We're Number One: "Best Bang for the Buck in the West"

A national ranking that spotlights colleges that "help non-wealthy students attain marketable degrees at affordable prices" has listed UW Tacoma the number one "best bang for the buck in the West."

Best Bang-for-the-Buck Colleges Washington Monthly 2017The 2017 Washington Monthly college ranking has listed UW Tacoma as the number one institution in the West providing the best “bang for the buck,” a measure the publication uses to spotlight colleges that “help non-wealthy students attain marketable degrees at affordable prices.”

For the purposes of the ranking, the West is defined as the 13 states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming and includes 198 institutions. In an overall ranking of 150 master’s degree-granting institutions across the nation, UW Tacoma is ranked at #11, up from #41 in 2016.

“The recognition provided by these rankings is particularly meaningful to UW Tacoma,” said Chancellor Mark A. Pagano. “As an urban-serving university, we are committed to the idea that post-secondary education is critical to social mobility. We believe our students, with their families, are making the world a better place for all. Their hard-won degrees propel them into outstanding careers and prepare them to contribute in positive ways to their communities. These wonderful results are an affirmation of the values of equity and inclusiveness we hold so dear.”

The best-bang-for-the-buck ranking is a measure of the social mobility of a college’s students and alumni. The ranking uses a number of federally-reported percentages, including Pell grant recipients, first-generation students, student loan recipients, the racial/ethnic and gender makeup of the student body and six-year graduation rates. The ranking also pulls in data about the net cost of college and median earnings of former students ten years out. The ranking looks at a comparison of how colleges actually perform vs. how they are predicted to perform on a number of measures of educational and financial success. More information on the methodology behind the ranking is available on the Washington Monthly web site.

Washington Monthly, a non-profit, D.C.-based politics and governance magazine founded in 1969 by Charles Peters, has published the rankings since 2005. In an essay introducing the 2017 rankings, writer Kevin Carey says they “measure what colleges do for their country,” and he distinguishes them from “the prestige- and wealth-driven metrics put out” by other media outlets.

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John Burkhardt / September 6, 2017
Media contact: 

John Burkhardt, UW Tacoma Communications, 253-692-4536 or johnbjr@uw.edu

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