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Appalachian included in Forbes’ ‘Top Colleges’ list

BOONE—Appalachian State University is ranked 78th in the South and 380th in the nation in the seventh annual edition of Forbes’ “Top Colleges 2014: Best Schools, Best Value, Best For You” list.

Forbes partnered with the Washington, D.C.-based Center for College Affordability and Productivity (CCAP) to compile the list of 650 schools that the magazine said distinguish themselves from their competitors by Forbes’ belief in “output” over “input.”

“We’re not all that interested in what gets a student into college, like our peers who focus heavily on selectivity metrics such as high school class rank, SAT scores and the like. Our sights are set directly on ROI: What are students getting out of college?” according to editors of the list.

Forbes looked at several areas when compiling the rankings, including student satisfaction, post-graduate success, graduation rates and academic success.

Student satisfaction was based on student evaluations from RateMyProfessor, as well as actual and predicted freshman-to-sophomore retention rates, as reported by the schools to the U.S. Department of Education database (IPEDS).

Post-graduate success is based on the salaries of alumni, which are obtained from

The magazine’s graduation rate category evaluates how many students actually finish their degrees in four years, and academic success evaluates schools whose students win prestigious scholarships and fellowships like the Rhodes, the National Science Foundation and the Fulbright or go on to earn a Ph.D.