Forbes Names U.Va. Nation’s Second Highest-Ranking Public University

Clark Hall hallway with a painting from floor to ceiling

Clark Hall

Forbes has again named the University of Virginia the nation’s No. 2 state university in its annual ranking of America’s Top Colleges, released Wednesday.

The University ranked No. 36 overall among all public and private institutions, up four spots from its No. 40 ranking last year. U.Va. ranked  No. 20 among research universities and No. 5 among universities in the South. In total, 650 institutions were considered.

When compiling the rankings, Forbes considered five main categories:

  • Post-graduate success, based on alumni salary and appearances on various leadership rankings
  • Student satisfaction, based on transfer rates, online faculty ratings and social media surveys
  • Student debt, based on average federal student loan debt, student loan default rates and percentage of students taking federal loans
  • Graduation rate, based on how many students complete their degree in four years
  • Academic success, based on the number of prestigious scholarships and fellowships won by students

The rankings, generated in partnership with the Center for College Affordability and Productivity, were intended to prioritize student and alumni outcomes and return-on-investment.

Pomona College, followed by Williams College and Stanford University, earned the top overall ranking. Excluding military academies, the University of California Berkeley earned the top spot among public institutions, followed by U.Va. and the College of William and Mary.

Media Contact

Anthony P. de Bruyn

Office of University Communications