Washington Monthly has just announced its 2016 “America’s Best-Bang-for-the-Buck Colleges,” and the College of Staten Island (CSI) is ranked 18th out of 386 schools in the Northeast category, from a national sample of 1,406 institutions. CSI ranked 66th for Adult Learners.
Washington Monthly’s rankings are geared toward helping non-wealthy students choose the best college, one where they can attain highly marketable degrees with affordable tuition.
“Alumni salary potential, low student loan debt, and a deep commitment to enrolling and graduating first-generation students are all hallmarks of CSI, and a primary criteria for these rankings,” commented William J. Fritz, PhD, President of the College. “The Mission of The City University of New York and the College of Staten Island is to provide access to high-quality and affordable education, which is particularly critical during these challenging economic times. There are no institutions in the country that provide broader access than CUNY and I am proud that this ranking also clearly demonstrates that our quality is second to none.”
Dr. Fritz added that last year, 75% of CSI students graduated free from federal student loan debt and 57% of full-time students attended tuition free. During the last five years, nearly 6,000 students had paid internships, with more than $5 million awarded as scholarships, grants, and other merit- or need-based student support.
Faculty members remain at the heart of the CSI student experience, and are a major contributing factor to student success. As of last year, 86% of full-time faculty have a terminal degree, many from highly prestigious colleges across the country, and many have been named Guggenheim and Fulbright fellows. CSI faculty members also receive grant-based research dollars from prestigious federal organizations such as the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health, and have been recognized by President Obama with the highest honor for early career research excellence. This research and support provides CSI students with real-world, hands-on research opportunities, and many students have co-authored academic papers with their faculty mentors and often present their research worldwide.
In 2015, CSI ranked 326 on the list, which represents a monumental leap to being ranked 18 in 2016. The College’s deepening commitment to its motto “Opportunity and Challenge,” embraces the social mobility philosophy through programs such as the Percy Ellis Sutton SEEK program designed for students who have the potential to succeed in college, but benefit from enhanced academic support and financial assistance, and CUNY Service Corps. According to the Washington Monthly College Webpage regarding their revised methodology this year, “The social mobility portion of the rankings changed significantly this year in response to newly available data on student outcomes from the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard, with four of the eight factors contributing to the social mobility score coming from the Scorecard data. A college’s graduation rate (from the IPEDS) counted for 20 percent of the social mobility score.” This is the first year that Washington Monthly had access to deeper data regarding students’ economic outcomes due to the College Scorecard, and the fourth year of publishing college rankings.
The College Scorecard shows, for the first time, how much students earn ten years after enrolling at a given college and whether they’re paying down at least some of their loan principal. The Scorecard also reveals the percent of first-generation students each college enrolls, a key measure of its commitment to opportunity.
Community service was a key measurement as well, with Washington Monthly equally weighting military service, alumni Peace Corps enrollment, national and community service, federal work-study grant money spent on community service projects, and the percentage of students performing community service.
View the complete list of Best-Bang-for-the-Buck colleges on the Washington Monthly Website.
Washington Monthly has published their complete methodology online.