Knox Among Leaders in Community Service

Washington Monthly ranking: Knox among the best in "contribution to the public good"

August 26, 2013

Knox College Chemistry Club

Knox College is among the top colleges in the nation in a service-oriented ranking that emphasizes "encouraging students to give something back to their country."

Washington Monthly MagazineKnox ranked 12th in the Best Liberal Arts Colleges classification of the 2013 Washington Monthly College Rankings, published today. Other colleges in the top 20 include Bryn Mawr, Carleton, Swarthmore, Grinnell, Oberlin, and Amherst.

The rankings evaluate schools based on their contributions to the public good in three broad categories: "social mobility," which includes recruiting and graduating low-income students; "research," a category that covers both scholarship on campus and advanced degrees earned by graduates; and "service," which is based on "encouraging students to give something back to their country," such as graduates in the Peace Corps and students in community service activities.

Washington Monthly lists the top 30 colleges in the liberal arts classification and draws special attention to Knox's core values of access, affordability and service:

Our ranking of liberal arts colleges also uncovers institutions that excel in surprising ways... More than a quarter of students attending twelfth-ranked Knox College in Illinois, site of a recent economic policy speech from President Barack Obama, are eligible for Pell Grants. The college has a strong service commitment, and four in five students graduate within six years.

Washington Monthly Ranking Criteria

Social Mobility: Knox ranked 28th in the nation, up from 38th last year, in promoting social mobility. Key factors include:

  • 29% of Knox students are eligible for need-based Pell Grants; 29% are first-generation college students
  • McNair Scholars Program supports underrepresented students working toward academic careers
  • TRIO Achievement Program supports students from modest income backgrounds and those whose parents do not have a four-year college degree

Washington Monthly Magazine

Service: Knox's highest category ranking is sixth in the nation for community service. The score took into consideration special programs at Knox, such as:

Knox was ranked 58th in the nation in the research category. Other surveys have shown that Knox is a leader in advanced degrees, prestigious post-graduate fellowships and support for undergraduate research by Knox students:

Washington Monthly contrasts its service-oriented rankings with other college rankings: "Unlike U.S. News and World Report and similar guides, this one asks not what colleges can do for you, but what colleges are doing for the country... Every year we lavish billions of tax dollars and other public benefits on institutions of higher learning. This guide asks: Are we getting the most for our money?"