WASHINGTON, Aug. 28, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The Washington Monthly magazine today is releasing its annual College Guide and Rankings, an increasingly influential alternative to U.S. News & World Report's much-criticized rankings. The Guide also features America's 12 most innovative colleges for adult learners.
While U.S. News relies on prestige and wealth-driven metrics for its rankings, the Washington Monthly measures colleges and universities based on what they are doing for the country—by improving social mobility, producing research, and promoting public service.
The Washington Monthly's unique methodology yields eye-opening results:
- While 19 out of U.S. News' top 20 national university rankings are private schools, the majority of Washington Monthly's top 20 are public institutions, including University of California-San Diego, Texas A&M University, and University of Washington–Seattle, schools that rate nowhere near the top at U.S. News.
- Although a few elite schools, such as Stanford University (CA) and Harvard University (MA), top the Washington Monthly list, others underperform. Columbia University (NY), California Institute of Technology, and Washington University in St. Louis (MO), which rank 5th, 12th, and 19th respectively, on the U.S. News list, come in 16th, 92nd, and 107th in the Washington Monthly rankings.
- Berea College (KY), ranked 60th on U.S. News' list of liberal arts colleges, comes in 1st in the Washington Monthly.
For the second year in a row, the publication ranked the best two- and four-year colleges for adult learners. "The share of college students who are 25 years old or older is around 40 percent," says Washington Monthly editor-in-chief Paul Glastris. "But most colleges haven't adapted. For example, they still schedule most classes around midday, which is convenient for late-night-partying undergrads, rather than at nights and on weekends, when adults with jobs and families can actually attend them."
To put together its ranking of the best four- and two-year colleges for adult learners, the magazine compiled data into seven general measures of colleges' openness and responsiveness to adult students, such as the availability of weekend, evening, and online classes that fit busy work schedules. The top 10 four-year colleges are:
- Golden Gate University—San Francisco (CA)
- University of Utah
- Concordia University—St. Paul (MN)
- Park University (MO)
- George Mason University (VA)
- Bellevue University (NE)
- Indiana Wesleyan University
- University of Oklahoma–Norman
- Marylhurst University (OR)
- University of North Dakota
Bellevue University in Nebraska falls into the "unranked" category on the U.S. News rankings but is No. 6 on the Washington Monthly adult learners list. The university does well on a host of metrics, including how much its students earn annually 10 years after entering ($61,406) and the share of students—82 percent—who are adults.
The 2017 College Guide also includes an updated "Best Bang for the Buck" ranking of institutions that are doing the best job of helping non-wealthy students attain marketable degrees at affordable prices.
Cristal Steuer, TVP Communications
SOURCE The Washington Monthly