In assembling its annual list of America’s Top CollegesForbes magazine distinguishes itself from other guides by its emphasis on students’ Return on Investment from their four (or more) years’ time and tuition payments. “ROI matters most,” the magazine proclaims. Thus it focuses not on selectivity metrics — such as acceptance rates and SAT scores — but on five measures of achievement: student satisfaction, post-graduate success, student debt, graduation rates, and academic success.

Judging by these criteria, Forbes has once again named Thomas Aquinas College to its selective list.

Only about 15 percent of American colleges and universities, 660 in all, are included on the Forbes list, and among those, Thomas Aquinas College ranks within the top half. The business magazine also lists the College among the nation’s top private institutions and the top 50 in the Western United States.

Notably, Thomas Aquinas College’s scores mark a significant rise from Forbes’ 2015 rankings. Its overall national ranking has jumped 30 spots, from No. 281 last year to No. 251 for 2016. Likewise, the College’s rank among private institutions improved from No. 201 to No. 182, and among Western colleges and universities from No. 51 to No. 46.

“When considered with our highly favorable ratings from the Princeton ReviewU.S. News,  the National Catholic Register, and the Cardinal Newman Society, the Forbes ranking is encouraging,” says Thomas Aquinas College’s director of admissions, Jon Daly. “The magazine’s favorable assessment of our ‘ROI’ is more evidence that Catholic liberal education succeeds by any measure.”