NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University, listed just few steps from Harvard and MIT, is one of the top universities in the nation, according to Washington Monthly, in its 2013 College Rankings. Of 284 institutions in the Best National Universities category, TSU was ranked in the top 6 percent at number 17 in the country. This is a big jump for the University, which came in at number 87 in last year’s ranking.
“This is good news for Tennessee State University,” said TSU President, Dr. Glenda Glover. “This shows that our students are performing and exceling, while the faculty and staff are doing everything possible to ensure an outstanding learning environment for our students. It is quite an honor for our institution to be recognized by such a prestigious publication.”
The Washington Monthly, an independent magazine, which for years has argued that conventional measures of college prestige are far less important than what colleges do for the country, bases its ranking on social mobility, research and service.
“Instead of lauding colleges for closing their doors to all but an elite few, we give high marks to institutions that enroll low-income students, help them graduate, and don’t charge them an arm and a leg to attend. Universities that bring in research dollars are rewarded by our standards; as are those whose undergraduates go on to earn Ph.D.s. And we recognize institutions that are committed to public service, both in the way they teach and in encouraging students to enter service-focused careers,” the magazine said in its introduction to the rankings.
“Tennessee State University and the University of Texas at El Paso are both among our highest-ranked universities despite the fact that they usually rate much lower on other national lists of elite institutions. These universities enroll large numbers of low-income students and graduate more of them than the economic and academic profiles of their students would predict, while charging the kind of affordable tuition that is increasingly rare,” Washington Monthly wrote.
Last week, in a speech at the University of Buffalo, President Obama said colleges should be rated on value and performance, adding that his administration will begin evaluating colleges on measures such as the average tuition they charge, and the share of low-income students they enroll.
“Higher education should not be a luxury. It is an economic imperative that every family in America should be able to afford,” Obama said.
According to Washington Monthly, 80 percent of TSU students receive Pell Grants, a high indication of students in need of assistance. While research has always been a key component of learning at TSU, service is an imperative at the institution for college completion.
TSU offered 93 service-learning courses last year, while more than 2,000 students performed 20,000 community service hours at an estimated value of $400,000 through partnership with the community, according to the Center for Service Learning. Just recently, TSU was named for the fifth year in a row to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning, and civic engagement.
On Aug. 24, more than 700 volunteers took part in this year’s Day of Service, under the theme, “A New Century: Moving Forward in Service,” to give back to the community at 33 different work sites around Nashville. The workers completed more than 2,100 hours of volunteer hours at an estimated value of $46,494.
And, the Washington Monthly’s ranking does agree with other reports that TSU, listed at number 1 in Tennessee in the ranking, is the most affordable in terms of tuition cost when compared to all other four-year institutions in the state.
The College Database, a free, non-commercial website that provides future and post-secondary students and their families with “accurate and valuable” college and career-related information, recently gave TSU a top ranking among colleges and universities in Tennessee with tuition rates below $20,000. It reported that TSU offers the best return on financial investment when compared to other post-secondary institutions in the state.
In fact, the database reported that TSU graduates enter the workforce earning an average $42,000 per year, the best among the other Tennessee institutions.
In the Washington Monthly ranking, the only Tennessee institution listed in the top 20 with TSU was Vanderbilt, which came in at number 20. Other Tennessee universities making the Best National Universities list were the University of Memphis at number 37, Middle Tennessee State University number 105, University of Tennessee number 124, and Travecca Nazarene at number 224.
In 2011, out of 258 universities, TSU was ranked in the top 15 percent in the country at number 40, its best showing in many years.
Tennessee State University
3500 John A. Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university and is a comprehensive, urban, coeducational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top Universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912 Tennessee State University celebrates 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu
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