The University of Hawaii at Hilo is getting some national recognition for its contribution to the public good, garnering top ratings in the Washington Monthly’s 2013 liberal arts college rankings. UH officials say the campus’s new College of Pharmacy was key to the high score.
The Washington Monthly, an independent public policy magazine, avoids using conventional measures of college prestige and evaluates how much schools boost social mobility, produce research and generate public service. It measures community-service participation and percentage of students receiving Pell Grants, for example.
The 2013 liberal arts college rankings evaluated 255 schools total.
UH Hilo got the second-best overall score out of all the 34 public institutions included in the list and placed 79th all in all. New College of Florida was rated the best public institution, while Bryn Mawr College got the best score overall.
Notably, UH Hilo ranked first for research expenditures — nearly $43 million — spending more than any other private and public institution listed in the rankings.
It placed 7th for one measure that looks at discrepancies between actual and predicted graduation rates, what the Washington Monthly uses as an indication of how much a school contributes to social mobility. UH Hilo actually had a higher graduation rate last year than it had predicted, 36 percent versus 32 percent.