An Explanation of Our Categories

Overall score: Overall score represents the combined score of our three metrics—social mobility, research, and service—where the highest is 100 and the lowest is zero. Each individual metric is worth 33 1/3 total points.

Social mobility: The first column shows the percentage of students receiving Pell Grants. The second shows the predicted rate of graduation, based on incoming SAT scores and Pell Grant percentages, versus the actual rate of graduation. The third shows the difference between the actual graduation rate and the predicted graduation rate—a measure of how well the school performs as an engine of social mobility (see “A Note on Methodology”)—arrived at by subtracting the latter from the former. (The higher the number, the better; negative numbers indicate subpar performance.) Rank follows in parentheses.

Research: The first column shows the number of dollars (in millions) in total research expenditures. Rank follows in parentheses. The second shows the school’s ranking in the number of bachelor’s recipients who go on to receive PhDs relative to school size. The third ranks the school by the number of science and engineering PhDs awarded. The fourth column shows the school’s ranking by the number of faculty receiving prestigious awards relative to the number of full-time faculty. The fifth column ranks the school by the number of faculty who are members of the National Academies relative to the number of full-time faculty.

Service: The first column ranks the school by the number of alumni who go on to serve in the Peace Corps, relative to school size. The second column ranks the school by percentage of students who serve in ROTC. The third gives the percentage of funds in federal work-study money that goes to community service (versus non-community service); rank follows in parentheses.
Click to go back to the Washington Monthly‘s national or liberal arts college rankings.

The Editors

The Editors can be found on Twitter: @washmonthly.