Forbes magazine has named Thomas Aquinas College, the liberal arts school based in Santa Paula, as one of the top colleges for guaranteeing students a return on their investment.

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.

This year Thomas Aquinas College has also taken a significant rise from last year in other categories. Its overall national ranking has jumped 30 spots, from number 281 last year to 251. Likewise, the college’s rank among private institutions improved from numbe 201 to 182, and among Western colleges and universities from number 51 to 46.

“When considered with our highly favorable ratings from the Princeton Review, U.S. News, the National Catholic Register and the Cardinal Newman Society, the Forbes ranking is encouraging,” says the school’s director of admissions, Jon Daly.