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Service academies score high on Forbes' best colleges list

Jul. 26, 2013 - 06:00AM   |  
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The U.S. Military Academy ranked No. 7 — ahead of Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Cornell University — in Forbes magazine’s 2013 rankings of the best colleges.

West Point also beat out all the other service academies in the America’s Top Colleges 2013 rankings.

The U.S. Naval Academy was ranked No. 28, followed closely by the U.S. Air Force Academy at No. 31. Forbes slotted the U.S. Coast Guard Academy at No. 94 and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at No. 165.

Brig. Gen. Timothy Trainor, dean of the academic board for West Point, said the school was happy with the recognition from Forbes.

“We are very proud of our nationally renowned education program and attribute much of our success to such factors as accessibility of faculty, lively classroom discussions and experiences, and enrichment opportunities outside the classroom,” Trainor said.

Cmdr. John Schofield, a Naval Academy spokesman, said it is “gratifying to see our program regarded so highly, as we take great pride in our mission of developing ethical leaders for positions of responsibility in the Navy and Marine Corps.”

The Forbes results are noticeably different from how the service academies fared in the most recent annual US News & World Report college rankings. That magazine didn’t list the academies on its prominent “National University Rankings” but instead included them on other lists.

The Naval Academy was ranked No. 14, West Point No. 18 and the Air Force Academy No. 31 on the National Liberal Arts Colleges list. The Coast Guard Academy was ranked No. 2 and the Merchant Marine Academy No. 3 on the Regional Colleges (North) list.

According to Forbes, its rankings differ from other college rankings because they focus more on graduates’ satisfaction with their education and success that alumni have after graduating.

“The Forbes emphasis on evaluating the output of the educational process in building the necessary skills of the graduates produced by colleges and universities marks West Point as doing well in fulfilling its mission to develop leaders of character to serve our Army and Nation,” Trainor said.■

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