UCSD tops list of nation’s ‘socially conscious’ universities

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SAN DIEGO — For the sixth year in a row, UC San Diego was first in the United States for colleges that serve the public good in rankings released Monday by Washington Monthly.

The publication rates universities in criteria such as recruiting and graduating low-income students, producing cutting-edge research and encouraging students to participate in community service.

“It is an honor to once again receive this prestigious recognition from Washington Monthly,” said UCSD Chancellor Pradeep Khosla. “Through our mission of education, research and service, we are committed to creating civic engagement opportunities, producing cutting-edge research that solves critical problems, and providing financial aid to enable upward social mobility for our diverse student body.”

The Washington Monthly rankings differ from those put out by U.S. News & World Report, which tends to favor private universities. By contrast, 16 of the top 20 Washington Monthly colleges are publicly supported.

San Diego State University ranked 101st, despite being seventh in the U.S. for its graduation rate of students on Pell Grants. The University of San Diego was 200th and Alliant International University, located in Scripps Ranch, was 275th.

Washington Monthly also issued “Bang for the Buck” rankings, sorted by region, in which SDSU placed 14th in the West, UCSD 16th, Cal State Marcos 21st, Point Loma Nazarene 54th, San Diego Christian College 137th and USD 152nd. The magazine said the higher ranking schools do a better job of educating low- and middle-income students.