St. Mary’s University ranks No. 20 of 671 institutions on Washington Monthly magazine’s list of Master’s Universities that contribute to the public good.

Creighton University led the Master’s Universities list. According to the magazine, schools are ranked based on their contributions in three categories:

  • Social Mobility (recruiting and graduating low-income students)
  • Research (producing cutting-edge scholarship and PhDs)
  • Service (encouraging students to give something back to their country)

Although Washington Monthly has been publishing its list since 2005, this is only the fifth year it has included a master’s institution category. In 2010, St. Mary’s ranked first, and in 2011 it was No. 2 in the nation.

For the fifth year in a row, the University of California-San Diego led the National Universities rankings.

This fall, the Obama administration will release its plan to rate America’s colleges and universities. The administration’s new ratings, which are scheduled to go into effect in time for the 2015-16 school year, will include measures of access, affordability and outcome, similar metrics to those used by Washington Monthly for years.

Instead of crediting colleges that reject the most applicants, Washington Monthly gives high marks to institutions that contribute to society, enroll low income students, help them graduate and don’t charge a fortune to attend. Well-known colleges that are routinely lauded by the other rankings services fare much worse when ranked by Washington Monthly‘s measures.

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