleges. Duke University takes second place, with Davidson College coming in at number three, both of which are in North Carolina.

Best Midwestern College

Students heading to the midwest will want to check out the top ranking University of Chicago. Second and third places went to Indiana’s University of Notre Dame and Illinois’ Northwestern University respectively.

America’s Best Business School

In 2012, the accolade of best business school went to Harvard Business School. The second coveted spot went to the Stanford Graduate School of Business, while the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago nabbed third spot.

America’s Best Buy College

For many students, the cost of attending college is as important as academic credentials. The best college buy list sought to identify those colleges that offered the cheapest tuition rates, but still gave students a realistic chance of graduating with a bachelors degree. Coming in at first place was Berea College in Kentucky. Second and third places went to the New College of Florida, and the United States Military Academy in New York.

Lists such as these can be great for students who are starting to look at their options for higher education and graduate study, but they should never be the only source of information relied upon. Personal circumstances and preferences will always play a part in determining the best choice of college.

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