Washington Monthly's Annual College Rankings

Update, September 30: Here's a link to Joe Nocera's column published yesterday about the pernicious effects of the college ranking system.

There's a lot to be said about the pernicious impact of college ranking systems in the US; you can read the most cogent criticism here. For a shorter version, read James Fallows' blog post today about the Washington Monthly's annual rankings, released today. You can see the Washington Monthly's rankings here. Read the editors' explanation of their system. Here's a brief excerpt:
The Washington Monthly rankings are based on three factors. The first is social mobility, which gives colleges credit for enrolling many low-income students and helping them earn degrees. The second recognizes research production, particularly at schools whose undergraduates go on to earn PhDs. Third, we value a commitment to service. The more expensive college becomes, the more students are encouraged to see higher education as a mere return on investment. The students in our best colleges are taught by example and design to look beyond themselves and give back.

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