KALAMAZOO—Western Michigan University has once again been named one of the country's top 100 national universities and a "Best Bang for the Buck" school in rankings released Aug. 25 by Washington Monthly.
WMU is one of four Michigan universities to make the 2014 list, which the popular Washington, D.C., magazine has published annually since 2005. The publication's College Guide and Rankings rates schools based on what they are doing for their students and the country. This is the second year WMU has appeared on the list of top-100 national universities and its second appearance in the more recent "best bang for the buck" category. On earlier Washington Monthly lists, WMU consistently appeared on the overall list of national universities.
WMU ranked No. 90 on the list of top national universities and No. 54 on the "best bang for the buck" list. Also appearing on the overall list were University of Michigan and Michigan State and Michigan Technological universities. Of Michigan's top national universities, only Michigan State and Michigan Tech also appeared with WMU on the "best bang for the buck" list.
About the rankings
The lists appear in the magazine's September/October issue. The overall list is based on three factors the publication characterizes as college qualities that are good for the nation—producing cutting-edge research and new Ph.Ds., encouraging students to give back to the nation through service, and promoting social mobility by recruiting and graduating low-income students. The editors also, for the second year, credited universities for offering a good value proposition, giving its highest marks "based on the economic value students receive per dollar: Best Bang for the Buck."
"Our rankings have always rejected the idea that expense, luxury, and exclusivity should be held up as the highest values for colleges and students to aspire to," wrote the editors in an introduction to this year's rankings. "Instead, we ask a different question: What are colleges doing for the country?"
WMU's rankings in the public service measures were particularly high this year, with two key measures—participation and institutional support for service ranking nationally at No. 35 and No. 28, respectively.
"I've always found the Washington Monthly rankings intriguing," says WMU President John M. Dunn. "The measures used by the group to assess quality and effectiveness dovetail with Western Michigan University's values, which are centered on opportunity, scholarship and serving the community. Washington Monthly gets it right."