Washington Monthly’s 2014 college rankings show the most “public-minded” institutions based on social mobility, research and public service.
We all benefit when colleges produce groundbreaking research that drives economic growth, when they put students from lower-income families on the path to a better life, and when they shape the character of future leaders. And we all pay for it, through hundreds of billions of dollars in government-financed financial aid, tax breaks, and other spending.
. . . Instead of crediting colleges that reject the most applicants, we recognize those that do the best job of enrolling and graduating low-income students. Our rankings measure both pure research spending and success in preparing undergraduates to earn PhDs. And by giving equal weight to public service, we identify colleges that build a sense of obligation to their communities and the nation at large.
Only two of U.S. News‘ top ten schools, Stanford and Harvard, make the Monthly‘s top ten, which is headed by the University of California at San Diego.
Categories include the best bang-for-the-buck schools, which looks at value for the cost most students will pay, not the sticker price. That’s how Amherst makes the top five.
The Monthly also lists the affordable elites (the University of California campuses do well).
America’s Worst Colleges have high tuition and high dropout and default rates. Of the worst 20, 11 are for-profit colleges and nine are private nonprofits. Art schools and historically black colleges do poorly in the ratings.
The 13 most ridiculous college courses include Skidmore’s Sociology of Miley Cyrus, Tufts’ Demystifying the Hipster and Rutgers’ Feminist Perspectives: Politicizing Beyonce, according to Thomas K. Lindsay on See Thru Edu.
Occidental has a course titled Stupidity, which teaches that it is “the double of intelligence rather than its opposite.” I don’t follow the math on that. I may not be stupid enough.