The top 40 universities & colleges of 2018, according to Washington Monthly

Amid a flurry of rankings released each fall, Washington Monthly aims to provide an "alternative to U.S. News & World Report" focusing less on what it calls "easily manipulated measures of money and prestige" and more on how institutions contribute to the public good.

For its rankings, Washington Monthly scores each institution on three equally weighted criteria:

Social mobility, incl. eight-year graduation rate for all students, comparison to predicted graduation rate, graduation gap for Pell Grant students, share of first-gen students and Pell Grant recipients, median earnings of graduates, and more. 

Research, incl. total research spending, number of science and engineering doctorates awarded, share of alumni who receive doctorate degrees, and more.

Public service, incl. share of alumni serving in Peace Corps, share of students in ROTC programs, earned points for voting engagement as measured by the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge, and more.

*Editor's note: EAB congratulates our member institutions for their rankings on Washington Monthly's lists. Member institutions listed below have been marked with an *asterisk.

Top 10 National Universities

1. Harvard University*

2. Stanford University

3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology*

4. Princeton University*

5. Yale University

6. Duke University*

7. University of California–San Diego*

8. Georgetown University*

9. University of California–Los Angeles*

10. University of California–Davis*

Top 10 Liberal Arts Colleges

1. Berea College

2. Washington and Lee University*

3. Harvey Mudd College

4. Amherst College

5. Bowdoin College*

6. Swarthmore College*

7. Bryn Mawr College

8. Williams College

9. Middlebury College*

10. Wellesley College*

Top 10 Baccalaureate Colleges

1. The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art

2. Goshen College

3. College of the Ozarks

4. Cedar Crest College

5. Montana State University–Northern

6. California State University–Maritime Academy*

7. Bennett College*

8. Blackburn College

9. University of Maine at Farmington*

10. Brigham Young University–Idaho

Top 10 Master's Universities

1. Evergreen State College*

2. SUNY Geneseo*

3. California State University–San Bernardino*

4. California State University–Stanislaus*

5. California State University–Bakersfield*

6. California State University–Los Angeles*

7. Truman State University

8. James Madison University*

9. Trinity University*

10. Bob Jones University*

Also see: Four metrics that progressive schools are using to manage student success—and why

(Glastris, Washington Monthly, 8/29/16; Carey, Washington Monthly, Sept/Oct 2018; Washington Monthly methodology, Sept/Oct 2018)

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