USM ranked among nation’s top universities
Published: Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, September 11, 2012 00:09
The University of Southern Mississippi was ranked by Washington Monthly magazine as one of the top 100 universities in the nation.
Southern Miss came in on the list as No. 69, surpassing public college rivals Mississippi State (No. 96) and the University of Mississippi (No. 196). Jackson State University ranked highest in Mississippi as number 47 on the magazine’s list.
Last year, USM was listed in the top 20 most popular universities in the nation by U.S. News and World Report. Now, Southern Miss continues the streak of garnering national attention by receiving a good ranking.
Washington Monthly’s rankings are based on three factors: social mobility, research production and commitment to service. The first factor, social mobility, “gives colleges credit for enrolling many low-income students and helping them earn degrees,” according to the magazine’s website. The second factor is research production, which closely looks at undergraduate students who continue their education to obtain a Ph.D. The third factor is commitment to service, which examines how much students give back to the community during and after graduation.
The social mobility factor was added this year to account for increasing tuition rates among the nation’s universities. Colleges that are both effective and inexpensive receive the highest scores. According to the Washington Monthly, they added this criteria to counter U.S. News and World Report ranking because they [U.S. News] focus on universities that “spend more and charge more.”
This recognition also places a heavy influence on community service. It stresses the notion that the more college students give back to the community through volunteerism and service the better the university will become, something Vice-President of Student Affairs Joe Paul says has always been Southern Miss’s tradition.
“We have, for a long time, been particularly proud of our student involvement in community service,” Paul said. “This is a great honor for Southern Miss.”
Paul says that Southern Miss is going to continue the tradition of striving to make a difference and becoming an excellent university in the state. “We are blessed to be in a state with eight great universities,” Paul said. “We will try to be the best we can be and to distinguish ourselves as different.”