As one of only 25 schools (USD is No. 17) in the United States to be named a Best Value College by Forbes, USD also achieves the highest Forbes ranking (No. 330 overall) among South Dakota colleges and universities. Forbes’ “America’s 2013 Top Colleges” can be viewed online at The publication’s annual review of the best undergraduate institutions in the country praises USD for its academic offerings, research and affordable tuition (in-state and out-of-state).

“When it comes to choosing a college that’s a perfect fit, cost is a key factor. Excellence and affordability are hard to beat,” said James W. Abbott, president of the University of South Dakota. “What students should expect in return for their investment is a quality education, so it’s an honor that Forbes recognizes that USD is delivering an affordable choice that also has great educational value.”

“America’s Top Colleges” assesses the quality of the educational experiences at 650 national institutions and highlights faculty expertise, career prospects, and emphasizes financial prudence, so students can make an informed, consumer choice when it comes to selecting a college or university. Additionally, “America’s Top Colleges” rankings are based on five categories: student satisfaction, which includes professor evaluations from and freshman-to-sophomore retention rates via the Department of Education; post graduate success, including alumni salary via; student debt, which takes into account average federal student loan debt load and student loan default rates; graduation rate; and competitive awards, particularly schools whose students win prestigious scholarships and fellowships like the Rhodes, the Marshall and the Fulbright.

For more information on criteria used to select “America’s 2013 Top Colleges” or to view the rankings of all 650 schools, please go to

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