Aggie Pride

Texas A&M breaks California stranglehold in different kind of college rankings

Texas A&M breaks California stranglehold in different college rankings

12th Man statue of E. King Gill in front of Kyle Field at Texas a&m cropped
Texas A&M ranks No. 4 on list of schools that enroll low-income students and encourage academic research and public service.  Courtesy of Aggiemedia.Tamu.edu
University of Texas at El Paso, UTEP
UT El Paso ranks No. 8. University of Texas at El Paso/Facebook
12th Man statue of E. King Gill in front of Kyle Field at Texas a&m cropped
University of Texas at El Paso, UTEP

Two Texas universities are getting high marks for enrolling low-income students and encouraging academic research and public service. Texas A&M University and the University of Texas El Paso both made the top 10 on a list put out by Washington Monthly, which the editors call a different kind of college ranking.

The Texas schools ranked fourth and eighth respectively, on a list otherwise dominated by California schools. A&M and UTEP represent two very different geographic locations, but they share common goals. To put together its list, the publication looked at social mobility, or the way schools recruit and then follow a low-income student through to graduation.

 For its list, Washington Monthly looked at social mobility, or the way schools recruit and then follow a low-income student through to graduation. 

The rankings also take the number of “cutting-edge scholarship and PhDs” into consideration. Service is the third criterion for inclusion on the list; it can range from joining the Peace Corps to serving in the military.

Texas A&M’s provost and executive vice president for academic affairs Karan Watson said in a statement it’s rewarding to see the school recognized for its hard work.

“I am proud of our efforts, which remind students that Aggies commit to learning for a lifetime and our faculty continue to excel in our complete mission of teaching, research and service to our community, state and nation.”

UTEP’s proximity to the U.S.-Mexico border gives the school a unique educational opportunity — one it believes is crucial to attain the American Dream.

“We have stayed true to our mission of access, affordability and excellence, and we are energized by our transformational role in the lives of our graduates and their families, and in the human and economic development of the U.S.-Mexico border region we serve,” UTEP president Diana Natalicio said. 

A key differentiator between the Washington Monthly list and other respected publications’ rankings is how the editors view student applications. Rather than reward the schools that deny the most applications, the magazine gives kudos to universities that positively contribute to society and seek to enroll low-income students.

West Coast schools ruled the rankings, with the University of California-San Diego nabbing the No. 1 spot, followed by University of California-Riverside and the University of California-Berkley. Texas A&M broke up the California run with its fourth-place ranking. The University of California-Los Angeles came in fifth.