Centre ranked #36 Among Liberal Arts Colleges by Washington Monthly
August 30, 2012 By Elizabeth Trollinger
the nation’s top 254 liberal arts colleges. The magazine uses a
unique ranking system that looks at the college's contribution to
the public good.
Washington Monthly recently ranked Centre College #36 among the nation’s top 254 liberal arts colleges.
Centre has been in the top fifty on the magazine’s list of best colleges for three years in a row, moving up from being ranked at #38 in 2011.
The magazine uses a unique methodology to rank the schools on its list, looking specifically at each college’s “contribution to the public good in three broad categories,” according to the Washington Monthly website.
Those three categories are social mobility, which takes into account recruiting and graduating low-income students; research, or expenditures on research projects and the amount of graduates who pursue higher degrees; and service, considering the presence of groups such as the Peace Corps and ROTC on campus and the amount of hours students spend doing community service.
For social mobility, the magazine subtracts a school’s graduation rate from the percentage of students receiving Pell Grants. At Centre, over 85 percent of students graduate—the highest rate in the region. Eighteen percent of current students receive Pell Grants.
In the research category, Washington Monthly considered the number of dollars a college sets aside for research, as well as the number of graduates who go on to earn a Ph.D. Nearly 40 percent of Centre alumni earn advanced degrees within 10 years of graduation. As students, many Centre students complete collaborative research with professors every year, throughout all semesters as well as in the summer.
Service is highly important to Centre students and the Centre community. Before first-year students even take their first class at Centre, they complete a “service plunge” in the surrounding community on the Saturday of orientation. Divided into groups, the first-years complete such projects as removing litter from local streams, sorting clothes for the Salvation Army and cleaning public parks.
Centre’s numerous campus service organizations include Alpha Phi Omega, Centre’s co-ed service fraternity, Best Buddies, CARE (Centre Action Reaches Everyone), ECCO, NEST and others.
The Bonner Program, which has a strong presence at Centre, is also a popular way for students to become involved in community service, with students in the program volunteering weekly in the community at local schools, shelters and other locations.
For the full list of colleges on Washington Monthly’s list, click here.
To read more about Washington Monthly’s ranking methodology, click here.
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Centre College, founded in 1819 and chosen to host its second Vice Presidential Debate in 2012, is ranked among the U.S. News top 50 national liberal arts colleges, at 42nd in the nation, and ranks 27th for best value among national liberal arts colleges. Forbes magazine ranks Centre 34th among all the nation’s colleges and universities and has named Centre in the top five among all institutions of higher education in the South for three years in a row. Centre is also ranked fourth in the nation by U.S. News for its study abroad program. For more, click here.