Oglethorpe University is ranked among Washington Monthly’s top 2021 liberal arts colleges and recognized as a Best Bang for the Buck in the Southeast, an “exclusive list of schools ranked according to how well they help non-wealthy students attain marketable degrees at affordable prices.”
The annual college guide measures schools based on what they are doing for the country and on their contribution to “the public good” in three broad categories: social mobility, research, and providing opportunities for public service. Student outcomes data from the U.S. Department of Education’s Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) is used to determine rankings.
To assess a school’s impact on social mobility, Washington Monthly considers metrics like graduation rate, percentage of Pell recipients, percentage of students receiving student loans, admit rate, racial/ethnic and gender makeup of the student body, number of students (overall and full-time), and whether a college is primarily residential. The social mobility ranking doubles as the “Best Bang for the Buck” rankings, with the latter organized by geographic region.
For liberal arts colleges, research rankings are determined by the number of alumni who go on to get PhDs.
A school’s commitment to public service, or encouraging students to give something back to their country, was evaluated in part by alumni national service in the Peace Corps, Americorps, and military. This year, Washington Monthly also considered the percentage of all degrees awarded in health, education, and social work to recognized colleges that produce leaders in socially valuable fields that are not always highly paid.