UW News

July 31, 2017

University of Washington recognized for access, affordability and value in three separate rankings

UW News

The University of Washington has been recognized by three separate publications in rankings focused on access for low-income students, affordability and value.

The New York Times’ College Access Index ranked the UW 18th in the nation – ninth among public institutions – in its assessment of “which top universities are doing the most to promote the American Dream.” The Times looked at colleges and universities with a five-year graduation rate of at least 75 percent and ordered them based on a combination of the number of lower- and middle-income students enrolled and the price students are charged.

“Access to higher education is a powerful public good, both for students who earn a degree as well as their families and communities,” UW President Ana Mari Cauce said. “We’re proud to be among the nation’s top universities in providing pathways to achievement for all, including lower- and middle-income students.”

In addition to the Times’ ranking, MONEY magazine this month listed the UW 13th among its Best Colleges for Your Money, which evaluates colleges on educational quality, affordability and alumni success. The ranking equally rates schools on these three factors.

In MONEY’s rankings, educational quality is based on six-year graduation rates. Affordability is evaluated based on the net costs students actually pay (after aid is subtracted), the length of time it takes students to earn degrees, and the amount students and parents typically borrow through federal programs. Long-term affordability measures include student loan default and repayment rates. And alumni success is based on salary data from several online sources, as well as data on schools’ track records of moving low-income students into the upper middle class from Stanford University economist Raj Chetty, who studies education and social mobility.

The UW is also one of 20 public universities in the nation to land on the Fiske Guide to Colleges “Best Buys of 2018,” released earlier this month. The list denotes “a select group of schools noted for quality academic offerings and affordable cost.”

The guidebook touts the UW’s reputation among research universities and notes that the UW’s “diverse undergraduate strengths correspond with its excellent graduate programs.”