Each year, Forbes releases a ranking of top colleges based on qualifications such as best value, best return on investment, and campus life. But the publication also releases a lesser-known list of schools, the winners of the #MyTopCollege contest.
The #MyTopCollege list is created through a social media contest in which students, alumni, parents, and faculty take to Twitter and Instagram to share what makes their college stand out. The contest has a different theme each week, from first-year experiences, to friendships, to influential professors. The quality and quantity of social media posts determine the winners.
This year, the contest received more than 2,000 submissions, with more than half coming from the Pacific region of the United States. And of the 1,350 posts from the Pacific, 96% came from California State University schools. Colleges in the Midwest and mid-Atlantic regions earned the second- and third-highest number of submissions.
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Here are the schools that topped this year's #MyTopCollege ranking:
- California State University, Fullerton*
- California State University, Long Beach*
- Otterbein University*
- Sweet Briar College
- Widener University*
- Saint Francis University*
- California State University, Northridge*
- California State University, Chico*
- Fresno State University
- Berry College
*Editor's note: EAB congratulates our member institutions on the list. Member institutions listed above have been marked with an *asterisk.
California State University, Fullerton topped the list in the large school category for the fifth year in a row with nearly 600 posts. The public research university was followed by Otterbein University in the medium-size category and Sweet Briar College in the small-school category.
Aside from offering students and alumni an opportunity to share what makes their college special, the #MyTopCollege ranking also serves as an alternative to the flurry of rankings that tend to recognize the same few institutions year after year. "We host our #MyTopCollege social media contest because we know numbers can't tell the full story of the college experience," Aisha Powell writes for Forbes (Powell, Forbes, 8/10).
See more rankings: The top 10 colleges with the most grateful grads
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