George Fox ranked Oregon’s top private college in Wall Street Journal ranking

October 06, 2023

George Fox Newberg campus

NEWBERG, Ore. – After a major change in methodology, The Wall Street Journal this fall ranks George Fox University as Oregon's No. 1 private college.

“We no longer reward colleges’ wealth or reputation in and of themselves,” the newspaper explained. “Gone is the survey of academics on schools’ reputations. Gone are the rewards for instructional spending and the assumption that the quality of education is largely dictated by how expensive it is to produce. 

"In their place we’ve expanded the importance of student outcomes: graduation rates and graduate salaries. Critically, we now put greater emphasis on measuring the value added by colleges—not simply measuring their students’ success, but focusing on the contribution the college makes to that success.”

The Wall Street Journal has been providing college rankings since 2016. The 2024 Best Colleges in the U.S. edition marks a pivotal moment in the ranking methodology. The emphasis has shifted toward the contribution a college makes to its students’ success. The list of the 400 top-ranked colleges now focuses on student outcomes, such as graduation rates and graduate salaries.

“We estimate how well their students would do regardless of which college they attended, taking into account the factors that best predict student outcomes. The colleges are rewarded for their students’ success over and above that estimate. These scores are combined with raw graduation rates and graduate salaries. In other words, success in absolute terms is still taken into account, but with the value added given greater emphasis than previously.”

Colleges are assessed in three primary areas: student outcomes, survey results, and diversity. The student outcomes portion carries the most significant weight, accounting for 70% of the overall ranking. The other 30% of the ranking is determined by survey results and diversity. 

Survey results reflect the perspectives of students and recent alumni regarding various aspects of their college experience. They include feedback on learning opportunities, career preparation, available learning facilities, and the likelihood of recommending their school to others.

Diversity assesses the extent to which colleges offer exposure to individuals from diverse backgrounds. This component examines the inclusivity and diversity of each college's student body.

George Fox University is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as a “Best National University” and by The Wall Street Journal as the top private college in Oregon. More than 4,000 students attend classes on the university’s campus in Newberg, Oregon, and at teaching centers in Portland and Redmond, Oregon. George Fox offers more than 60 academic programs at the undergraduate level, degree-completion programs for working adults, and 20 masters and doctoral degrees.

Carly Reumann
George Fox University