Forbes annual list of Best Institutes for Higher Learning and Contact Making came out today. The coveted list, compiled by Forbes and Washington, D.C.'s Center for College Affordability and Productivity, focuses on data and issues "that matter the most to students" such as quality of teaching, career prospects, graduation rates, and levels of debt. The Bay Area's own Stanford ranked #3, just behind Williams and top-ranking Princeton. In more shocking news, UCLA (#45) pulled ahead of UC Berkeley (#50). Interesting. Or not.

Tony private University of San Francisco ranked #177, while the always festive and inarguably rad UC Santa Cruz came in at #199. (Any school with a banana slug for a mascot deserves nothing less than top-ten glory. Bah.)

Rounding out the bottom five? Columbia College Chicago (646), Morgan State University (647), South Carolina State University (648), Johnson & Wales University (649), and Texas Southern University (650).

Another alarming tidbit was cost. Four years at one of the esteemed private school, like University of Chicago (#4) or Williams (#2), costs more than a quarter of a million dollars. A degree from "more affordable" state schools, like the College of William & Mary (#40) or UC Berkeley (#50), still costs around $100,000, even for in-state students.

How did your school fare?