News and Events

Wall Street Journal, Forbes rank Lake Forest College one of top in nation

students in front of Middle Campus gates
September 07, 2023
Linda Blaser

In their latest college rankings released this week, both the Wall Street Journal and Forbes gave Lake Forest College high honors, ranking it one of the top colleges in the nation.

This year the Wall Street Journal based its rankings on how much each school improves on-time graduation for its students and the impact a degree from each school has on graduates’ salaries. The newspaper ranked Lake Forest College #27 Overall

In addition, the  Journal ranked Lake Forest College #22 for Student Experience, #23 for Social Mobility, and #75 for Salary Impact.

The newspaper updated its ranking methodology this year, noting that “colleges aren’t just rewarded for their raw performance in traditional metrics; rather, they’re also evaluated against a benchmark that shows how the schools improve the trajectories of their students’ careers. As a result, this year’s ranking surfaced some hidden gems,” the article states. 

The Journal and College Pulse, a college-focused survey and research company, “surveyed more than 60,000 students and recent graduates earlier this year. The survey captured a range of perspectives on student life, including students’ perception of learning opportunities, career preparation, dining halls and sports facilities, and the students’ thoughts on diversity,” the Journal story states.

Participating colleges received at least 50 survey responses, with the majority receiving more than 100. Student outcomes reported in those surveys account for 70 percent of each school’s overall score, with this figure based on the school’s impact on graduates’ salaries and graduation rate versus similar colleges, and the length of time it takes students to pay off the net price of attendance.

Student experience played a big role in the overall rankings, with each school’s learning environment accounting for 20 percent of its overall score and placement in the ranking and diversity of the student body and the faculty comprising 10 percent of the overall score. 

Lake Forest College is the only liberal arts college among the six Illinois schools that made the Top 50 Colleges list:

  • #23 Illinois Institute of Technology
  • #25 Northwestern University
  • #27 Lake Forest College
  • #35 University of Illinois Urbana–Champaign
  • #37 University of Chicago
  • #55 University of Illinois Chicago

“I am proud of the investment and commitment we make to student’s future success post-graduation and am proud that we are recognized for those efforts,” said President Jill M. Baren. “These phenomenal rankings prove that we are on the right track with the overall learning experience we provide to our students and our commitment to ensuring that our students succeed after graduation.

Last week, Forbes ranked Lake Forest #20 on its list of the nation’s 25 Private Colleges That Give Out Generous Financial Aid. The College “awarded more than $20 million to the 2021 first-year class, where 100% of students benefited from institutional financial support,” the Forbes ranking states.

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