Auburn University ranked as top college in state of Alabama

Article body

Money, Forbes and Niche agree—Auburn University is the best choice for students in the state of Alabama.

The determination by the three major ranking outlets was made recently, with Money listing Auburn as the top in the state, based on value, in its 2019 Best Colleges in America ranking. Forbes’ Top Colleges 2019 ranking placed Auburn above all other undergraduate universities in the state based on such categories as top academics, best experiences, career success and lowest debt. Niche—a national online source of school ratings and reviews – named Auburn the No. 1 Best College in Alabama in its 2020 Best Colleges in America findings.

“We’re so pleased to see these rankings indicate what we already know about Auburn University—that it’s a great place and a great value,” said Bobby Woodard, Auburn’s senior vice president for Student Affairs. “The criteria involved in these rankings hit areas of the utmost importance to students and their parents, including academics, value, food and campus life, and those areas are also important to us. We do our best every day to make the Auburn student experience the best it can be, and it’s nice to be recognized for that effort.”

Auburn’s national ranking by Forbes among public colleges is 47. Forbes lists the median salary of Auburn alumni with 10 or more years of experience at $104,500, and Money notes that just three years after earning an undergraduate degree the average Auburn graduate makes an annual salary of $52,800.

For its Best Colleges list, Forbes chose just 15 percent of the nation’s 4,300 postsecondary degree institutions, placing Auburn among an elite group to receive such a lofty ranking. Forbes detailed how 49 percent of graduates under the age of 30 nationally are carrying loan debt for a median amount of $25,000. The average debt listed for Auburn by the Money ranking was $3,500 less than the national average, and the cost of an Auburn undergraduate degree, according to Money, falls $12,300 less than the average of the nation’s top colleges.

Money weighed more than 19,000 data points for its ranking list, including tuition fees, family borrowing and career earnings. Money specifically referenced Auburn’s student success, listing the university’s 77 percent graduation rate.

No other university in the state of Alabama came close to Auburn’s ranking with Money, which examined quality of education, affordability and outcomes as its criteria for determining a best value college. Under the quality of education assessment, such factors as six-year graduation rates, peer quality, instructor quality and Pell Grant recipient outcomes were measured. For affordability, Money looked at the net price of a degree, affordability for low-income students, debt and students’ ability to repay that amount and student loan repayment measures.

Outcomes were analyzed using a university’s graduate earnings, employment outcomes, job impact in making the world a better place and the percentage of students who moved from low-income backgrounds to upper-middle-class jobs.

As for Niche, Auburn received an overall grade of A, scoring well in such categories as academics, value, student life, professors and campus food. The Niche Best Colleges ranking was based on a rigorous analysis of academics, admissions and financial and student life data from the U.S. Department of Education along with millions of reviews from students and alumni. The ranking compared more than 1,000 top colleges and universities in the U.S.

Auburn University is a nationally ranked land grant institution recognized for its commitment to world-class scholarship, interdisciplinary research with an elite, top-tier Carnegie R1 classification, life-changing outreach with Carnegie’s Community Engagement designation and an undergraduate education experience second to none. Auburn is home to more than 30,000 students, and its faculty and research partners collaborate to develop and deliver meaningful scholarship, science and technology-based advancements that meet pressing regional, national and global needs. Auburn’s commitment to active student engagement, professional success and public/private partnership drives a growing reputation for outreach and extension that delivers broad economic, health and societal impact.