Western Michigan University has placed 64th in a ranking of "the nation's top universities for producing graduates and research that will make a difference for the nation."

Photo: Dave Benson

The ranking is a jump from 92nd place last year, by Washington Monthly, a publication that focuses on government and politics.

In a release today, WMU says "rather than ranking institutions on such input measures as wealth, fame and exclusivity, schools are rated based on their contribution to the public good in three broad categories:

        • Social Mobility, which includes recruiting and graduating low-income students;

        • Research, which is measured by the production of cutting-edge scholarship and preparing the next generation of scientists and Ph.Ds.; and

        • Service, which is measured by the way students are encouraged to give something back to their country.

In the same release, WMU also noted: "WMU is one of four Michigan universities to make the top-100 list of national universities. The University of Michigan and Michigan State University came in at Nos. 21 and 38, respectively. And Michigan Tech came in at No. 67. In a separate value ranking, called Best Bang for the Buck, WMU came in at No. 50 and MSU at No. 43. They were the only two of Michigan's national universities to make the top-50 value ranking for the Midwest.

"This year, the magazine also debuted the nation's first-ever ranking of the Best Colleges for Adult Learners, in which WMU ranked No. 93."