October 22, 2014


Oberlin listed 6th among best Midwest colleges by Forbes

OBERLIN — Being named one of the best colleges in the Midwest is an achievement by any college’s standards, but for Oberlin, the focus is less on national rankings and more on student accomplishments, college leaders say.

This week, Forbes Magazine named Oberlin College the sixth-best college in the Midwest for 2014, comparing it using factors like the cost of tuition, percent of students admitted and on-campus facilities to other colleges in the area.

Carleton College was ranked first, followed by University of Notre Dame and Northwestern University.

Despite the prestigious ranking, Oberlin College Dean of Admissions Debra Chermonte said Oberlin doesn’t put too much weight into national rankings.

“There are so many ratings out there and they’re looking at a whole variety … at different indicators of success,” Chermonte said, adding that the college places more stock in campus facilities and programs. “(Oberlin) emphasizes the importance of a strong campus visit. …. We encourage students when they come to campus to stay overnight, to get into classrooms, to feel what an Oberlin education would be like and not just read about it.”

Despite generally disregarding college rankings, Chermonte said she has some idea of why Oberlin received such a high score this year.

“The relevance of our position as both a top-rated liberal arts college, a world-renowned conservatory of music … (and having) one of the top art museums of any college in the country … the synergy between all of those things,” Chermonte said.

She added that many students graduate from Oberlin and go on to receive prestigious awards like the MacArthur fellowship and Fulbright scholarships.

Those factors — rather than various ranking systems — are what Chermonte hopes prospective Oberlin students will consider when thinking of Oberlin College.

“I think it goes well beyond what’s in a guidebook,” she said.

Contact Anna Merriman at 329-7245 or amerriman@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter at @AnnaLMerriman.


  • alreadyfedup1

    The only thing that counts at the “top-rated liberal arts college” is the key word “LIBERAL” you are.

  • Mark B

    Brain Washed Fools

  • oldruss

    This Forbes ranking was different from others I’ve seen, in that colleges and universities are lumped together into a single ranking. That makes Oberlin College’s recognition by Forbes all the more impressive.

  • wendy jones

    Oberlin is an awesome institution. Young people develop into epic adults!

    • golfingirl

      Epic, as in a long poem?

      That is about all they learn, poetry and art. Wonderful preparation for a great career in today’s global economy, don’t ya think?

      I suppose it is a great school if you want to learn to play a flute, but not very relevant in today’s job market.

      • Otter

        There is a lot more to Oberlin than the Fine Arts, and the Conservatory….

      • oldruss

        Very myopic view of a college education. Leave the career preparation to the business/technical/vocational schools, whose only aim, ostensibly, is to train tuition paying students to do specific types of jobs, not to enrich and broaden their minds.

      • NetMav

        At Oberlin I learned to play the flute very well, the skin flute that is.

    • Simon Jester

      Epic adults that are pretty much unemployable outside of academia or government work.

      Still, I have to give the Conservatory credit. Good stuff there.

      • Reagan

        I’ve said it before I’ll say it again. ” How little you know about Oberlin “.

        • Reagan

          Sorry the reply was for golfingirl. But can apply to your comment as well.

          • Simon Jester

            It’s cool.

            I’m guilty of getting my Oberlin hate on, but I’d at least consider myself informed.

  • golfingirl

    And all for only $62,000 per year!

  • Simon Jester

    Oberlin, Berkley of the Midwest.

    You will never find a more wretched hive of Commies and Occupy(!!) degenerates.

    We must be cautious.

    • AFITgrad86

      True perhaps … but then Michelle Malkin is an Oberlin alum and I wouldn’t call her a commie … just saying.

  • wendy jones

    All the individuals I know from Oberlin, career wise, have far exceeded the STEM students. The naysayers were probably rejected by Oberlin and their community colleges, as well.

  • SniperFire

    I actually enjoy hanging out in Oberlin. Conservatives are fine patrons of the arts.

    Yeah, it is liberal lala land, but everyone knows most of those $62K student tuitions are paid for by their rich, money-grubbing capitalist pig parents. So there is an element of keeping it real.

    • wendy jones

      What are you… a poor Conservative or just wait listed at Community College…. Or did you start off with the 099 Course Levels, then dropped out of Community?

      • SniperFire

        You find truth disturbing? You must be a Leftist. LOL