President Obama said last week he wants to rate colleges on value and performance. The Washington Monthly, an independent magazine for policy wonks, released annual rankings Monday that attempt to do just that.
The Monthly, which for years has argued that conventional measures of college prestige are far less important than what colleges do for the country, is pleased that the president appears to be singing from its song sheet.
“It doesn’t happen every day that an administration does exactly what you want,” Paul Glastris, the Monthly’s editor in chief, said.
Atop the Monthly’s list of national universities, ranked on how they promote upward social mobility, research and public service, are the universities of California at San Diego and Riverside, respectively. The magazine’s top-ranked liberal arts colleges are Bryn Mawr in Pennsylvania and Carleton in Minnesota.
The schools the Monthly believes offer the “best bang for buck” are the private Amherst College in Massachusetts, which has generous financial aid and a high share of enrollment of students in financial need, and the City University of New York’s Queens College, a public institution.