Office of Planning & Budgeting

August 27, 2012

Washington Monthly National Universities Ranking Released

Today, the Washington Monthly released its 2012 national university rankings. Unlike the better known U.S. News & World Report survey, which considers only “widely accepted indicators of excellence [such as] freshman retention and graduation rates and the strength of the faculty”, the Washington Monthly focuses on schools’ “contribution to the public good”. It rates schools in three broad categories: Social Mobility (recruiting and graduating low-income students), Research (producing cutting-edge scholarship and PhDs), and Service (encouraging students to give something back to their country).

The University of Washington-Seattle ranks 8th in the nation among national universities, while UC San Diego, Texas A&M and Stanford take the top three spots. This represents a huge jump for the UW, from 23rd in 2010 to 16th in 2011, and now to 8th place, achieved amidst severe budget cuts. The UW’s notably high score on social mobility (6th in the nation) is a reflection of its strong commitment to financial aid despite rising tuition rates. For full results and a more thorough explanation of the methodology, click here.