University highly acclaimed in national rankings

By Olivia Seecof

Writer

Last month, the University received high rankings from SmartMoney Magazine as the fifth-best private undergraduate institution in “Colleges That Help Grads Get Top Salaries.” In addition, Forbes Magazine recently ranked  the University in the top 50 among many institutions as one of America’s Top Colleges. Lastly, the University was ranked 34th in the 50 Best Colleges and Universities according to The Best Colleges’ 2011-12 review.

Many well-respected publications produce lists ranking everything from the best undergraduate institutions to the best schools in each specific major to the best dorm rooms, but these three rankings are especially prestigious.

“I feel honored to go to a school that was recently ranked so high among many other schools,” Meili Sohl ’15 said.

The SmartMoney ranking listed the University 24th overall, fifth in private institutions and second in private non-Ivy League schools. To calculate this ranking, SmartMoney divided the median alumnus salary for each class by tuition and fees, then averaged the results to measure the return on tuition investment in higher education, according to smartmoney.com.

Forbes Magazine ranked the University 48th in its annual ranking of the 650 best undergraduate institutions. This ranking ignores school reputations and focuses on graduation rates, debt levels, quality of teaching and career prospects. This ranking, according to forbes.com, was produced for Forbes Magazine by the Center for College Affordability and Productivity, which is a think tank based in Washington, D.C.

According to the The Best Colleges ranking, the University is known for its strengths in engineering, environmental studies, ecology and the biological sciences. This ranking goes beyond typical indicators of academic quality and student satisfaction, and instead focuses on total economic value and the quality of life in the town where the school is located.

“By emphasizing economic value and quality of life, we not only offer a new angle from which to evaluate college options, but one particularly relevant to our current economic and educational situation,” said Micah Sparacio, senior editor at The Best Colleges.

The website also describes Lewisburg as “a historic rural borough on the Susquehanna River with a youthful population and low cost of living.”

Students are proud and not particularly surprised by the University’s newfound status.

“As an international student, I am always proud of [the University], especially now that [the University] was ranked [as one of the] top 50 colleges,” Tom Zhu ’14 said. “I think with the high rank, [the University] will receive more attention in the future.”

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