UW News

August 26, 2013

UW ranked 13th nationally by Washington Monthly, 9th in “Bang for Buck”

News and Information

Washington Monthly, which ranks universities based upon social mobility, research production and commitment to service, has ranked the University of Washington 13th among national universities for 2013.

Washington Monthly coverThe UW also was ranked ninth among national universities in “Best Bang for the Buck,” a measure of  “colleges in America that do the best job of helping nonwealthy students attain marketable degrees at affordable prices,” according to the magazine.

“Washington Monthly’s rankings attempt to measure what colleges and universities are doing for the nation,” said UW President Michael K. Young.  “Interestingly, they align very well with President Obama’s recent initiative to keep a college education affordable and accessible to everyone. The University of Washington’s strong commitment to educating students regardless of economic background is reflected in these rankings, and we are very pleased our efforts in this regard are being recognized nationally.”

The magazine measures social mobility by recognizing universities that offer a cost-effective education and enroll, as well as graduate, a significant percentage of low-income students.

Research production includes research activity by faculty and also the percentage of undergraduate alumni who go on for doctoral degrees.

A school’s performance in community service includes a number of measures: enrollments in ROTC programs, alumni currently serving in the Peace Corps, use of federal work-study money for community service projects, total student participation in community service and the number of academic courses that incorporate service.

“Bang for the Buck” includes four criteria:

  • Schools must have at least 20 percent of undergraduates receiving Pell Grants, which go to students of modest means;
  • They must have a graduation rate of at least 50 percent;
  • Each school’s graduation rate must meet or exceed the rate that would be statistically predicted for that school given the number of lower-income students admitted;
  • Schools must have a student loan default rate of 10 percent or less.

The UW was ranked eighth by Washington Monthly overall in 2012. This is the first year the magazine has compiled “Bang for the Buck” rankings.