Does your alma mater contribute to the social good? Or is it just another soul-sucking institution, hell-bent on training young people to do evil things like “make money” or become lawyers?
Well, Washington Monthly has released its annual rankings of colleges and universities. But the magazine ranks the schools by their “contributions to society.” Here is the magazine’s methodology, from Tax Prof Blog:
Community Service (33.3%)
* % of Alumni in Peace Corps
* % of Students in Army/Navy ROTC
* % of Work-Study Grants Spent on Community Service Projects
* Research Expenditures
* % of Students Earning Ph.Ds
* Number of Science & Engineering Ph.Ds Awarded
* % of Faculty Receiving Prestigious Awards
* % of Faculty in National Academies
Social Mobility (33.3%)
* % of Students Receiving Pell Grants
* Actual Graduation Rate v. Predicted Graduation Rate
Oh dear. Where to begin? First off, the community service metric is FUBAR. The army counts; but students who become, say, firefighters, are left out? Meanwhile, surely not all research expenditures contribute to society. And if all research does, then schools should get credit for graduates who go on to work for Merck.
It would physically hurt my brain to break down the myriad problems with their “social mobility” metric.
But … whatever, their bleeding hearts are in the right place. Check out the top ten and the bottom ten universities, after the jump.
Apparently, if you go to school in California, there is a very good chance that you contribute to society.
And here’s the bottom of the list.
Wow, how are you just going to smack the University of New Orleans like that? Haven’t they’ve been through enough?
Read the full rankings here.
I’m all for having educational outcomes play a larger role in how we rank schools. But not like this.
College Guide [Washington Monthly]
College Rankings by “Contributions to Society” [Tax Prof Blog]