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The Bay Area has long been known for its world-renowned universities and colleges, but recent changes have people talking. This week, Forbes released its annual Top Colleges List, and two of the Bay Area’s most prestigious schools have taken a hit. Stanford University and the University of California Berkeley have both fallen down the rankings, dropping five spots each from last year.
Though this change has caused quite a stir among students and alumni of the respective schools, experts attribute the drop to Forbes’ updated methodology for determining the rankings. Specifically, they used post-graduate outcomes such as median salaries, loan default rates, and career success as determining factors, which resulted in more weight being given to schools with higher graduation and job placement rates.
In addition, experts argue that the Bay Area schools are being penalized for their strict admission policies. Because they are selective schools with limited spots, the rankings reflect not only the quality of education but also the difficulty in being accepted.
Forbes’ updated methodology has led to some interesting changes in the rankings, with a few unlikely schools entering the elite Top 10. Harvey Mudd College, which placed fourth this year, has skyrocketed up the list as its graduates have become increasingly sought after in the tech and medical industries. Meanwhile, two large public universities have made it into the Top 25 for the first time, showing that anyone can strive for excellence with the right education and work ethic.
Though some may be disappointed by Stanford and Berkeley’s decline in rankings, these changes have sparked important conversations regarding the role of higher education in our society. With fewer spots available and higher standards being set, students now must strive to prove their worthiness to gain admission into prestigious Bay Area schools. This emphasizes the importance of obtaining skills that will make you marketable in today’s competitive job market