New ranking puts College in U.S. top 10

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August 27, 2010

12:02 AM

The College of William and Mary was ranked first in service and tenth overall in Washington Monthly’s 2010 national university rankings.

According to the magazine, the number of graduates of the College who went on to join the Peace Corps or earn graduate degrees played a significant role in its ranking.

“I am not at all surprised to see William and Mary ranked so highly for its service ethic,” Dean of Admissions Henry Broaddus said. “We know that the students here have a sense of purpose much larger than their own self-interests.”

Washington Monthly’s rankings focus on universities’ abilities to fulfill public obligations in the areas of service, research and social mobility. The College was ranked eighth overall in last year’s rankings and 23rd in the rankings released before that.

“It is a source of great pride that our alumni are working across the globe to build partnerships aimed at addressing need,” Drew Stelljes, director of community engagement and co-director of the Office of Community Engagement and Scholarship, said in a press release. “We work hard to provide students the ability to do just that.”

The OCES focuses on providing resources for faculty members integrating teaching and research. It also supports students in leadership or community service roles while forging links with local communities.

“We are pleased that Washington Monthly produces an indicator of our commitment in encouraging students to be actively engaged in their communities after graduation,” Stelljes said in a press release.

The College was also named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with distinction.

While students at the College placed highly for helping others in need, Washington Monthly ranked the school relatively low in graduating low-income students. Earning 74th place in the Social Mobility category, the College came in behind the six other public institutions listed in the national top ten. Only 8 percent of College students received Pell Grants, compared to 36 percent at the University of California-San Diego, the top national university. Pell Grant recipients also make up only 8 percent of the University of Virginia’s student body, although that institution came in 35th place for social mobility.

In earlier rankings released by U.S. News and World Report, the College ranked 31st overall and fifth for its commitment to teaching. U.S. News and World Report mainly bases its rankings on academic quality, but also weighs in peer assessment and high school counselors’ academic reputation survey.

The Princeton Review, which relies on both statistical data and student opinion, noted the College’s faculty (8th) and libraries (8th), as well as the happiness level of students (12th). It ranked the College 46th overall, while a group of high school guidance counselors ranked the College 30th.

“Although no ranking methodology by itself can measure William and Mary’s excellence with perfect accuracy, their totality certainly illustrates the great things that are happening here.,” Broaddus said.

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