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UC dominates Washington Monthly rankings

The University of California dominated Washington Monthly’s 2011 College Guide and Rankings, with UC San Diego, UCLA and UC Berkeley taking the top three places in the magazine’s rating of how well universities contribute to social good.

Washington Monthly ranked eight UC campuses, with six making the top 15 of the 258 universities in the magazine’s national category. Other UC campuses ranked were: Riverside fifth, Davis eighth, Santa Barbara 13th, Irvine 60th and Santa Cruz 70th. UC San Diego also topped last year’s list, with UC Berkeley second and UCLA third.

UC’s dominance of the rankings is a “testament to California’s historic commitment to institutions that combine world-class research and access for low-income students,” Washington Monthly said in the introduction to its guide.

Universities “produce the research and human capital that fuel the economy,” Washington Monthly’s Paul Glastris wrote in an editor’s note. “They teach the habits of mind and spirit that undergird democracy. And they provide the means for upward mobility that is the bedrock justification for the American experiment.”

Washington Monthly rates universities based on their contribution to the public good, and in contrast to other college guides, offer a “healthier set of incentives that reward schools for promoting research, service and social mobility,” Glastris added.

The magazine uses three categories in its rankings:

  • Social mobility in terms of recruiting and graduating low-income students;
  • Research in terms of producing cutting-edge scholarship and doctoral graduates; and
  • Service for how they encourage students to give something back to their country.

“We all benefit when colleges produce groundbreaking research that drives economic growth, when they offer students from low-income families the path to a better life, and when they shape the character of future leaders,” Washington Monthly said. “And we all pay for it, through hundreds of billions of dollars in public subsidies. Everyone has a stake in how that money is spent.”


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