Mike Belden, For The Miami Student

Miami University students, faculty and alumni have something to be proud of when classes resume for the 2012 fall semester. Forbes ranked Miami 35th among public schools in America, and ranked Miami No. 1 for public schools in the state of Ohio. These rankings come after a research process that Forbes carries out every year. According to Forbes, the rankings highlight postgraduate success, student satisfaction, student debt, graduation rate and competitive awards such as the Rhodes or Fulbright scholarships.

Claire Wagner, director of the News and Public Information Office at Miami, said Miami ranks very high for graduation rates in both public and private universities and that Miami has had very successful graduates. “Our alums have reported very successful placement and salaries, and that plays a big part in the ranking,” Wagner said.

Wagner also said Miami’s retention rate has helped the ranking.

“The retention rate is measured by how many first year students returned for their second year,” Wagner said. “Our retention rate stays within 89 percent, which is very high.”

Wagner said the rankings help increase awareness and help prospective students and families compare different schools, but they should not be the only thing considered when making a decision about a university.

“While the rankings do help the families and students get an idea of what the university is like, students should still visit the school to gain a better interpretation of what the school is,” Wagner said.

Denise Krallman, director of the Office of Institutional Research, said Forbes and other college ranking companies retrieve most of their data from the federal government, which Miami sends its information to yearly.

“That data includes information about average financial aid, student loans, retention rates and average student debt,” Krallman said.

Forbes and other ranking companies use that information to determine university rankings, Krallman said. Krallman also said Forbes uses websites like Ratemyprofessors.com or Payscale.com to help determine the ranking.

“Those sites are separate from Miami and are independent,” Krallman said. “Miami’s role is very limited in the Forbes ranking, but in other rankings such as Newsweek, they ask questions to the university and base their ranking off of that.”

Sophomore Brooks Fishell said he was excited to hear about the ranking.

“I think it’s great,” Fishell said. “It puts Miami on the map for students looking for good schools in Ohio.”

Fishell said that he believes the process of ranking the schools is credible because it uses both factual information and information from websites that students use.

“A school can’t be judged based only on financial status” said Fishell. “I think there a lot of other factors that go into a ranking, such as how the students view their professors.”

Fishell said he is proud to attend a university that achieves high rankings.

“It feels good to know that I am a part of something great,” Fishell said.