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College Rankings That Aren't Ridiculous: Washington Monthly

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We here at HuffPost College know that college rankings can get a bit... repetitive. Sure, sometimes Stanford and Yale switch places in the top ten of any given ranking, but it's basically all the same.

Washington Monthly, however, takes a different tack when ranking America's bastions of higher education. As they explain:

Conventional rankings like those published by U.S. News & World Report are designed to show what colleges can do for you. Since 2005, our rankings have posed a different question: What are colleges doing for the country? Higher education, after all, isn’t just important for undergraduates. We all benefit when colleges produce groundbreaking research that drives economic growth, when they offer students from low-income families the path to a better life, and when they shape the character of future leaders. And we all pay for it, through hundreds of billions of dollars in public subsidies. Everyone has a stake in how that money is spent.

That’s why one-third of each college’s score on our rankings is based on social mobility: How committed are they to enrolling low-income students and helping them earn degrees? Our second category looks at research production and success at sending undergraduates on to PhDs. Finally, we give great weight to service. It’s not enough to help students look out for themselves. The best colleges encourage students to give something back.

See below for Washington Monthly's top 13 national universities, and click here for the full list. What do you think of these rankings? Revolutionary or off-the-mark? Weigh in below.

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