Today, Washington Monthly published its 13th annual College Guide and Rankings, and Southwestern was again recognized as the #1 Liberal Arts College in Texas. The University moved up in the list of national liberal-arts schools, from #72 last year to #63 this year.

Washington Monthly’s take on university rankings is innovative: Instead of evaluating institutions according to their exclusivity, prestige, and wealth, the publication rewarded “smart, well-run colleges that enrolled students from all walks of life and helped them earn a high-quality diploma at an affordable price[—]colleges that instilled a sense of service and public obligation while producing groundbreaking research.” Southwestern is touted as the top among the state’s liberal-arts colleges for recruiting and graduating low-income students, fostering cutting-edge research and scholarship, and encouraging students to engage in community service. Washington Monthly sees these successes as evidence that the University is among those “that serve the best interests of taxpayers and the country as a whole.” By advancing the boundaries of discovery and providing paths to social mobility for low-income students, Southwestern continues to benefit its graduates while having a wider impact on the nation.

For each year’s rankings, Washington Monthly considers more than 1,400 four-year schools—including public, private nonprofit, and for-profit institutions—within the 50 states. The editors compiled data on a wide variety of factors to determine their rankings: graduation rates, alumni salaries, research-spending dollars, enrollment in PhD programs by graduates, faculty awards, military and Peace Corps service, and percentage of funds spent on supporting community-engaged learning. The 2018 edition also includes rankings of colleges based on the their vocational programs and their successes in encouraging students to vote.