SC State named among Top 10 National Universities

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Washington MonthlySC State University has outranked such venerable educational institutions as Harvard and Princeton to be named one of the Top 10 National Universities by Washington Monthly Magazine.

In its September 2006 issue, the magazine ranked SC State as the nation’s ninth best university, placing it in its Top 10 with other highly esteemed schools, including MIT, Stanford, Cornell and UCLA.

In the introduction to the Top 10 listing, Washington Monthly editors posed a challenge to schools to serve the greater good:

“When colleges are doing what they should, they benefit all of us. They undertake vital research to drive our economy. They help Americans who are poor to become Americans who will prosper. And they shape the thoughts and ethics of the young Americans who will soon be leading the country.

With those guidelines in place, Washington Monthly then ranked national colleges on the following criteria:
• how well a university performs as an engine of social mobility;
• how well a university does in fostering scientific and humanistic research; and
• how well a university promotes an ethic of service to country/community.

Specifically, Washington Monthly looked at such factors as:
• the number of students benefiting from financial aide programs;
• a school’s graduation rate for students on financial aid;
• what percentage of federal work-study programs benefit community service projects;
• what research capabilities a school offers to local communities;
• how much a school spends on research; and
• what percentage of graduates enter community service.

Once the results were tallied, SC State placed in the Top 10. In addition to this accolade, the school was named the #1 Social Mobility University in the nation.

SC State President Andrew Hugine says that it was an extreme honor to be acknowledged by the magazine.

“Based on our founding as a land-grant institution, SC State has a legacy of service to both students and their community,” said Hugine. “Being recognized on a national level not only honors our past, but it helps position the spotlight on what we will continue to do for our students and our state.”

Hugine points to several specific reasons why Washington Monthly ranked SC State so highly:
Social Mobility: More than 70 percent of SC State’s students receive Pell Grants, which go to the neediest students. Also, SC State’s graduation rate is 53 percent, twice the number predicted by statistical models.
Scientific and Humanistic Research: SC State is among the top schools in the nation for granting minority degrees, including 4th in mathematics, 5th in biology, 18th in education, and 29th in computer and information services. Additionally, SC State offers the only doctorate in education in South Carolina and is a regional hub for science and math education.
Service to Country/Community: SC State has trained more minority officers than any other college in the country since its ROTC program began more than 50 years ago, with more than 1,900 commissioned officers and a dozen generals among its graduates. In addition, current students routinely engage in community service projects such as the recent fundraising for and construction of a local Habitat for Humanity home.

“Everyone at SC State can hold their head high with this incredibly noteworthy accomplishment,” said Hugine. “Being named one of the top service schools in the nation not only gives us a new state of mind, but it gives a new sense of pride.”