HOUGHTON — Washington Monthly magazine’s newly released College Guide ranked Michigan Technological University seventh in the nation for its ROTC program and 15th for faculty receiving significant research grants.
The magazine’s latest rankings also placed Michigan Tech in the top 25 percent of all national universities and the top 18 percent for students earning bachelor’s degrees who go on to earn PhDs.
The magazine ranked 1,540 colleges and universities that award bachelor’s degrees. Of that number, 279 are national universities, which offer PhDs as well as baccalaureate and master’s degrees. Michigan Tech ranked 68th overall among those 279 national universities.
Washington Monthly says its rankings are based on schools’ “contributions to the public good in three categories: social mobility, research and service.”
Social mobility focuses on recruiting and graduating low-income students. Rankings are based on the percentage of a school’s students receiving Pell Grants – which Washington Monthly considers a good measure of a school’s commitment to educating lower-income students – as well as predicted and actual graduation rates, and the average price that first-time, full-time students who receive financial aid actually pay after subtracting need-based aid.
Research looks at how well schools are producing cutting-edge scholarship and PhDs. Factors include the total amount of an institution’s research spending reported by the Center for Measuring University Performance and the National Science Foundation; the number of science and engineering PhDs awarded by the university; the number of undergraduate alumni who have gone on to receive a PhD in any subject, relative to the size of the school; the number of faculty receiving prestigious awards, relative to the number of full-time faculty; and the number of faculty in the National Academies, relative to the number of full-time faculty.
Service, which the magazine editors define as encouraging students to give something back to their country, looks at the size of each school’s Air Force, Army, and Navy ROTC programs, relative to the size of the school; the number of alumni currently serving in the Peace Corps, relative to the size of the school; the percentage of federal work-study grant money spent on community service projects; the number of students participating in community service and total service hours performed, both relative to school size; the number of full-time staff supporting community service, relative to the total number of staff; the number of academic courses that incorporate service, relative to school size; and whether the institution provides scholarships for community service.
For the first time this year, the rankings were based on three years of data, rather than just the past year. “That paints a more accurate picture of performance,” the magazine’s editors said.