The Washington Monthly rankings are based on three factors. The first is social mobility, which gives colleges credit for enrolling many low-income students and helping them earn degrees. The second recognizes research production, particularly at schools whose undergraduates go on to earn PhDs. Third, a commitment to service. The more expensive college becomes, the more students are encouraged to see higher education as a mere return on investment. The students in the “best” colleges are taught by example and design to look beyond themselves and give back.
With this criteria, the Washington Monthly placed the University of Florida at #21, Florida International University at #53, Florida State University at #70, FAMU at #80, and the University of West Florida at #99.
These rankings, with their emphasis on altruism, stand in contrast to the latest U.S. News & World Report college rankings.
“That well-known list actually rewards colleges for spending more money, raising prices, and shutting out all but the most privileged students,” argue the editors of the Washington Monthly‘s list.