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Forbes releases 2019 private college financial health ranking

scholarminscholarmin 27 replies12 threads Junior Member
The associated article also includes information on school struggles. I wish they would do one for public colleges and universities as well. https://www.forbes.com/sites/schifrin/2019/11/27/dawn-of-the-dead-for-hundreds-of-the-nations-private-colleges-its-merge-or-perish/#3ba7c153770d
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Replies to: Forbes releases 2019 private college financial health ranking

  • milgymfammilgymfam 1082 replies16 threads Senior Member
    Oof. The private colleges my D20 is considering are all rated C or D- on close to an even 1.0. D19’s school has an A.
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  • tdy123tdy123 1005 replies18 threads Senior Member
    Not so sure how accurate the "Financial GPA" numbers in the article are. I am pretty sure that Carnegie Mellon would be happy to swap their finances for Harvard's despite CMU's Financial GPA being rated higher by Forbes.
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  • RichInPittRichInPitt 1629 replies25 threads Senior Member
    tdy123 wrote: »
    Not so sure how accurate the "Financial GPA" numbers in the article are.

    What calculations do you believe are not accurate. What data are you using and how do your calculations differ? What Financial GPA do you come up with for the two schools?

    It’s very CC to imply a 4.31 is concerning.
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  • 57special57special 638 replies15 threads Member
    Carleton ahead of Grinnell and Swarthmore in financial health? Sorry, not buying it.
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  • TheBigChefTheBigChef 642 replies5 threads Member
    Fordham University got a C minus with a 1.72 GPA. That's surprising to me.
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  • chmcnmchmcnm 343 replies4 threads Member
    edited December 2019
    You would really have to dig into the methodology but at first glance I would want to look at pension liabilities. Could be a huge expense at some of these schools. Also, some of the large endowments might have stipulations that affect how much impact (positive or negative) they have on the college's financial grade.

    Look at the demographic shifts in age distribution and location. Lower birthrates are the trend and have been for awhile, especially in rust-belt states. There are less kids. Even New Jersey. Look at the age distribution from the last census. Down 4% for the 0-4 years-old demographic. It has gotten worse since 2010 and will continue.

    Pitt and Penn State now are comprised of almost 40% OOS students. There are about 105k less kids enrolled in public schools in PA than in 2005. About a 6% drop. It will accelerate. PA has too many colleges. Not enough kids. Having less kids to pull from could also impact financial viability in the methodology. At the end of the day most kids stay within a short distance of the college they attend. Contrary to what you see on CC most kids don't go across the country for college.

    http://censusviewer.com/state/NJ

    https://www.education.pa.gov/DataAndReporting/Enrollment/Pages/default.aspx

    https://www.education.pa.gov/DataAndReporting/Enrollment/Pages/EnrProjections.aspx
    edited December 2019
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  • chmcnmchmcnm 343 replies4 threads Member
    TheBigChef wrote: »
    Fordham University got a C minus with a 1.72 GPA. That's surprising to me.

    My S20 applied to Fordham. I liked the Rose Hill campus. However, with COA pushing $80k/year how many full-pay kids are there really?
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  • scholarminscholarmin 27 replies12 threads Junior Member
    I think it's probably more helpful to look at tiers (i.e., the letter grades) than dither about differences in a few hundredths of a point within tiers, honestly.
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  • PublisherPublisher 9063 replies110 threads Senior Member
    edited December 2019
    @scholarmin: Thank you for posting this.

    There are 20 schools with the highest rating--A+--for financial health.

    The 20 schools rated A+ are:

    Stanford
    MIT
    Notre Dame
    Princeton
    UPenn

    Yale
    Northwestern
    Dartmouth College
    Columbia
    Williams College

    Cornell
    CalTech
    Rice
    Hillsdale
    Carnegie Mellon University

    Wash & Lee
    Wellesley College
    Brown
    Duke
    WashUStL

    35 Schools received the second highest grade of "A"
    edited December 2019
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  • PublisherPublisher 9063 replies110 threads Senior Member
    edited December 2019
    I would type up more thorough lists, but the Forbes website is almost unusable as it frequently jumps & frequently reverts to commercials. Nonetheless, it is shocking how many schools grade at "C", C-" & "D".
    edited December 2019
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  • TomSrOfBostonTomSrOfBoston 15082 replies1021 threads Senior Member
    From the methodology the rating seems to penalize colleges that give out institutional aid, that is to say colleges that serve lower income students. It rewards colleges that give out litttle institutional aid, those colleges with relatively few lower income students.
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  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 2972 replies51 threads Senior Member
    Publisher wrote: »
    @scholarmin: Thank you for posting this.

    There are 20 schools with the highest rating--A+--for financial health.

    The 20 schools rated A+ are:

    Stanford
    MIT
    Notre Dame
    Princeton
    UPenn

    Yale
    Northwestern
    Dartmouth College
    Columbia
    Williams College

    Cornell
    CalTech
    Rice
    Hillsdale
    Carnegie Mellon University

    Wash & Lee
    Wellesley College
    Brown
    Duke
    WashUStL

    35 Schools received the second highest grade of "A"

    It actually looks like there are 34 schools with A+ rankings, not 20....adding:

    Carleton
    Emory
    Davidson
    Barnard
    Bates
    Harvard
    Berea
    Grinnell
    Bowdoin
    Juilliard
    JHU
    CMC
    Richmond
    Wake Forest
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  • AriBenSionAriBenSion 86 replies2 threads Junior Member
    It is scary how many well regarded schools don't rate all that highly financially. I guess it is buyer beware.
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  • Sue22Sue22 6441 replies115 threads Senior Member
    Here's the methodology page.
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/cartercoudriet/2019/11/27/how-fit-is-your-school-the-methodology-behind-forbes-2019-college-financial-health-grades/#2ba54d3761c4

    Re. @TomSrOfBoston's comment,
    From the methodology the rating seems to penalize colleges that give out institutional aid, that is to say colleges that serve lower income students. It rewards colleges that give out little institutional aid, those colleges with relatively few lower income students.

    Forbes' methodology:
    Percent Freshman Getting Institutional Grants (7.5%): Turns out, giving out merit scholarships does not necessarily mean a school is well-endowed and generous; it may just be desperate. This figure measures the percentage of students getting discounts, otherwise known as institutional grants, to entice enrollment. Schools where the percent is less than 40%, like Wake Forest University and Tufts University, get full credit. Fordham University and Wofford College got half credit because 90% of their first-year students receive institutional grants.

    While I'm a little confused about their numbers, it sounds like the idea is to ding schools that give out a lot of non need-based aid.

    For instance Fordham only covers 77% of need, but they give merit or athletic scholarships to well over half of all students with no need at all. The average merit scholarship is around 20K and the average athletic scholarship is around 35K.

    It does seem like what they used to assess this may be the overall percentage of students who received aid, whether it's need-based or non need-based and that does seem like a mistake to me.
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  • PublisherPublisher 9063 replies110 threads Senior Member
    edited December 2019
    @Mwfan1921 is correct that there are 34 "A+" rated schools. The top 15 receive a higher rating within the "A+" grade = 4.5.

    The final 19 "A+" graded schools have a lower numerical ratings assigned by Forbes, but are still within the A+ band.

    Unfortunately, the Forbes website constantly jerks or jumps & frequently reverts to TV commercials which makes it difficult to retrieve the rankings.

    The 15 schools which receive both Forbes' highest letter grade (A+) and Forbes' highest numerical grade (4.5) are:

    Stanford
    MIT
    Notre Dame
    Princeton
    UPenn

    Yale
    Northwestern
    Dartmouth College
    Columbia
    Williams College

    Cornell
    CalTech
    Rice
    Hillsdale College
    Carnegie Mellon University (CMU)

    After these top 15 rated schools at 4.5 (A+), the numerical scores decrease. For example: Harvard's numerical score is less than a 4.5, but still within the A+ ranking range.
    edited December 2019
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  • ThisNameNotTakenThisNameNotTaken 41 replies1 threads Junior Member
    I would be interested in seeing the scores from the different categories. For example, Amherst came in at 3.87, which seems a little low, but if they really got dinged in some of the specific categories, you don't see that.
    RichInPitt wrote: »
    It’s very CC to imply a 4.31 is concerning.
    Yes. Yes it is.

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  • OHMomof2OHMomof2 13213 replies247 threads Senior Member
    I would be interested in seeing the scores from the different categories. For example, Amherst came in at 3.87, which seems a little low, but if they really got dinged in some of the specific categories, you don't see that.

    I wondered the same. Lots of financial aid given out - all need based - and one of the highest endowments per student in the US. No loans, etc.

    I thought CMU had some financial issues, actually - maybe just because they don't guarantee to meet full need and are also need-aware.
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  • homerdoghomerdog 5748 replies105 threads Senior Member
    Not sure why a school would get dinged for giving out a good amount of need based aid. I thought that was the gold standard. I would assume need blind, meets full need schools would all be in the highest category.
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  • TigerleTigerle 416 replies5 threads Member
    Can anyone actually access the table properly on the Forbes website? I can access the article just fine and would like a look at the table, but not only does it keep flashing, it isn’t scrollable and keeps expanding until my screen is filled with the letters “Coll” (and half an e) - that’s when I hit the back button, lol.
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  • PublisherPublisher 9063 replies110 threads Senior Member
    edited December 2019
    The table "jumps" to different sections every few seconds.
    edited December 2019
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