UNE named to Forbes' list of America's Top Colleges for 2013

July 29, 2013

The University of New England has been named to Forbes' list of America's Top Colleges for 2013, a list that Forbes says is based on "output" and "return on investment."

Forbes' acknowledgment of the value of a University of New England degree follows similar recognition by Affordable Colleges Online, a website reporting on higher education affordability, which recently ranked UNE second in student return on investment (ROI) among 43 public and private colleges and universities in Maine.

Forbes explains that "what sets our calculation of 650 colleges and universities apart from other rankings is our firm belief in "output" over "input." We're not all that interested in what gets a student into college, like our peers who focus heavily on selectivity metrics such as high school class rank and SAT scores. Our sights are set directly on ROI: What are students getting out of college."

To prepare its list, Forbes partnered with the Washington, D.C.-based Center for College Affordability and Productivity (CCAP), which looked at five factors: student satisfaction, post-graduate success, student debt, graduation rate and nationally competitive awards.

Forbes looked at "factors that directly concern today's incoming students (and their families) who will be footing a bill which has multiplied into the six figures: Will my classes be interesting? Is it likely I will graduate in four years? Will I incur a ton of debt getting my degree? And once I get out of school, will I get a good job and be a leader in my chosen profession? We pointedly ignore any metrics that would encourage schools to engage in wasteful spending."

Forbes ranked the University of New England number 319 of the 650. There are about 4,500 degree-granting institutions of higher learning in the U.S.  Among Maine's 43 colleges, six made the list, with UNE among the five Maine private colleges recognized.

"To be on the top tier of all institutions of higher education in the United States speaks volumes about our unwavering quest for excellence," says UNE President Danielle Ripich, Ph.D.  "We want our education to have value to our students and communities.  Compared to most of our ranked peers, we are a young institution, but we are determined to provide the most rewarding education to our students."

UNE is the largest educator of health care professionals for the state of Maine.

Recently, U.S. News & World Report's 2014 Best Graduate Schools guide recognized UNE for its outstanding programs in medicine and the health sciences.

UNE's College of Osteopathic Medicine (UNECOM) was recognized by U.S. News & World Report for its national leadership in primary care training, geriatrics, rural medicine and family medicine.

In addition UNE's Westbrook College of Health Professions' graduate programs in occupational therapy, physical therapy, nurse anesthesia and physician assistant are all recognized by U.S. News & World Report as among the best in the nation.