San Francisco Advantage

Dons Do Good

by Edward Carpenter

The University of San Francisco was recently named to the top 100 universities in the country as ranked by Washington Monthly, which based its rankings on schools’ contribution to the public good.

USF ranked 73, with an overall composite score of 51. Washington Monthly’s ranks are based on each school’s contributions to the public good in three broad categories: social mobility (recruiting and graduating low-income students), research (producing cutting-edge scholarship and doctoral graduates), and service (encouraging students to give something back to their country).

The overall score represents the combined score from the three categories where the highest score is 100 and each category is weighted equally.

With more than 3,000 colleges and universities in the U.S., being ranked 73 for contributing to the common good puts USF among some elite company. “This is a strong endorsement of USF's success at effectively realizing one of its fundamental values, i.e., the pursuit of a ‘common good that transcends the interests of a particular individual or group,’” said USF President Stephen A. Privett, S.J.

While many rankings are based on what students bring to a university, like SAT/ACT scores, grade point averages, or class graduation ranks (input), the Washington Monthly assessment looks at what a university and its students do (output) and goes to show how distinct USF is when it comes to living its mission of endowing students with the values and sensitivity necessary to be men and women for others, Fr. Privett said.