GW recognized for giving back

GW shot up 30 spots in Washington Monthly’s annual list of the nation’s best colleges – a score based on service, research and retention of lower income students.

The University was ranked No. 41 because GW spent more on research, awarded more science and research doctorates and allocated more Federal Work Study funds to community service jobs, the magazine’s web editor Daniel Luzer said.

“There wasn’t a vast change in policy, but all of these smaller things caused it to move up,” Luzer said. “These things add up together to a substantial difference.”

The University has hovered around No. 70 since the magazine launched its rankings six years ago.

The University increased spending by 14 percent on service work-study, Amy Cohen, executive director for the Center for Civil Engagement and Public Service said. She declined to give dollar amounts, but noted that DC Reads is among the largest recipients of service funds.

“We are pleased to be able to highlight our commitment to service and the continued growth of George Washington as a world class research university,” University Spokeswoman Candace Smith said.

GW spent $31 million more on research last academic year, marking it as a top priority at the University. In 2008, University President Steven Knapp pledged $5.4 million over a three-year period toward increasing research efforts.

The University of California at San Diego topped out the magazine’s list with a perfect score of 100. Five of the top eight schools on the list are in the University of California system.

Luzer said Washington Monthly’s rankings are unique.

“They’re not based on ‘How fancy is this school?’ The report is basically what your college can do for the country,” he said.

The list does not consider admissions selectivity.

“Our ratings don’t measure schools on how elite they are,” Luzer said. “It’s not a prestige ranking.”

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