Jackson State University outranks Yale, Princeton in national study

Tommiea King

August 30, 2011

(JACKSON, Miss.) — In its newly released study, Washington Monthly magazine ranked Jackson State University one of the top 10 institutions of higher learning across the country in terms of social mobility, research and service ratings. Coming in at No. 9 among 258 institutions, Jackson State outranked Princeton (No. 31), Yale (No. 39), the Georgia Institute of Technology (No. 54) and Howard (No. 73) universities. Jackson State is the only Historically Black College or University to break into Washington Monthly’s top 10.

“We’ve made very persistent efforts in recent years to better serve our students – especially those who don’t have the means for college tuition – and to train them for careers in research and community service,” said Mark G. Hardy, JSU provost and vice president for academic affairs. “This ranking reminds us that we are on the right track.”

This year’s ranking is up significantly from last year, when JSU appeared No. 45 on the list.

The research rating measures the rate at which students go on to receive Ph.D.s., the number of doctoral degrees awarded by the university and the amount of federal research dollars garnered. Last year Jackson State raised over $57 million research dollars.

The service rating also is a reflection of the number of students serving in U.S. Army and Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps programs, the percentage of alumni in the Peace Corps, the percentage of students receiving Pell grants and the percentage of federal work-study grant money spent on community service projects.

To view the entire report, visit Washington Monthly online: http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/college_guide/rankings_2011/national_university_rank.php


56 thoughts on “Jackson State University outranks Yale, Princeton in national study

  1. Pingback: Top 10 HBCUs with the Most Graduate Students |

  2. As a recent jsu graduate,i must say there are good and bad things about jsu,and every other college out there. Having been a low income student at jsu and recipient of pell grant and scholarship from jsu i must say that it helped me and other graduates go from low class to the middle class. In my opinion, thats how you measure true succes. I just want to thank jsu for believing in me and giving me that chance. Keep up the good work!!!

  3. haha…you worked huh….That same ignorance can be said to what job you get based on what color you are. Please stop trashing this celebration of uplift for our community. If it is not good enough for you, I am sure you will find solace at that company you used to work for.

  4. My immediate family, my extended family, my neighbors in Quitman County, and my fellow residents in 16 Mississippi Delta communities have and are benefiting immensely from the education we received and are receiving from Jackson State University. Altogether, we are talking about some 500 boys and girls who have become some outstanding men and women thanks to JSU. My own family has meaningful and gainfully employed five doctors, two lawyers, nine professors, 30 -odd school teachers, and a myriad of other professionals. Fifty years ago, our parents were sharecroppers on a Delta plantation. JSU freed us, gave us upward mobility, and we say JSU is the bomb!

  5. On August 30, 2011 the JSU homepage posted an article with the headline “Jackson State University outranks Yale, Princeton in national study”. As a proud supporter of JSU, I eagerly clicked on the link to find out the ways in which we had triumphed over such prestigious schools. Unfortunately, I am no longer excited. After reading the article, checking the study’s results, and going over the methodology used to reach said results, I was upset at how misleading the articles title had been.
    Here are my issues with the article. For starters, the study, conducted by The Washington Monthly, did give us a higher overall score than both Yale and Princeton, but that is almost entirely based on the fact that last year we graduated more students than their formula expected us to.
    Lets break down the results. When it came to the amount of research expenditures, Princeton spent $152 million more than us and Yale spent a whopping $444 million more. When it came to how many of our Bachelor’s degree recipients went on to earn their PhD’s we ranked 165th, compared to Princeton’s 7th and Yale’s 5th. According to the study we awarded 20 science and engineering PhD’s last year while Princeton awarded 255 and Yale 261. The trend continues through the majority of the areas compared in this study.
    The areas where we scored higher than the two were in the size of our ROTC department in relation to the size of our student body, the amount of work study funds spent on service (in which we ranked higher than Yale), community service participation and hours served, and the final area, service staff, courses (that require community service) and financial aid support.
    Really? Financial aid support? Now, my dealings with financial aid have always been pleasant, but I get the impression from other students that most people are not as fortunate as I when dealing with them. And those are the areas in which we are boasting about beating Yale and Princeton? Community service is wonderful, as is the size of our ROTC department, but when I graduate from JSU and compete for jobs with graduates of Princeton and Yale, my potential employers aren’t going to be asking us whose school had the largest ROTC department. They also won’t be asking how many of my school’s work study dollars went to service. Somehow, I get the feeling that they won’t care about my dealings with our financial aid department either.
    But wait, those of you who were paying attention might have noticed that I have left out the details of one category in my argument- the category in which we ranked 3rd compared to Princeton’s 79th and Yale’s 27th. That category is how many students we graduated compared to how many the formulas used in the study expected us to. Jackson State had an expected graduation rate of 27% with an actual graduation rate of 47%. That’s a huge difference. But why is it so big? Was the study formula really that flawed? It turns out that the formula used for the study, based on entering SAT/ACT scores and the amount of students receiving Pell Grants, was more accurate for all but 6 other schools! The implications of that fact could be tremendous. Does that mean that JSU is graduating many students who shouldn’t be? Does it mean that our standards are much lower than expected? Or is it simply an error in calculations? I don’t know, but regardless of the difference in expectations and outcome, we’re still in the bottom 25% when it comes to graduation rates. I don’t care what’s expected of you, that’s nothing to brag about.
    JSU is a wonderful school and I’m proud to be a student here, but I think we should accept this study’s results with a large dose of humility. As Scripture says, “Haughtiness [comes] before a fall.”

  6. To the loser that honestly thought and typed “the quality of those PhD’s, not quantity. It is virtually impossible to find a decent job with a degree from JSU.” ….I am sure it has all to do with you and nothing to do with my school. By the way you are talking to a software engineer working and living in Los Angeles, CA representing my school. My roomate…yea..a music teacher in Brooklyn, New York. The school doesn’t get you the job but only the opportunity for an interview. The person has to earn the job.

    • Actually you’re wrong. The school will get you the job! If you believe you earn your job, then you haven’t worked in the real world yet. I worked for a company that only hired graduates of certain schools for executive positions that included Brown, Harvard, Yale, Standford…you get the idea. The real world cares where you went to school.

  7. Actually Erica he was talking about his undergrad experence and not talking about the grad school. In addition we disagree because saying that JSU ranked higher in a national study than Yale and Princeton is pure fact…and you can click on the link to read why they did rank higher. You and as my man Thado says “the haters” are only bringing up what is wrong with the school instead of giving props for what our school is doing. I guess we all should be thanking you too. 😉

  8. Congrats to my institution, JSU. All JSU alumni know that Haters have always played a small part in motivating us, and in some sense, help to ignite the passion within us. So cheers to the hater who sparked this discussion. You may have very well ignited a new push to better the institution and prove skeptics like you wrong. We’ve been doing it since Walter Payton, so I’m confident it will continue.

  9. YES!! YES!! YES!! Jackson State University is the BEST HBCU!! Congrats to my school. I am very proud to attend such a prestigious University. We are doing great things this year! : ). I love My DEAR OLD COLLEGE HOME!! Lets keep up the good work.

  10. The standards at JSU are extremely low so anybody with a pulse can get in and then maintain the required 2.0 GPA. That’s a C average!!!! Give me a break! That is nothing to be proud of. Let’s raise the bar! If students were required to raise their GPA to a 3.5, classes would be empty.

    I will give props for the research done at the University. The only problem with that is the professors contributing to that great body of research are doing it when they should actually be teaching students and motivating them to WANT to be a 4.0 student like the majority that attend Princeton and Yale!

  11. The ranking are great, but get the details and you will surprised. It is misleading for the author to throw in names of great schools, just to blind the readers. Why did you not mentioned that in the same study, we have an expected rate of graduating students of 27%, with the actual graduation being 47%. I mean, more than half of our students drop out. This means a lot to university that is trying to pride itself in serving us, the under-privileged. What is even worse is that, there are only two other schools, out of the 258 in US, that graduate less than we do. This is beyond pathetic. Last but not least, 72% (ranked 1 in this category) of the students that are admitted to our school have everything they need, it terms of pell grants to comfortably carry on with their studies. Think about it this way, 53% of our admitted students do not matriculate, (drop out) because of reason other than financial issues. Student Affairs should be a shamed of the job they are doing. I used to think that I was the only one that was concerned about the correlation on service and retention at my school, now it has actually been revealed on a national level. This are the kind of studies that reveal a lot about our school, and Tommie King should be ashamed for nit picking. Sir, you know as well as I do that overall score in survey mean nothing. Look at the details, may be you will understand and learn something. I am proud of my school, don’t mislead us. We all know that what matters is “HOW MANY STUDENTS DOES A SCHOOL SUCCESSFULLY GRADUATE IN RELATION TO THOSE THAT THEY ADMIT” and number 256 out 258 ranking is not pretty now is it?????!!!!!

    • ^^^ Realest comment out of the entire forum. As being a TRUE Jacksonian (started as an entering freshman) I can very well say the grade on financial aid service is off by a long shot in this survey. 27% is not something be proud of; many of my entering classmates dropped out by the end of freshman year while only less than 1000 actually stayed and graduated. The author put JSU on a pedestal while he very well know students not only leave due to financial issues and grade problems but also because they dislike the staff at JSU. I would have went here for my graduate degree but I was just completely tired of the ole “run around” and many of you know what I’m referring to. Once again, to the comment above…preach.

      • hahaha….J.B. no one probably read anything after you let us know how wet behind the ears you are. The point of the article to highlight and uplift an educational entity that is under constant fire because our own people do now want to support our own schools and take more pride in complaining than building our schools. You yourself need to graduate first, get a job, start serving your community and then reply.

        • Joe, if you read J.B.’s full comment, he/she refers to their graduate program. He/she is not a freshman. Even if they were, their point would still be valid. Which is that this study is positive, but the article above is misleading. There are many issues like high attrition (for reasons other than finances) that should be addressed.

    • Since you feel this way…all the alumni would like you to try to do something to change this. We J State graduates look for solutions and not endulging in the negative.

      PS..make sure YOU graduate before you talk about graduation statistics

  12. With implementation, decisions, structures, capabilities, and acquired skills, JSU has obtained a highly standard which is only the beginning of bigger and greater things to come. Regardless of the negative, with God, the negative will cause more positive to take root and blossom.
    We as a black race should be glad to see success occur even if there are still some flaws, but thanks be to God for the flaws.

  13. So proud of Jackson State University! There is a story to be told. Thank God for those in place to tell it!! Go JSU!!!

  14. I am a VERY PROUD Graduate of Jackson State University (Class of 2002)! Many kudos to all the students, professors and other university staff for a job well done. Continue to forge ahead and make your presence known. I’m so glad I chose JSU….I’m so glad I chose JSU…..I’m so glaaad I chose JSU….singing Glory Hallelujah, I’m so GLAD!

  15. Hail, Hail to thee! I’m a graduate of JSU, and I’m proud to know that we are just getting better and better since our humble beginnings in 1877. You’ll always be the college of my heart!

  16. Fired up J-State! I’m so glad I graduated from JSU! Let our “Haters”be our reason to continue to strive for Excellence! GO JSU!

  17. As a recent graduate of Jackson State University…I just want to commend the students and the professors for a beautiful job!!! To the 1st comment above…all I will say is don’t hate you should have chose JSU…I DID!!!
    -Upshaw c/o 2011


    Every effort has meaning!!!
    Every recognition has meaning!!
    Every act of service granted by our students and to our students means something!!
    Every degree conferred to a student who thought that such an achievement would be impossible has meaning!!!

  19. As recent graduate of JSU and a Systems Engineer for the largest bank in the U.S. and second largest in the world, I congratulate JSU. The admissions process does allow for great students to join a great HBCU and at a lower cost. I received over thousands of the said $57 million and I hope JSU continue to receive more. I don’t know about other majors, but CSET is really making a name for JSU in their respective industries. Question – How many global corporations come to Belhaven each year seeking great students, coming into the classrooms to recruit the cream of the crop? (Remember Cellular South doesn’t count, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon’s CEO, and others do though.)

  20. Try reading for comprehension. JSU received this ranking mostly because of the extremely relaxed standards in which they use for admission to the university. Anyone who goes to JSU knows that the level of actual work being done is nowhere near the level of a univesity such a Yale or Princeton

      • I guess I should have said that admission standards are the same for all state universities in that state of MS. The standards for admission to JSU are the same as the admission standards for Ole MS or State. Look it up!!!

        • they are the same here in Arkansas and Tennessee and Georgia and Hawaii trust me I got in at a university in all 5 states and chose to go to JSU. Thanks anonymous person for showing us JSU alumni that JSU students are doing something right and CONGRATS JACKSON STATE UNIVERSITY!!!!!!

    • That’s your opinion. There is acutal work being done at JSU. The extremely relaxed admissions standards your speak of, allows deserving students opportunities to achieve their educational goals. Be proud of the contribution JSU is making instead of condemning us. You are confusing prestige and name recognition with ‘actual work’!!!

      • I to am a graduate from CSET at JSU and know very well the quality of the students that are being produced. I love the university and in no way wrote the statement above to make the university look bad. As a person who went to school there and continued my education and a so called prestigous university, I am aware of the expectation of the students and their level upon completion of the respective programs

    • I agree. The standards at JSU are extremely low so anybody with a pulse can get in and then maintain the required 2.0 GPA. That’s a C average!!!! Give me a break! That is nothing to be proud of. Let’s raise the bar! If students were required to raise their GPA to a 3.5, classes would be empty.

      I will give props for the research done at the University. The only problem with that is the professors contributing to that great body of research are doing it when they should actually be teaching students and motivating them to WANT to be a 4.0 student like the majority that attend Princeton and Yale!

    • Truth is a hard deer to hunt. The levels of difficulty in actual work expected and completed at JSU and the Yale/Princeton universities differ immensely.

    • This high ranking is great, but let’s look at the quality of those PhD’s, not quantity. It is virtually impossible to find a decent job with a degree from JSU. So much work still needs to be done to excel not on paper but in real life…

      • well that at any college especially in these day jobs are hard to find, but every college have to improve on certain things. Also look at the fact majority of blacks attend JSU so ofcourse it will be a struggle to find a good job. But with patience and dedication you will be able too.

    • That is false information because I attended University Of Minnesota and Jackson State an to be honest they both were the same. Its sad to see people down something so great, regardless of the survey its great news for a HBCU. That our problem people always look for the negative in anything. Stop being haters and be happy for Jackson State great accomplishment Im proud of my school.

  21. lol the person who left the first comment must be from Belhaven! haha, congratulations JSU! I hope it doesn’t end here, keep shooting for number 1! Maybe these rankings will give university more funding, because the Biology and Chemistry is lacking in materials and teachers BIG TIME!

    • Actually if you click the link to see the actual study the criteria is for recruiting and graduating low-income students, producing cutting-edge scholarship and PhDs, and encouraging students to give something back to their country. Yale and Princeton are not concerned with recruiting and graduating low income students, creating scholarships so more poor people that are below them attend their school and the encouraging at those school is only to build for themselves and not for the overall good of the country. Sometimes when you don’t have anything good to say……….

      • I agree sometimes when u dont have something good to say YOU shonda just be quiet…Yale and Princeton are indeed great schools in fact when I was younger i wanted to go to Princeton. As you said those students believe they are above everybody which is not true… The Bible says and I’m paraphrasing No man shall be greater than any other man… As for me i am a “low income” student and i excelled in High School scoring a 29 on the ACT’s and that was my freshman year in high school and graduating with a 4.8 on a 5.0 scale. Yes i received scholarships but that was not enough, and I did not receive anything from the government and I believe I was very worthy of attending Yale or Princeton but I could not afford it….NOBODY at that school is above me at all….I can probably out score anybody at any of those schools so for you to say that people are below them is very wrong…I have a niece with same poor low income status, as you say, at Yale right this very minute so are u saying she shouldn’t be there?

        • No, I was not saying that at all. I was being a smart ass in reference to the first comment, that this is a meaingless study. My point is, the survey is recruiting and graduating low income students, creating scholarships so more poor people can earn a college education. Yale and Princeton are not concerned with educating low income people nor is that their target incoming freshman. Yale and Princeton target the WASP and Yuppies to attend their school and if you don’t know what they think of low income people you should. I understand your concern but I think you are being a tad sensitive. The point is that JSU is the school that is trying to do something to educate those poor students and Yale and Princeton compared to JSU are not

    • You know evil, trifling people will always wait for an opportunity to minimize achievements, and other people. This person may not even be at JSU, but they certanly have too many people here like them. But thank God we have more that are not this way.

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