Public Service Focus Puts Harvey Mudd at No. 2 in Washington Monthly College Rankings

Harvey Mudd College ranked No. 2 among liberal arts colleges in Washington Monthly’s 2016 College Rankings, a survey of U.S. institutions that aims to measure contribution to the public good.

“We gathered the best available data and ranked colleges not on what they did for themselves, but on what they did for their country,” wrote Kevin Carey, director of the Education Policy Program at think tank New America and guest editor of the college guide. “Our method had three pillars: social mobility, research and service. Colleges that enrolled many low-income students and helped them graduate did well on our rankings, regardless of how famous they were. So did universities producing the next generation of scientists and PhDs, and those that built an ethos of public obligation by sending graduates into service.”

The survey’s methodology for liberal arts colleges included factors such as the number of students participating in community service, service hours performed and academic courses that incorporate service; the percentage of alumni who go on to get PhDs; and comparisons between the actual graduation rate and predicted graduation rate—as a measure of how well the school performs as an engine of social mobility.

Harvey Mudd rates highly in these and many other survey factors with its emphasis on community engagement, integration of community service into the curriculum, support of student service organizations, outreach programs in local schools and mission to educate socially responsible leaders in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The College ranks first in the nation among liberal arts colleges for percentage of alumni who go on to earn a PhD in science and engineering; and comes in second among all U.S. universities and colleges.

Washington Monthly also rated colleges in a category called “America’s Best Bang for the Buck Colleges.” The ranking, divided into U.S. regions, lists colleges and universities that “help non-wealthy students attain marketable degrees at affordable prices.” Harvey Mudd ranked No. 2 on the list of Best Bang for the Buck, Western Colleges.

Admission to Harvey Mudd is need-blind for U.S. applicants, and the College meets 100 percent of demonstrated financial need. Seventy-five percent of Mudd students received financial aid during the 2015–2016 academic year.