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Western Washington UniversityCommunications and Marketing
DATE: August 7, 2012 12:58:58 PM PDT
Forbes Magazine Ranks WWU Among Nation’s Top Colleges

Contact: Paul Cocke, director, University Communications, (360) 650-3350

BELLINGHAM – Western Washington University is among Forbes Magazine’s top colleges in America, with Forbes noting that the rankings “focus on the things that matter the most to students: quality of teaching, great career prospects, high graduation rates and low-levels of debt.”

Forbes Magazine, which has a circulation of over 900,000, ranks colleges and universities across the nation to come up with their annual list of America’s 650 Top Colleges.

 “Western provides students a high-quality learning environment. Our university teaches the critical thinking increasingly necessary to tackle the complex problems we face today. Western graduates go on to become leaders and problem solvers in communities throughout our state and nation,” said Western President Bruce Shepard.

Western, with an overall rank of 353, ranked second among public universities in the state of Washington after the University of Washington (87th) and before Washington State University (464th). 

Western ranks ahead of a number of major colleges and universities, including: Rutgers, Seton Hall, Temple, Purdue and Oregon State universities.

The Forbes rankings are based on five general categories: post graduate success (32.5 percent), which evaluates alumni pay and prominence; student satisfaction (27.5 percent), which includes professor evaluations and freshman to sophomore year retention rates; debt (17.5 percent), which penalizes schools for high student debt loads and default rates; four-year graduation rate (11.25 percent) and competitive awards (11.25 percent), which rewards schools whose students win prestigious scholarships and fellowships like the Rhodes, the Marshall and the Fulbright or go on to earn a Ph.D. For more information on the Forbes rankings, see America’s Top Colleges.

Western also has consistently received strong rankings in U.S. News & World Report surveys of colleges and universities in the nation. Western is the highest ranking public, master’s-granting university in the Pacific Northwest, according to 2012 U.S. News & World Report college rankings.

In its February 2012 issue, Kiplinger’s magazine ranks Western 81st on its list of the 100 Best Values in Public Colleges in the United States.

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