Forbes Ranks Augustana Among America's Top Colleges

Augustana is again ranked in Forbes' listing of "America's Top Colleges 2017," a listing of the top 650 colleges in the U.S.

Among schools in the Midwest, Augustana comes in at No. 98.

The ranking, Forbes says, correlates directly to value.

"The Forbes Top Colleges ranking has always placed its focus solely on the direct benefits a college or university provides its students. Favoring output over input, we eschew common metrics like acceptance rate, endowment and freshmen SAT scores — numbers that say far more about a school's 'prestige' than its actual effectiveness — and instead favor variables like alumni salary, graduation rate and student satisfaction," the Forbes methodology statement said. 


The report's rankings consider the following key areas:

Post-graduate Success

"The most direct return of investment a student can earn from a college education is post-graduate success."
— Forbes Top Colleges 2017 Report

At Augustana: 

  • Due to its location in the state's largest city and because of partnerships with major businesses, health care organizations and regional nonprofits, AU students have unmatched access to hands-on learning opportunities, all of which create pathways to careers. The 98 percent placement rate for May 2016 grads is due in large part to the institution's focus on areas such as:
  • 20 percent of recent grads attend graduate or professional school where major areas of study include medicine and health professions (56 percent), human services, education and seminary (19 percent) and the sciences (8 percent)

Student Debt

"An education is most advantageous when it does not burden graduates with crippling debt or at least when it empowers them to find good jobs that will help them pay that debt back."
— Forbes Top Colleges 2017 Report

Augustana University is committed to providing students an exceptional experience at a great value:

Student Experience

"The thinking here is simple: if life at school is good, students will stay."
— Forbes Top Colleges 2017 Report

At Augustana, student satisfaction routinely receives high scores thanks to a variety of support systems in place, including:

  • An innovative First Year Seminar, a two semester program designed to orient freshmen to academics and campus life
  • A focus on retention. Augustana saw an 86 percent retention rate for fall 2017 — the University’s highest first-to-second year retention in recorded history
  • Small class sizes (average class is 20 students)
  • Low student-to-faculty ratios (11:1)
  • A dedicated Center for Campus Life, a team dedicated to helping students succeed academically and socially
  • Work-life balance (100 clubs and organizations to join; performing and visual arts; DII athletics; culture and entertainment options within the city)

Graduation Rate

"The value of college is only fully realized by graduating."
— Forbes Top Colleges 2017 Report

Augustana is dedicated to helping students achieve the goal of graduation through:

  • The Student Success Center, a central place for career and academic support services, empowers students to discover and achieve their academic and professional goals from the point of entry to graduation and beyond. By partnering with faculty and other campus offices, the Student Success Center provides the support students need to make the most of their college experience.
  • Mentors on campus
  • Connecting students with a vibrant and proud network of Augustana Alumni living and working around the world​
  • Writing Center
  • Tutoring

Academic Success

"... success can be measured by pursuing further education or by being nationally recognized for academic accomplishments."
— Forbes Top Colleges 2017 Report

In recent years, a number of Augustana students have received national recognition for their academic achievements:


See more national rankings for Augustana.


Kelly Sprecher
Director of Media Relations
605.274.5526