Professor giving a lecture to students in old main

Wofford lands at top of Washington Monthly rankings

August 22, 2005

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Wofford College is ranked eighth among 200 liberal arts colleges across the country in the inaugural rankings in “The Washington Monthly College Guide,” released today by the Washington, D.C.-based political magazine.

The rankings are based on three “central criteria” to answer the question, “What does America need from its universities?” – “Universities should be engines of social mobility, they should produce the academic minds and scientific research that advance knowledge and drive economic growth; and they should inculcate and encourage an ethic of service.” The guide is included in the magazine’s September issue, due out on Aug. 29; it is available immediately on the publication’s Web site at

In addition to Wofford, Presbyterian College and Furman University were among the top 30 liberal arts colleges – Presbyterian at 13th and Furman at 15th. Both Wofford and Presbyterian “produced extremely strong numbers for service, and performed well in the social mobility standings,” the magazine says.

The rankings use the percentage of students in Army or Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC), the percentage of graduates in the Peace Corps, the percentage of federal work-study grants used for community service projects, the total amount of research spending, the number of doctorates granted in the hard sciences and, as a measure of social mobility, the percentage of students on Pell Grants, with a bonus for schools whose graduation rates are higher than expected for having so many low-income students.

The Washington Monthly rankings immediately put Wofford into the national media spotlight, being cited in an article by reporter Jay Mathews on the “The Washington Post” Web site on Monday. (See

Wofford also is included in Princeton Review’s “Best 361 Colleges,” announced today (Monday, August 22, 2005). Wofford again has a two-page feature in the publication. Earlier this year, featuring Wofford College’s “Old Main” on its cover, the 2006 edition of “Princeton Review’s America’s Best Value Colleges” recognized Wofford as one of 81 of the nation’s “best value” undergraduate institutions.

Last week, U.S. News & World Report ranked Wofford 55th among the nation’s 215 liberal arts colleges, placing it near the top quarter of the rankings. In addition, Wofford is listed in a number of other recently released college guides, including “The Insider’s Guide to the Colleges 2006 Edition” and “Fiske Guide to Colleges 2006 Edition.”