LSU Moves Up in America’s Top Colleges List, Ranked Highest Among Louisiana’s Public Universities

LSU Quad

LSU is the highest ranked public university in Louisiana in Forbes America’s Top Colleges rankings.Photo: LSU

BATON ROUGE – LSU moved up in the latest Forbes America’s Top Colleges rankings. After being recognized as one of America’s Best Value Colleges earlier this year, LSU is also now the highest ranked public university in Louisiana in the publication’s America’s Top Colleges list. In addition, Forbes has placed LSU 59th overall among public universities nationwide, and fifth among public universities in the Southeastern Conference.

“We are pleased to be once again recognized by Forbes as one of America’s Top Colleges,” said LSU President F. King Alexander. “Parents and students have had to rely on flawed ranking systems for colleges for years now, and we welcome rankings such as Forbes for looking at what truly matters when measuring the quality of a university: outcomes. Over the years, LSU has proven to be one of the top universities in the country in terms of providing an exceptional education to its students, who benefit from a greater return on investment with higher starting salaries and mid-career earnings, while graduating with little to no debt.”

Overall, LSU has moved up on Forbes list since last year’s rankings. The university is ranked 192, compared to 218 in 2017, and among public universities, LSU moved up to 59 from 62 last year. LSU ranks 24th among flagships and 102nd among research institutions.

Now in its 11th year, Forbes list of America’s Top Colleges, which includes 650 schools total, focuses on the direct benefits schools provide to their graduates. Forbes utilizes a number of sources for their data analysis, including the U.S. Department of Education; the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, or IPEDs; and the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard. Privately-owned websites such as Payscale and Niche are also utilized in the rankings. Forbes uses several indicators to capture quality of universities, including alumni salary (20 percent), debt (20 percent), student experience (20 percent), American Leaders List (15 percent), academic success (12.5 percent) and graduation rate (12.5 percent). 

Alexander has long been a proponent more transparency and having universities publicizing their outcome measures. By utilizing Payscale and the College Scorecard, Forbes’ rankings show direct results and return on investment for students attending a university. In a recent op-ed with Sen. Bill Cassidy, Alexander championed the need for increased transparency around university outcomes for the benefit of prospective students around the country.

According to Payscale, a student who earns a bachelor’s degree from LSU has early career earnings of $51,800 and mid-career earnings of $98,800 – the highest among all public universities in Louisiana. When considering all alumni who attended LSU, graduates have early career earnings of $52,700 and mid-career earnings of $100,400 – also the highest among Louisiana public universities.

For the full list of 2018 America’s Top Colleges,




Contact Ernie Ballard
LSU Media Relations