For the second consecutive year, Washington Monthly ranked Elizabeth City State University No. 1 among baccalaureate colleges in the publication's annual college guide. The rankings,
listed in the September-October 2013 edition, are based on evaluations of 350 institutions
in the category.
"Our rankings aim to identify institutions that are acting on behalf of the true public
interest," according to the publication's editors in an explanation to readers. They
rated schools based on their contribution to the public good in three broad categories
- social mobility, research and service.
The rankings "give high marks to institutions that enroll low-income students, help
them graduate and don't charge them an arm and a leg to attend. Universities that
bring in research dollars are rewarded by [our] standards, as are those whose undergraduates
go on to earn Ph.D.s," the editors wrote.
ECSU Chancellor Charles Becton was delighted by the latest rating recognizing the
"Our students are our most precious commodity, so we are very pleased with this recognition
by Washington Monthly. Retaining and graduating students with competitive credentials
is one of ECSU's top priorities," Becton said. "We take pride in the fact that ECSU
is still one of the most affordable institutions in the state. We hope this ranking
by Washington Monthly will motivate prospective students to select ECSU as their institution
of higher learning. We look forward to the arrival of additional, outstanding students."
Founded in 1969, Washington Monthly covers politics, government, culture and the media.
Several factors were considered in determining scores for the social mobility category.
Those factors included the percentage of students receiving Pell Grants, which is
a good measure of a school's commitment to educating lower-income students; the predicted
rate of graduation; and the net price of attending the institution.
In the research category, editors reviewed an institution's total research expenditures.
Another factor was the school's ranking in the number of bachelor's degree recipients
who go on to receive Ph.D.s, relative to school size.
Several factors were reviewed for the service category, including the number of alumni
who serve in the Peace Corps, relative to school size; the percentage of students
who serve in ROTC; the percentage of funds in federal work-study money going to community
service; and the number of academic courses that incorporate service.