Fall has taken over here in Maine. That means cooler weather (allegedly), leaves changing colors, weekends filled with football, and school starting back up.

This means it's also that time of year where annual school rankings start coming out. This includes one of the most popular, the Forbes Top 500 College list.

The Forbes rankings are more than just bragging rights. The media giant closely analyzes thousands of American colleges in an attempt to find the cream of the crop. They use categories like graduation rates, low-income student opportunities, graduate salaries, and many others. You can read more about the methodology here.

Maine did relatively well in this year's rankings. The Pine Tree State secured four spots on the list. It includes three private schools and one public. Let's take a closer look at Maine's rankings.

44. Bowdoin College - Brunswick - The Midcoast private school came in as Maine's highest ranked school. One of the "Baby Ivy's" is noted for very good job graduate job placement and generous financial aid packages.

89. Colby College - Waterville - Located in Central Maine, Colby just snuck into the top 100. The school gets accolades for encouraging students to explore our great state. Plus, it focuses on helping expected graduates find internships and fellowships.

127. Bates College - Lewiston - The final of the three "Baby Ivy's" just missed out being ranked in the top 120. Bates College is noted for encouraging student creativity and research. The school also has a "short term" in the spring that allows for more immersive learning.

293. Maine Maritime Academy - Castine - The only Maine public university to make the list is this specialized school in Downeast. The school develops officers and engineers to work in the nautical field.

This is a respectable showing for Maine. Although, I am a little surprised the Baby Ivy's were further down the list than where we typically expect to see them. Also, it's kind of insane that Maine's flagship public university didn't make the list. UMaine Orono absolutely deserves to be ranked. Hell, they probably should be for the engineering department alone.

As for the top 10, here you go...

1. Princeton University
2. Yale University
3. Stanford University
4. MIT
5. Cal
6. Columbia University
8. Penn
9. Harvard
10. Williams College

Wow, not one school with a football team worth a damn. Boring.

You can see all 500 ranked schools here.

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