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Universities throughout the country were rated based on their contribution to the public good in three categories: social mobility through recruiting and graduating low-income students; research that produces cutting-edge scholarship and doctoral graduates; and service that encourages students to give back to their country.
Institutions were rated on social mobility through criteria such as the percentage of students receiving Pell Grants, predicted rate of graduation and the rate of graduation. ASU’s Pell grant recipients have grown from 10,344 during the 2002-03 academic year to 23,465 in 2010-11. The university has also experienced significant growth in the graduation rate with the six-year graduation rate for the freshman cohort entering in 2005 increasing to 57.5, up 16.9 percent compared to the 49.2 percent rate for the cohort that entered 10 years earlier in fall 1995.
Research rankings examine data such as total research expenditures, the number of bachelor’s recipients who go on to receive doctoral degrees, the number of science and engineering doctoral degrees awarded and faculty who are members of the National Academies.
ASU research has experienced dramatic growth in recent years with more than $355 million dollars awarded in 2011. The university focuses on research breakthroughs and discovery in a broad range of strategic research areas designed to address everything from next generation health diagnostic exams and cancer vaccines to reliable and efficient alternative fuels.
Since 2003, ASU has increased the number of high-level faculty members and experts on campus with the addition of 156 new award recipients, fellows or academy members, which include two Nobel laureates, 11 National Academy of Sciences members, 11 American Academy of Arts and Sciences members, nine National Academy of Engineering members, 114 Fulbright American Scholar awards, 25 Guggenheim Fellows and three members of the Royal Society.
Service rankings consider factors such as the number of alumni who go on to serve in the Peace Corps, students who serve in ROTC and community service performed. ASU has 507 community outreach programs in 187 locations, offered by 131 different units, totaling 718 outreach opportunities.
The top five institutions in the rankings are: University of California-San Diego; Texas A&M University; Stanford University; University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill; and University of California – Berkeley. For a complete list, go to http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/college_guide/rankings_2012/national_university_rank.php.