Valley City (N.D.) State University has been recognized in Washington Monthly’s 2019 national college rankings in two categories.

VCSU is ranked 51st of 372 schools in the Midwest in Washington Monthly’s Best Bang for the Buck Colleges (Midwest) listings. Among all U.S. bachelor’s institutions — defined by Washington Monthly as “four-year institutions that award almost exclusively bachelor’s degrees” — VCSU ranks 84th of 216 schools.

VCSU is the top-ranked North Dakota institution in both ranking categories.

As defined by Washington Monthly, the category “America’s Best Bang for the Buck Colleges” is the “exclusive list of schools ranked according to how well they help non-wealthy students attain marketable degrees at affordable prices. The list is created by isolating the social mobility metrics from the main rankings of four-year institutions.”

Factors in the rankings include eight-year graduation rates, percentage of first-generation college students, median earnings 10 years out, school loan repayment and performance ratings based on differential between predicted and actual data in a number of categories. Also included is the net price of attendance for families below $75,000 income level, a measure of “affordability for students from lower- to middle-income families” according to Washington Monthly.

WDAY logo
listen live
watch live

“We’re pleased to see Valley City State ranked highly,” said VCSU President Alan LaFave. “We try to manage tuition and fees to keep VCSU affordable for our students and their families, and we’ve made strategic decisions to help students who fall into aid gaps. First-generation students face educational challenges that others don’t, and we actively support them on campus with services and programming.”

Washington Monthly describes the bachelor’s institution rankings this way: “Since 2005, the Washington Monthly has ranked colleges based on what they do for the country.…We rank baccalaureate colleges…based on their contribution to the public good in three broad categories: social mobility, research, and promoting public service.”

In addition to the social mobility metrics used in the “Best Bang for the Buck” rankings, metrics associated with public service and research are used as ranking criteria in the bachelor’s listings. These include research expenditures, the number of alumni with bachelor’s degrees who earn Ph.D.s., and measures of military, national and community service, including participation in programs such as ROTC and the Peace Corps, along with the percentage of federal work-study funds directed toward community service programs.

The full Washington Monthly rankings can be found online at washingtonmonthly.com/2019college-guide.