North Carolina Central University placed 26th in the master’s-level universities category in Washington Monthly magazine’s 2012 rankings of American colleges and universities. Last year, NCCU ranked 39th in the same category.
The Washington Monthly rankings, which appear in the magazine’s September-October issue, differ from other rankings in the emphasis placed on factors such as affordability, commitment to service and “social mobility,” a metric that gives universities credit for enrolling many low-income students and helping them earn degrees.
In this year’s rankings, according to the magazine’s editors, the social mobility measure that recognizes colleges with better-than-expected graduation rates also takes into account the cost of attending the institution. As a result, “Colleges that are both effective and inexpensive get the highest marks.”
Only one historically black university ranked higher than NCCU on the list of the top 100 master’s-level universities — Alabama A&M at 24th. Two other UNC-system universities also made the list: UNC–Wilmington ranked 43rd and Fayetteville State University was 76th.
In their introductory essay, the editors draw a contrast between the Washington Monthly approach and those of other rankings. “Our national rankings are far more hospitable to what sometimes seems like an endangered species: accessible, affordable, high-quality public universities.”
“This is welcome recognition,” said NCCU Interim Chancellor Charles L. Becton. “It speaks to our core mission of providing students with a great education at a cost far below that of most universities.”
The Washington monthly’s full report can be viewed at: