N.J. schools fare well in college ranking system that prizes social mobility, public service, research

Washington Monthly’s alternative to all-powerful U.S. News list has 6 N.J. schools among Top 101

College rankings. You know them — and, whether you admit to it or not — they greatly influence how you view higher education.

The Washington Monthly — a media entity that was founded in 1969 but does not have the same national recognition as U.S. News & World Report — said it felt the country needed a better ranking system. So, it created one.

“America needs a different definition of higher education excellence, one that empowers public institutions at the expense of elites, instead of the other way around — one that measures what colleges do for their country, instead of for themselves,” the editors wrote.

“That’s the philosophy behind the Washington Monthly’s annual college rankings. Instead of rating colleges by wealth, fame and exclusivity, we prize social mobility, public service and research.”

The site’s latest rankings were released this week. The editors said impacting social mobility is a key factor.

“The other rankings elevate colleges for keeping low-income students out — ours reward them for letting those students in, and then helping them graduate with degrees that lead to good jobs, without unmanageable debt,” they wrote.

“Instead of reputational surveys that mostly measure the vague and long-ago, we focus on hard numbers: research expenditures, faculty awards and producing graduates who go on to earn Ph.D.s. Instead of giving colleges credit for how often their alumni give back to their alma mater, we measure how often students give to their communities by volunteering, starting public service careers and enrolling in the Peace Corps and ROTC.”

New Jersey schools fared well in these rankings. Here’s a look at the schools that made the Top 200:

No. 4: Princeton University
No. 38: Rutgers University–Newark
No. 71: Rutgers-Camden
No. 90: Montclair State University
No. 91: Rutgers-New Brunswick
No. 101: New Jersey Institute of Technology
No. 176: Kean University
No. 195: Stockton University
No 197: Stevens Institute of Technology

For those wondering, here is the Top 10:

No. 1: Stanford University
No. 2: University of Pennsylvania
No. 3: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
No. 4: Princeton
No. 5: Duke University
No. 6: Harvard University
No. 7: Yale University
No. 8: Cornell University
No. 9: University of California–Berkeley
No. 10: University of Notre Dame

For the complete rankings, click here.