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Forbes lists Montana Tech top-ranked in state

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Montana Technological University is the state's top-ranked college in Forbes magazine's 2022 America's Top Colleges List, which ranks the top 500 private and public institutions in the nation. This is the second time Montana Tech has appeared on Forbes ranking lists. The university was named No. 134 in America's Best Value Colleges 2019.

"Educating and preparing smart, hard-working individuals for meaningful careers and successful lives is where Montana Tech has always done well," Chancellor Les Cook said. "We're proud of this along with our retention rates, high return on investment and lowest debt in the state — all of which are reaffirmed by the Forbes ranking."

Montana Tech comes in at #355. It is also No. 170 among public colleges and No. 85 in the western U.S.

The rankings note that Oredigger graduates have a median salary of $113,700 after a decade of work experience. Alumni salary is weighted for 20% of the ranking score. Student debt accounts for another 15%. Forbes notes Montana Tech's students graduate with an average debt of $5,482, significantly less than the national average of $28,950.

Graduation rate, retention rate, academic success, and return-on-investment each make up a 10-15% portion of the ranking. Schools that produce exceptional graduates named on Forbes 30 Under 30, Forbes 400, Richest Self-Made Women, and Most Powerful Women lists receive up to a 15% boost in rankings.

Over the past two years, the rankings have shown major shakeups in leaderboard colleges. Harvard University, ranked No. 1 from 2017 until 2021, fell to No. 15 in 2022. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is now ranked No. 1.

Forbes explained when it released this year's rankings that the fall of several Ivy League schools could be attributed to poor retention rates and lower rates of Pell-grant eligible students. Many public schools climbed in the ranks, mainly because of their low rates of student debt, high rates of Pell-grant eligible students, and overall return on investment.

Montana State University is the only other college in the state listed as a top 500 college. It comes in at No. 426.

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