Md. colleges fare poorly in ranking

August 09, 2006|By GADI DECHTER | GADI DECHTER,SUN REPORTER

Maryland colleges and universities received middling marks yesterday in an upstart college ranking system that aims to deflate the influence of U.S. News and World Report by emphasizing public service and research spending over selectivity and academic reputation.

All state campuses that made it into the Washington Monthly's second annual College Guide received lower standings than they have in the most recent U.S. News rankings - and only one cracked the top 50.

The Johns Hopkins University was ranked 29th of 245 four-year research universities, down 16 places from its 13th-place rank in the 2006 U.S. News guide. The editors of the liberal Washington Monthly ranked the University of Maryland, College Park 79th, while U.S. News has it at 55.

The alternative rankings appear in the monthly's September issue, and were available online yesterday. The 2007 U.S. News college rankings will be released next week.

The Washington Monthly rankings are based on equal consideration of three criteria: community service, research and successful education of lower-income students.

Of the 202 liberal arts colleges ranked in the monthly's guide, those in Maryland also plummeted in comparison with their U.S. News scores.

St. John's College in Annapolis was top-ranked at 51, followed by St. Mary's College of Maryland (110; U.S. News: 84), McDaniel College (154), Goucher College (159; U.S. News: 94) and Washington College (192; U.S. News: 104). St. John's and McDaniel were unranked in the 2006 U.S. News survey.

In a cheeky editors' note, the Washington Monthly delighted in the generally low rankings it awarded two elite American universities. Harvard University and Princeton, tied for first place by U.S. News, were ranked 28th and 43rd by the monthly's standards.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology took first place in the national universities category, while Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania received top honors among liberal arts colleges.gadi.dechter@baltsun.com

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