Northern Arizona University ranks as one of the Top 100 best public colleges in the United States—and as one of the nation’s best values—according to a special report released last week byForbes.

NAU ranks 78th on the magazine’s list of the Top 100 Best Public Colleges and 64th on Forbeslist of America’s Best College Buys.

Forbes points to something we’ve been touting for years—that Northern Arizona University offers a remarkable investment in a high-quality education,” said David Bousquet, vice president for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs.

The report is compiled by Forbes and the Center for College Affordability and Productivity, which ranks only the top 15 percent of all undergraduate institutions in the United States, or about 600 colleges and universities.

According to the report’s authors, “A good college is one that meets student needs. While some college rankings are based partly on school reputation as evaluated by college administrators and on the amount of money spent, we focus on things which directly concern incoming students: Will my courses be interesting and rewarding? Will I get a good job after I graduate? Is it likely I will graduate in four years? Will I incur a ton of debt getting my degree?”

The quality score is calculated by summing each school’s score with respect to Who’s Who in America citations, salary data fromPayScale.com, course evaluations from RateMyProfessor.com, the receipt of student and faculty nationally competitive awards, and the graduation rate variables used in the Best College rankings.

To produce the Best Buys ranking, Forbes divided each school’s overall quality score by its average net tuition rate (after allowance for scholarship grants).

Out of the report’s overall rankings of the top 600 colleges and universities in the nation—both public and private—NAU ranks 344th, the University of Arizona ranks 339th and Arizona State University ranks 350th.

The complete reports are available online: