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Forbes ranks W&M among nation’s top colleges

William & Mary is one of the top colleges in the nation, according to a ranking released by Forbes today.

The university is third among state schools on the magazine’s seventh annual list of “America’s Top Colleges.” Among public institutions, including military academies, William & Mary is sixth, up from ninth last year. Overall, the university ranked 41st among both public and private institutions, up from 44th in 2013. Forbes also listed William & Mary in the number 22 position in its research university category.

The ranking was created by the Center for College Affordability and Productivity in partnership with Forbes. According to the Forbes website, the CCAP used data from such sources as the National Center for Education Statistics and PayScale to compare 650 colleges and universities in five categories: student satisfaction, post-graduate success, student debt, graduation rate and academic success.

“We’re not all that interested in what gets a student into college. Our sights are set directly on ROI: What are students getting out of college,” the Forbes website says.

Coming in at 37th overall, the University of California, Berkeley, is the top-ranked state-supported university on the list, followed by the University of Virginia, which ranked 40th among both public and private schools.

Williams College took the top spot on the overall ranking, followed by Stanford University, Swarthmore College, Princeton University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.