Forbes Magazine ranks the Big 12 colleges

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

I came across an interesting story in Forbes Magazine that provided rankings for the nation's best 600 colleges.

Using methodology developed and compiled by Forbes and the Center for College Affordability and Productivity, they came up with a ranking that placed the United States Military Academy at West Point as the nation's top school.

All of the Big 12 schools were ranked among the 600 after using a complex formula that would make developers of the BCS nod their heads in agreement.

Forbes' study was based on three factors: the quality of the education that schools provide, the experience of the students and how much they achieve.

The study indicated it wanted to gauge how a school met its students' needs. In doing that it used a complex methodology that included 25% of the rankings on 4 million student evaluations of courses and instructors, as recorded on the Web site RateMyProfessors.com. Another 25% was based on post-graduate success, equally determined by enrollment-adjusted entries in Who's Who in America, and by the average salaries of graduates reported by Payscale.com.

An additional 20% of the score was based on the estimated average student debt after four years. One-sixth of the rankings are based on four-year college graduation rates -- half of that is the actual graduation rate, the other half the gap between the average rate and a predicted rate based on characteristics of the school.

The final component is based on the number of students or faculty, adjusted for enrollment, who have won nationally competitive awards like Rhodes Scholarships or Nobel Prizes.

See, I told you the BCS organizers don't have anything to be ashamed of when they talk about quartiles and matrices.

Here are the rankings for the Big 12 schools by Forbes, along with estimated per-year costs and freshman class-size listed for each Big 12 school.

I thought these were some interesting figures that measured some variables that traditionally aren't employed in many of these best college rankings.

So what about the rankings? Is your school as fairly judged in a business magazine as it is on the sports pages?