Washington Monthly, which publishes an annual rating of colleges throughout the U.S., has recently named the College of Staten Island as one of America’s Best-Bang-for-the-Buck Colleges. The article appears in the magazine’s September-October 2012 issue.
Providing some background for its ranking system, Washington Monthly notes that, in its opinion, other college rankings are often flawed because they tend to measure the level of prestige that institutions have, as opposed to how well they are serving their students. The article further notes that some of the higher-ranking colleges in other lists have often taken the focus off of traditional students in favor of higher-caliber recruits through an increase in admissions standards.
“We are proud that Washington Monthly has recognized the value of the high-quality education offered at the College of Staten Island,” said Dr. William J. Fritz, interim president of CSI. “This national honor is indicative of our renowned faculty, establishment of new national honor societies, construction of world-class residence halls, and the distinction of being ranked as a top military-friendly institution. The CSI community should indeed be proud of this tremendous achievement.”
In regard to these policies, the article explains, “The Washington Monthly has long believed that such behavior by colleges doesn’t serve the broader interests of the country, and that rewarding such behavior is wrong. And so the magazine designed its own ranking system to do the opposite: to rate colleges based on how well they perform with the students they have, regardless of the students’ backgrounds or SAT scores, on metrics that measure the widely shared national goals of increasing social mobility, producing research, and inspiring public service.”
As Washington Monthly ranked U.S. colleges this year, it took another aspect into account—“cost-effectiveness.” Using a measure called “cost-adjusted graduation rate,” which involves, according to the article, “the gap between the predicted and actual graduation rate of a school…divided… by the net price of attending that institution,” the magazine compiled a list of institutions that represented a good investment from the students’ perspective and CSI made the list.
The article notes that “As an urban, commuter institution, the College of Staten Island attracts a diverse group of students from the New York City metro area. Because of the difficulty in retaining commuter students, the college offers many programs to enrich students’ academic lives and provide incentives for them to stay invested in finishing their degree.” The article mentioned the SEEK program, designed for students who have the potential to succeed in college, but would benefit from enhanced academic support and financial assistance, and the three honors programs available to high-achieving students as examples of some of the exceptional value available to students at the College.
Commenting on CSI’s inclusion in this prestigious list, CUNY Senior Vice Chancellor for University Relations and Secretary of the Board of Trustees Jay Hershenson said, “It comes as no surprise that the high-quality academic programs and services available at CSI are widely perceived to be of great value, especially during these difficult economic times. Students and their families are very fortunate to have this jewel of a CUNY college in the crown of Staten Island.”
Read the full article online at WashingtonMonthly.com