News and Analysis

Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2010 3:04 p.m.

Washington Monthly ranks University No. 71, calls GW ‘ruinously expensive’

Yet another set of college rankings was released Monday by Washington Monthly magazine, designating slots to schools based upon “contribution to the public good” in terms of research, service and social mobility based upon how many low-income students attend and graduate.

The magazine ranked GW No.71, with an overall combined score of 51 for the three categories weighed. In the individual categories, GW received a rank of 133 for community service hours, 97 for research expenditures and 122 for the actual graduation rate. U.S. News & World Report placed ranked GW No. 51  in its annual rankings this year and the Sierra Club ranked GW as 58th on its “Cool Schools” list of greenest campuses earlier this month.

In addition, the publication described the University as “ruinously expensive” in an effort to appear more prestigious, citing soaring tuition costs during former President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg’s tenure.

“If you equalize for program costs, all schools cost virtually the same amount to run. I would use that new tuition money to fund expansion,” Trachtenberg told the magazine.

The piece also criticizes University construction projects, such as the building of the Marvin Center, and undergraduate student debt levels, charging that there is a lack of evidence GW’s academics have improved in line with prestige and rankings.

  • Andrew Karp. CCAS ’82, ’87

    The Washington Monthly article you mention is full of blatant distortions and biases. Many of the “facts” offered by its author are incorrect.

    If you read the article, also take the time to read the many comments offered by GW alumni, current students, faculty, parents, and even the parent of a kid who was admitted to GW but decided to go elsewhere. In my opinon, this article sullies the reputation of The Washington Monthly and should be used by professors in GW’s journalism department of an excellent example of how NOT to write a fair/unbiased story.

    Andrew Karp
    BA ’82 MA ’87 Political Science
    Sonoma, CA
    Principal Consultant
    Sierra Information Services

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