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UW-Madison rises again in Washington Monthly rankings

August 27, 2018 By Käri Knutson
Photo: Bascom Hall seen from the air

The UW–Madison campus as seen in an aerial photo. Photo: Jeff Miller

The University of Wisconsin–Madison has once again been named one of the top 30 universities in the country by Washington Monthly magazine, rising to 22nd overall from 26th last year.

The ranking appears in Washington Monthly’s annual College Guide and Rankings and is based on three criteria: research, social mobility, and community and national service.

UW–Madison ranked fourth (up from fifth last year) in research expenditures, third (up from eighth last year) in the number of science and engineering Ph.Ds. awarded, 14th (down from 15th last year) in the number of alumni who go on to serve in the Peace Corps relative to school size, 21st (same as last year) in the number of faculty who are members of the National Academies relative to the number of full-time faculty, and 30th (compared to 28th last year) in the number of faculty receiving prestigious awards relative to the number of full-time faculty.

UW-Madison was also included in a list of the 58 best colleges for student voting. New this year, Washington Monthly looked at four measures. An institution receives one point in the “service” portion of our rankings if it has signed up for or participated in Tufts University’s National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE). This program helps colleges calculate their precise student voting and registration rates by combining national voting records with enrollment data. A college receives a second point if it has signed up for the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge, an effort that uses NSLVE data to help colleges create plans to boost their students’ voting rates and civic participation. An ALL IN school gets another point for releasing its NSLVE data publicly, and a fourth point for making its ALL IN action plan public.

Out of the 1,488 schools included in our main rankings, only 58 received the top score of four.

“Since voting habits tend to crystallize in young adulthood — vote in one election, and you’re far more likely to do so again — colleges and universities have an unparalleled opportunity to create voters not just for the next election, but for life,” the magazine writes. “The colleges that invest in student voting aren’t just helping their Washington Monthly rankings — they’re helping the country.”

To see a full list of the rankings, now in its 13th year, click here.

Earlier this month, Money Magazine ranked UW–Madison 48th overall in its annual listing of Best Colleges for Your Money, and 30th among public universities. Money reviewed 727 schools based on 26 factors in three categories: quality of education, affordability and outcomes.

In May, UW–Madison was ranked 27th worldwide by the Center for World University Rankings. Nationally, UW–Madison placed 21st. The university was also recognized as one of the world’s top learning institutions this year, placing 33rd in the 2018 Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings.