Forbes lists MSC with best colleges

Mesa State College ranked 555th out of 610 in Forbes.com’s 2010 “America’s Best Colleges” list, released this month.

Of the nation’s 6,600 institutions of higher learning, 9 percent made the cut.

In the three years the ranking has existed, Mesa State has made the list twice. The college made its first appearance on the list last year at number 326.

Mesa State President Tim Foster said he doesn’t know what caused the college to fall 229 spots on this year’s list, but he considers making the list two years in a row “a nice compliment.”

“You look at our faculty, we can compete with anyone. Look at our students and it’s the same,” Foster said.

The list grades schools based on the following information collected about each school:

How much debt students have and how many students default on student loans.

Student evaluations on MyPlan.com and Rate MyProfessor.com.

Alumni salary and placement in corporate positions.

Percentage of students receiving nationally competitive awards.

The percentage of students who graduate from the school within four years and retention rates.

Brian Kolb, a graduate returning to earn a second degree at Mesa State, said he was surprised and pleased Mesa State made the Forbes list. Kolb said he chose Mesa State because it was affordable and got him a few hours from his hometown of Colorado Springs.

“It was away from home, but it was still a decent college,” Kolb said.

Jeron Kuxhausen, a senior at Mesa State, was born and raised in Grand Junction. He enrolled because he heard the school had a good graphic design program.

“It’s also inexpensive,” he said.

U.S. News and World Report also released college rankings this month and placed Mesa State in the bottom quarter of liberal arts colleges and universities.

Foster said he doesn’t put a lot of credence in the U.S. News and World Report rankings because they are based in part on peer reviews from high school counselors and college administrators.

Foster said he tosses the form when U.S. News and World Report sends its annual survey to him.

The report also uses factors such as retention, graduation rates and admission standards to rank schools.


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