Washington Monthly Ranks UC Riverside Second in Annual University & College Survey

It's the third consecutive top-10 finish in survey that measures civic engagement, research, and social mobility

UCR sign and logo

UC Riverside was ranked second by Washington Monthly magazine in its annual survey. Photo by Carlos Puma

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (www.ucr.edu) — Washington Monthly magazine ranked the University of California, Riverside second among national universities in their ninth-annual College Ranking Survey, which appears in their September/October issue.

“This honor recognizes UC Riverside’s dedication to both access and quality,” UC Riverside Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox said. “Students of all backgrounds – many of them the first in their families to go to college – are attracted to our campus because of our ability to help students succeed at the cutting edge of discovery. This is what makes UCR a university for the next generation.”

Measures of social mobility, including enrollment of low-income students, net price and having a better-than-predicted graduation rate, helped propel UCR to the No. 2 overall ranking with an overall score of 93.5 out of a possible 100 points. It is the third year in a row that UCR has earned a top-10 ranking in the survey, which ranks institutions in the areas of civic engagement, research, and social mobility. UCR was ranked fifth in 2011 with 85 points and ninth in 2012 with 82 points.

magazine cover

The cover of the September/October issue of Washington Monthly magazine.

“UCR is working to boost graduation rates while maintaining access and diversity consistent with our strategic plan,” said Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Dallas Rabenstein. “This is particularly significant in light of President Barack Obama’s recent proposal to rate the nation’s colleges and universities on graduation rate and access levels.”

In individual sub-categories, UCR had three top-10 rankings, including:

  • Second in the “Percentage of federal work-study funds spent on service.” UCR finished at 57%.
  • Third in “Community service participation and hours served,” which measures the number of students participating in service and the number of hours performed, both relative to school size.
  • Sixth in “number of faculty receiving prestigious awards,” relative to the number of full-time faculty.

In addition, UCR placed 26th on the “America’s Best-Bang-for-the-Buck Colleges.” This measurement of performance and price identifies institutions that are outpacing their peers in helping students finish college while keeping costs and prices under control.

Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs James Sandoval commended UC Riverside’s faculty and students, saying that without their efforts in the classroom, the lab and the community, this recognition would not have been possible.

“The character of our faculty and students are represented in this well-deserved recognition,” Sandoval said. “The research and teaching opportunities made available by our outstanding faculty to a student body that hungers to advance themselves and our society is the key reason that we rank so highly from year to year. We are doing something that is very unique and extraordinary at UCR.”

Now in its ninth year, the Washington Monthly survey includes rankings for 280 national universities as well as lists for liberal arts schools, community colleges, baccalaureate colleges and master’s universities. Initial data was taken from 1,761 institutions across the United States.

In the article that appears with the survey, the Washington Monthly editors wrote, “We designed the Washington Monthly college rankings to embody the American higher education compact at the institutional level. Instead of lauding colleges for closing their doors to all but an elite few, we give high marks to institutions that enroll low-income students, help them graduate, and don’t charge them an arm and a leg to attend. Universities that bring in research dollars are rewarded by our standards, as are those whose undergraduates go on to earn Ph.Ds. And we recognize institutions that are committed to public service, both in the way they teach and in encouraging students to enter service-focused careers.”

The University of California was well represented in the survey, with three schools among the top five and six among the top-25. UC San Diego placed first overall for the fourth consecutive year and UC Berkeley was fifth. UCLA was 10th, UC Santa Barbara 22nd and UC Davis 23rd.

The Washington Monthly honor is just the latest in a series of recognitions for UC Riverside.

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