We’re number 638… We’re number 638!

On Tuesday, “Forbes” magazine announced its top 650 colleges and universities in the country. Up toward the top were the usual suspects: Stanford, Harvard, Yale and Columbia. Ohio State University came in at 138, while Ohio University ranked 348. Kent State University and the University of Akron were 605 and 585, respectively. And there, as the lists started wrapping up with lesser-known schools like Indiana University of Pennsylvania and Metropolitan State University of Denver, coming in at exactly 500 spots behind Ohio State at number 638…
That doesn’t sound very impressive, though does it — 638? Rankings are usually in numbers like 25 or 50 or 100. Lists are usually Top Tens. And this “Forbes” list of top colleges is out 650. That puts YSU only 12 spots out of last place, right?
It’s the best 650, but as YSU president Randy Dunn noted, there are nearly 2,000 four-year universities in the country that “Forbes” could have chosen from. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, there were 2,274 four-year colleges that were Title IV compliant — meaning they participated in federal financial aid programs.
That puts YSU in the top 28.6 percent of universities — across the country.
Popular opinion around here, it seems, is that YSU isn’t a good place to get an education. Or that it’s a steppingstone to bigger and better colleges. Or that it’s a last resort of high school students that couldn’t go anywhere else.
Those opinions are wrong. We, all of the Penguins of YSU, are going to a school that is on the same list that recognizes schools like Harvard and Princeton. Obviously, we aren’t in the same league as they are — it’s called the Ivy League for a reason — but it’s a start toward some well-deserved recognition.
And, hopefully, it’s a start toward a change in attitude around campus. Maybe one day, we can start thinking of ourselves as the “real college” that “Forbes” magazine has stated that we are.