Washington Monthly ranks Milligan in Top 100 baccalaureate colleges

MILLIGAN COLLEGE, Tenn. (Sept. 8, 2010) — Milligan College ranks among the top 100 baccalaureate colleges in the nation, according to a ranking of colleges and universities published by Washington Monthly.

The magazine’s annual College Guide and Rankings examines what colleges are doing for the country and calls attention to service-oriented schools. Milligan is No. 100 in the baccalaureate colleges category.

“It is an honor to be recognized among colleges that emphasize service because servant-leadership is an essential part of Milligan’s mission and vision,” said Milligan President Donald Jeanes. “Everything we do encourages students to reflect on what it means to be called to lives of service.”

The guide ranks schools based on their contribution to the public good in three broad categories: social mobility, research and service.

Milligan ranked 36th among baccalaureate colleges in the social mobility category. This category examines the percentage of students receiving Pell Grants, the predicted rate of graduation based on incoming SAT scores and Pell Grant percentages, and the actual rate of graduation.

“We are pleased with our ranking, but the greatest fulfillment comes from the lives of the students who walk into our office every day,” said Diane Keasling, coordinator of financial aid at Milligan. “Some of these students don’t think they have the means to attend Milligan, and we do everything we can to help them realize their educational goals here. Milligan is more affordable than many people think.”

Pell Grants and other financial aid make a Milligan education possible for students like C. Nicole Bennett, a sophomore nursing major from Jonesborough, Tenn.

Bennett, who works at the Christian Care Center of Johnson City, wanted to attend Milligan because of the smaller class sizes and its caring faculty and staff. But her decision was ultimately based on financial aid.

“Financial aid was a major part of my decision on where to attend college,” Bennett said. “I am a first-generation college student who did not want to ask my parents to help me pay for my education. Of the schools I applied to, Milligan was able to award me the most financial aid.”

Another highlight of Milligan’s standing in the Washington Monthly report was its ranking in the number of bachelor’s degree recipients who go on to receive Ph.D.s, relative to school size. Milligan ranked No. 42 in this category.

The rankings also weighed Milligan’s commitment to service, which among other factors, includes the number of students participating in community service, the staff’s support of community service and whether the institution provides scholarships for community service.

Milligan’s Institute for Servant Leadership (ISL) serves to encourage and champion the college’s mission of servant leadership throughout the college’s activities — both inside and outside the classroom. ISL also offers scholarships, which require recipients to complete community service each semester.

But Milligan does more than just talk about servant-leadership. The college’s commitment to service is evident in community, church and professional organizations throughout the region, where Milligan students, faculty and staff volunteer.

“Service is very important at Milligan College,” said senior Katie Lindner. “As students, as hall residents, as workers in the community and simply as human beings, service is intertwined in everything we do at Milligan. We are encouraged to partake in service-oriented events both on and off campus.”

Lindner, a pre-professional psychology major from Bel Air, Md., has plugged into the community in several ways. During her last three semesters, she has served at the Pine Oaks Assisted Living Home in Johnson City. She has also served with Grace Fellowship Church, Interfaith Hospitality Network and on-campus organizations at Milligan.

“We are able to live out servant-leadership because it was first modeled to us by professors, staff and community members,” Lindner said. “Without the example of those on campus, this type of servant-leadership would not be possible.”

The Washington Monthly report is the second national ranking Milligan has received in recent weeks. U.S. News & World Report named Milligan in the Top 10 regional colleges in the South in its 2011 edition of “America’s Best Colleges.”  Milligan was also ranked No. 4 in the “Great Schools, Great Prices” subcategory.

A complete list of the Washington Monthly rankings is available at www.washingtonmonthly.com/college_guide. For more information about Milligan, visit www.milligan.edu.

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MILLIGAN COLLEGE is a Christian liberal arts college in Northeast Tennessee whose vision is to change lives and shape culture through a commitment to servant leadership. The college offers more than 100 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees and concentrations in a variety of fields, along with graduate and adult degree completion programs.  To learn more about Milligan College, visit www.milligan.edu or call 800-447-5922.