Washington Monthly magazine has recognized Southwestern College as one of the nation’s top values in higher education in its 2016 college rankings issue. The magazine ranks SC fifth in the Midwest Region as a “Best Bang for the Buck College.”
According to Washington Monthly, the “Best Bang for the Buck” list includes schools that help non-wealthy students attain marketable degrees at affordable prices.
“This is who we are at Southwestern and it’s what we have been doing for more than 130 years: helping deserving students attain meaningful degrees at affordable prices,” says Southwestern College President Brad Andrews.
Washington Monthly’s methodology for the rankings is rooted in three categories: social mobility (recruiting and graduating low-income students), research (producing cutting-edge scholarship and Ph.D.s) and service (encouraging students to give back to their country).
Data reviewed in the ranking process includes graduation rates, first-generation student ratios, graduate earnings, net price of attendance, and a measure calculated for each institution’s dedication to community service. In total, 367 institutions of higher education were ranked in the Midwest category. The fifth place ranking put Southwestern ahead of all other schools in Kansas.
According to the guest editor of the issue, Kevin Carey, who directs the education policy program at the New America Foundation, the ranking is most fundamentally based “not on what (colleges) did for themselves, but on what they did for their country.”
“Colleges that enrolled many low-income students and helped them graduate did well on our rankings, regardless of how famous they were. So did universities producing the next generation of scientists and Ph.D.s, and those that built an ethos of public obligation by sending graduates into service,” wrote Carey in his introduction to the college rankings guide.
SC was also ranked in the magazine’s Top 100 Master’s Universities at number 33.
In addition to the Washington Monthly ranking, Southwestern has achieved other recent recognitions for offering outstanding value to students. A February study by Georgetown University Center for Education named SC best in the state for graduates beating mid-career salary expectations. U.S. News & World Report ranked SC a Top Tier Midwest Regional University in the newsmagazine’s annual ranking, which was published in September.