CSU scores highest among Colorado colleges in Washington Monthly ranking

Samantha Ye

The home of the Rams scored higher than all other major Colorado colleges in Washington Monthly Magazine’s annual College Guide and Rankings in the general national rankings.

The national universities ranking contained 316 universities, seven of which came from Colorado.


Colorado State University was the first Colorado college to show up at 91 on the list, followed by University of Colorado–Denver (97), Colorado School of Mines (130), University of Northern Colorado (142) and University of Colorado–Boulder (153).

The evaluation was based on 19 data points falling into three categories: social mobility, research and service. The various data included graduation rates, net price and repayment and faculty awards, according to the report.

The full criteria for the overall national universities scorings are:

  • Social Mobility: graduation rate, grad rate performance, Pell graduation gap, Pell performance, first-generation performance, earnings performance, net price, repayment, predicted repayment rate,
  • Research: research expenditures, Bachelor’s to Ph.D., science and engineering PhDs, faculty awards, faculty in national academies
  • Service: Peace Corps, ROTC, percent of federal work-study funds spent on service rank, does it match AmeriCorps service grants (Yes or No), voting engagement

CSU’s highest individual rankings came from their involvement in the Peace Corps (21) and the Reserve Officer Training Corps (51), both of which fall into the “Service” category.

Washington Monthly, a non-profit publication specializing in United States politics and education, claims they rate institutions based on “their contributions to social mobility, research and public service,” as opposed to other college rankings based on “prestige, wealth and exclusivity.”

The publication also uses other criteria for more specialized rankings including best “bang for the buck” regional universities and best of different vocational programs.

One such listing, which the magazine calls a “first-of-its-kind set of rankings data,” named CSU one of the nation’s best colleges for student voting.

Out of 1,488 institutions, CSU was one of only 58 who scored the full four points for their commitment to encouraging student voting.

Points were based on universities who signed up for or participated in Tufts University’s National Study of Learning, Voting and Engagement program and the ALL In Campus Democracy Challenge, as well as posting their NSLVE data and ALL IN action plan. CSU’s action plan can be viewed here

ALL IN also ranked the University a Silver Campus for excellence in student voter engagement during the 2016 election.


The report also includes a list of best four-year colleges for adult learners, evaluating data such as ease of transfer and flexibility of programs. CSU placed 63, second in Colorado behind Regis University (37).

Samantha Ye can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @samxye4.