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Education Lab Blog

Education Lab is a project to spark meaningful conversations about education solutions in the Pacific Northwest.

August 25, 2014 at 10:59 AM

Best bang for your college buck? UW ranks 6th

A wide range of institutions and publications will be rolling out national — in some cases, international — college and university rankings in the coming weeks. In this space, we’ll take note of some of the most interesting ones.

The national magazine Washington Monthly tries to downplay prestige and play up value in its “Best Bang for the Buck” list, with rankings based on the economic value students receive per dollar. Among national universities, that list puts the University of Washington-Seattle at number 6. Washington State University ranks 45th. 

Among master’s-degree-granting universities, UW-Bothell ranks 5th, and The Evergreen State College ranks 17th. Central Washington University comes in at 29th, and Western Washington University at 32nd.

Among all schools in the country, regardless of the highest degree awarded, UW-Bothell ranks 6th, and UW-Seattle ranks 15th.

The monthly magazine also has a second, broader ranking that looks at more than money.  For that list, it “asks not what colleges can do for you, but what colleges are doing for the country. Are they educating low-income students, or just catering to the affluent? Are they improving the quality of their teaching, or ducking accountability for it?”

On that list, it weighs U.S. colleges and universities on 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). In that ranking, the UW-Seattle came in 7th, and WSU ranked 100th.

Among master’s degree-granting universities, Whitworth University was 11th, The Evergreen State College was 14th, Western Washington University ranked 36th, Gonzaga University was 37th and Seattle University was 38th.

And Whitman College placed 29th among liberal arts colleges.

Two weeks ago, Shanghai Jiao Tong University came out with its annual world ranking of colleges and universities, a list that puts a heavy weight on faculty productivity. After holding onto 16th place for seven years, the University of Washington moved up a notch in 2014, ranking 15th.

Comments | More in News | Topics: University of Washington, Washington State University, Western Washington University

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