Augustana Ranked Among 'America's Top Colleges' by Forbes

Augustana is again ranked among the nation’s best colleges and universities and is again the highest-ranked undergraduate institution in South Dakota, according to Forbes’ recently published annual list of “America’s Top Colleges.”

Forbes ranked 650 of the top U.S. undergraduate colleges and universities based on quality of teaching, career prospects, graduation rates and low student indebtedness. Augustana was ranked:

  • No. 187 in the nation, the highest rank among the three South Dakota institutions listed (South Dakota State University was ranked No. 564; the University of South Dakota was ranked No. 434) and a 25-point increase from its 2011 standing (No. 212).
  • No. 151 among private colleges nationwide
  • No. 34 in the Midwest

To determine the rankings, Forbes worked with the Center for College Affordability and Productivity (CCAP) to weigh factors such as:

  • Quality of teaching and student satisfaction: According to students surveyed in Spring 2012, 87.3 percent agreed that their courses were intellectually challenging; 89.6 percent agreed that their instructors were enthusiastic (of those, 66.6 percent strongly agreed); and 84 percent agreed that their teachers were "excellent." Augustana boasts a student-to-faculty ratio of 12:1.
  • Career prospects: Ninety-seven percent of 2011 Augustana graduates seeking employment had accepted a position related to their major or chosen field within nine months of graduation. Of those, 75 percent chose to work in South Dakota, serving as contributors to the state’s intellectual capital.
  • Graduation rates: 73 percent of the Augustana graduating class of 2012 completed their degrees in four years.
  • Levels of debt: 2010 Augustana graduates averaged $24,093 in federal student loan debt. In comparison, the Project on Student Debt lists the national average debt of 2010 grads as $25,250 with South Dakota's average as $23,171.

Earlier this spring, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) admitted Augustana to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, a leading group of 511 colleges and universities recognized for supporting volunteerism, service-learning and civic engagement. Augustana has been named among the “Best in the Midwest” in the Princeton Review’s list of the 153 best colleges in South Dakota, North Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan and Missouri. The College is also ranked among the top baccalaureate colleges in the nation for its efforts to advance social mobility, research and service by Washington Monthly.