As concerns about the value of a college degree grow, UW Tacoma’s impact is gaining greater recognition.
College rankings have never not been controversial. Critics maintain that they perpetuate elitism and contribute to a skewed national conversation on the intrinsic value of a college degree.
The reaction has prompted some prominent rankings to recalibrate their methodologies: the data they collect and the weights they assign to one or another criterion. Recent examples that have received media coverage are U.S. News Best Colleges and the Wall St. Journal.
In each of those cases, the publications have added more emphasis on how well colleges promote positive changes in the socio-economic situation of students and their families, often called “social mobility.” The rankings are also putting more weight on the return-on-investment of a college degree.
In both cases – social mobility and ROI – UW Tacoma does well.
Wall St. Journal
In the Wall St. Journal 2023-24 rankings (may require subscription), UW Tacoma placed 12th out of 400 institutions nationally for “best value.” The publication calculated how long it takes for the average alum to pay off the net price of a degree with the salary boost the alum gets by having the degree. Other colleges in WSJ’s best value top 10 include Baruch College, MIT, Cal State Los Angeles, University of Florida, Stanford, Princeton, Cal State Fullerton, University of Pennsylvania, Columbia and Florida International University.
UW Tacoma is ranked by WSJ first in Washington for best value, social mobility, salary impact and overall.
U.S. News & World Report
In the U.S. News 2024 Best Colleges rankings, UW Tacoma is the #5 top public school among regional universities in the western U.S. We are the #1 regional university in Washington, public or private, and the #1 regional institution in Washington for social mobility.
From its first annual rankings in 2005, Washington Monthly has emphasized criteria that highlight those institutions “that help moderate to low-income students attain marketable degrees at affordable prices.”
In its 2023 college guide and rankings, UW Tacoma is #9 (#1 in Washington) Best Bang for the Buck in the Western U.S., and #28 among master’s-degree-granting institutions nationally.
Innovative systems in UW Tacoma's new Milgard Hall include custom-designed modular pods containing electrical, low-voltage, plumbing and mechanical systems such as lighting, fire detectors and sprinklers.
Former student Arabelis Wally has received a prestigious fellowship at Johns Hopkins University that will support her graduate work. The Thomas Scholarship is awarded to "exceptional students from ... minority-serving institutions to pursue PhDs in STEM fields ... ."