The Editors


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 metric is weighted equally. 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… Read more »

A Note on Methodology: 4-year Colleges and Universities

There are two primary goals to our methodology. First, we considered no single category to be more important than any other. Second, the final rankings needed to reflect excellence across the full breadth of our measures, rather than reward an exceptionally high focus on, say, research. Thus, all three main categories were weighted equally when… Read more »

A Note on Methodology: Community Colleges

The Washington Monthly ranking of America’s best community colleges is based on two sources of information: the Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE) and graduation rates published by the U.S. Department of Education. The CCSSE survey is managed by a nonprofit organization of the same name housed at the University of Texas at Austin…. Read more »

Introduction: A Different Kind of College Ranking

It wasn’t long ago that the colleges annually anointed as “America’s Best” by U.S. News & World Report— Harvard, Princeton, and Yale—served as fertile breeding grounds for future masters of the financial universe. History majors from New Haven could make the hour-long drive along the Long Island Sound to the hedge funds of Greenwich, Connecticut…. Read more »

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,… Read more »