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UCSD ranked fourth-best school by Washington Monthly

In its annual college guide, released Wednesday, Washington Monthly magazine ranked the University of California, San Diego the fourth-best school among 242 national universities “based on their tangible contributions to the public interest.”

UCSD rose two spots from last year’s guide.

Unlike U.S. News’ annual rankings that measure variables such as average faculty salaries and alumni giving rates, Washington Monthly rates individual schools based on how much they contribute to the nation, such as the number of Ph.D. students that flow into the work force, the amount of research generated by the faculty and the rate of participation in community service programs.

Texas A&M took the top spot among national universities in the third annual college rankings, with UCLA and UC Berkeley placing second and third, respectively. UCSD outranked the other top 10 listed universities: Pennsylvania State; University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; Cornell University; UC Davis; Stanford University and South Carolina State University, respectively.

Overall scores were based on the number of students receiving Pell grants, predicted/actual graduation rate based on percent of Pell recipients and incoming SATs, difference between predicted/actual graduate rates, research grant dollars, bachelor’s to Ph.D. rank, Ph.Ds awarded, Peace Corps rank, ROTC rank and percent of federal work-study funds spent on service.

UCSD has consistently ranked in the top 10 in numerous national and international rankings. The National Science Foundation ranks UCSD as fifth in the nation in federal research expenditures. Last year, UCSD was named the “hottest institution in the nation for students to study science” by Newsweek and the Kaplan College Guide. In addition, UCSD ranks seventh best public university in the nation in the 2008 U.S. News college rankings.

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