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Local Colleges Receive High Recognition from Forbes Magazine and the Princeton Review

Drury University and College of the Ozarks received prestigious national recognition this week. KSMU’s Rebekah Clark tells more about the impact this acknowledgement has on the two universities and the Ozarks as a whole.

 Forbes Magazine ranked College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Missouri on its list of Top Colleges in the Nation. The school ranked No. 6 on the “Best Buy” list, and was ranked No. 191 in overall top colleges list. Elizabeth Hughes is the Public Relations Director at College of the Ozarks.

 “When you realize that Forbes evaluated more than the 6,000 colleges and universities in the nation, and then narrowed that list down to 650 colleges, and then College of the Ozarks was in the top one-third of that list, it’s something to be proud of.”

 With a student population of a little under 1,500, Hughes feels humbled that the school was ranked so highly.

 “Forbes put Ivy Leagues with state schools, and state schools with small private schools, and Ivy Leagues with small private schools. So, to be named as a top college among names like Harvard and Princeton and Yale, that’s something.”

Forbes ranked its best value colleges by comparing the cost of tuition to the quality of education of the school.

 Another local college, Drury University in Springfield, received a similar ranking this week from the Princeton Review. Named “A Best in the Midwest,” Drury is one of the153 best college institutions in a 12 state region. Dr. Charles Taylor, Vice President of Academic Affairs at Drury, says he feels the school deserves the high recommendation.

 “It’s always affirming to have the excellence of our program recognized by prestigious outlets like Princeton Review. Some people will raise the question of whether or not it accurately reflects an institution—I think in this institution it absolutely does.”

 According to a press release from Drury, The Princeton Review recommends the college in its website feature, "2012 Best Colleges: Region by Region," that was released this week. The recommendation was mostly based on the school’s academic programs and affordability. Taylor thinks both recent recognitions reflect positively on the community as a whole.

 “While the full measure of the quality of an institution, I think, can be assessed only by those students who go through its programs, I think these kind of external measures provide short-hand indications to students and their parents as they’re making choices about where to invest their precious higher education dollars.”

 Both lists of the top ranked colleges can be found at their websites, www.forbes.com and www.PrincetonReview.com.

 There you can find out which other Missouri universities made the lists as well.

 For KSMU News, I’m Rebekah Clark.