Northwestern College has again been ranked among the nation’s top-10 baccalaureate colleges by Washington Monthly. The magazine’s rankings, released Aug. 27, are based on how well the schools contribute to the public good in the areas of social mobility, research and service.
Northwestern, ranked sixth this year, has been the highest-ranked school among members of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities and among Iowa colleges since Washington Monthly began ranking baccalaureate colleges in 2010.
The rankings, at www.washingtonmonthly.com, list Elizabeth City State University of North Carolina first, followed by Wheeling Jesuit University of West Virginia and Tuskegee University of Alabama. In addition to Northwestern College, other baccalaureate institutions in Washington Monthly’s top 20 include College of the Ozarks, seventh; Messiah College, 10th; Augustana College of South Dakota; 11th; and Taylor University, 14th. No other Iowa college is in the top 20.
Washington Monthly’s ranking system is designed to measure how effectively colleges serve their students and, ultimately, the country. In an article on its website, the magazine says it seeks to “rate colleges based on how well they perform with the students they have, regardless of the students’ backgrounds or SAT scores, on metrics that measure the widely shared national goals of increasing social mobility, producing research, and inspiring public service.”
Among the factors figuring into the Washington Monthly rankings are the number of bachelor’s degree recipients who go on to earn doctoral degrees or serve in the Peace Corps as well as the number of students who participate in community service and the staff support those efforts receive. In addition, the magazine considers the cost-adjusted graduation rate, which includes components such as the percentage of Pell Grant recipients, incoming SATs and net price, in an effort to highlight schools that use their resources to educate students effectively at a relatively low cost.
Northwestern is second in community service participation; ninth in the category of support for community service; and 15th in the number of alumni serving in the Peace Corps, relative to the size of the school.
“We are pleased to consistently receive a high national ranking from Washington Monthly,” says Greg Christy, Northwestern College’s president. “The data clearly shows that our students are being well-prepared for lives of achievement, service and research. Our society desperately needs leaders, especially Christian leaders, and Northwestern excels at educating students who are empowered to follow Christ and pursue God’s redeeming work in the world.”
Northwestern College is a Christian college of more than 1,200 students in Orange City, Iowa, committed to developing students’ minds and empowering their faith as they prepare to lead in the world.