'Forbes' Magazine, Fiske Guide Cite JMU on 'Best' Lists

From: Public Affairs

Aug. 17, 2009

James Madison University ranks No. 37 among 100 colleges and universities on Forbes' 2009 list of America's Best Public Colleges. JMU ranks No. 234 on the magazine's overall compilation, America's Best Colleges list.

"It is important to note that if a school appears on this list at all, that indicates it meets a certain level of quality," according to "America's Best Colleges 2009," a Forbes article by Richard Vedder and David M. Ewalt. "The last school on our ranking is by no means the worst school in the nation. According to the U.S. Department of Education, there are more than 4,000 college campuses in the U.S., and the CCAP (Center for College Affordability and Productivity) ranks only the top 15 percent or so of all undergraduate institutions." The CCAP and Forbes compile the data for the magazine's rankings.

The seven components, with weightings listed in parentheses, used for the rankings were:


  • Listings of alumni in the 2008 edition of "Who's Who in America" (12.5 percent)
  • Salaries of alumni from PayScale.com (12.5 percent)
  • Student evaluations from Ratemyprofessors.com (25 percent)
  • Four-year graduation rates (16.67 percent)
  • Students receiving nationally competitive awards (8.33 percent)
  • Faculty receiving awards for scholarship and creative pursuits (5 percent)
  • Four-year debt load for typical student borrowers (20 percent)

More information about the Forbes' rankings is available at http://www.forbes.com/2009/08/02/best-colleges-ratings-opinions-ranking-2009_land.html.

The Fiske Guide to Colleges also recently included JMU in its 2010 edition, which features over 330 of the country's "best and most interesting colleges and universities." Edward B. Fiske, who was The New York Times education editor for 17 years, wrote the guidebook.

More information about the Fiske Guide is available at http://fiskeguide.com, although narratives about individual colleges and universities are not included in the online material.

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