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Forbes: W&M, UVA rank No. 1 and 2 for nation’s public non-military colleges

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RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – The University of Virginia and the College of William and Mary are ranked as the nation’s No. 1 and No. 2 public non-military colleges in Forbes’ annual America’s Top Colleges report.

The annual list of the nation’s top 650 four-year colleges ranks UVA at No. 36 overall, up 10 spots from last year, and W&M at No. 40 overall, up nine spots from last year.

All higher-ranked schools are military service academies or private schools, with Princeton at No. 1 and the United States Military Academy at No. 7.

Governor Bob McDonnell lauded UVA and W&M in a statement, saying that it is encouraging “to see efforts to innovate and enhance the quality of higher education paying off, with both schools improving in their overall national standings.”

Other Virginia schools in the top 100 are Washington and Lee at No. 15 and the University of Richmond at No. 73.

Twenty-two Virginia schools were included in the overall listings, including Virginia Tech at No. 127, Christopher Newport University at No. 467, Old Dominion University at No. 515 and Virginia Commonwealth University at No. 518.

Rankings are based on factors including student satisfaction, post-graduate success, student debt, the four-year graduation rate and academic success.

The data is compiled for Forbes by the Washington, D.C. based Center for College Affordability and Productivity. Each category is weighted with multiple factors. For example, student satisfaction is largely based on student evaluations from RateMyProfessor.com, and student success is based largely on alumni salaries and prominence.

Source: Forbes, Virginia Gazette