WINFIELD — Washington Monthly magazine has recognized Southwestern College in Winfield as one of the nation’s top values in higher education in its 2016 college rankings issue. The magazine ranks SC fifth in the Midwest Region as a “Best Bang for the Buck College.”

The “Best Bang for the Buck” list includes schools that help non-wealthy students to attain marketable degrees at affordable prices, according to Washington Monthly.

“This is who we are at Southwestern and it’s what we have been doing for more than 130 years — helping deserving students attain meaningful degrees at affordable prices,” said Southwestern College President Brad Andrews.

Washington Monthly’s methodology for the rankings is rooted in three categories — social mobility (recruiting and graduating low-income students), research (producing cutting-edge scholarship and doctorates) and service (encouraging students to give back to their country).

Data reviewed in the ranking process include graduation rates, first-generation student ratios, graduate earnings, net price of attendance and a measure calculated for each institution’s dedication to community service. In total, 367 institutions of higher education were ranked in the Midwest category. The fifth place ranking put Southwestern ahead of all other schools in Kansas.

The ranking is based most fundamentally “not on what (colleges) did for themselves, but on what they did for their country,” according to the guest editor of the issue, Kevin Carey, who directs the education policy program at the New America Foundation.

“Colleges that enrolled many low-income students and helped them graduate did well on our rankings, regardless of how famous they were,” Carey wrote in his introduction to the college rankings guide. “So did universities producing the next generation of scientists and Ph.D.s, and those that built an ethos of public obligation by sending graduates into service.”

In addition to the Washington Monthly ranking, Southwestern has achieved other recent recognition for offering outstanding value to students.

A February study by Georgetown University Center for Education named SC best in the state for graduates beating mid-career salary expectations. U.S. News & World Report ranked SC a Top Tier Midwest Regional University in the news magazine’s annual ranking, which was published in September.

The complete ranking of Midwest “Best Bang for the Buck Colleges 2016” is available online and includes the magazine’s methodology.

Southwestern College is a private institution granting undergraduate and graduate degrees, and is affiliated with the United Methodist Church.

About 1,700 students attend classes at the main Winfield campus, at six professional studies sites in Kansas and Oklahoma, or online around the world.

This information was provided by Southwestern College News Bureau Coordinator Charles Osen.