Sep 16, 2021

College of the Ozarks ranked No. 1 Best Bang for the Buck, per "Washington Monthly" 2021 ranking

College of the Ozarks ranked No. 1 Best Bang for the Buck, per Washington Monthly 2021 ranking

POINT LOOKOUT, MO. — College of the Ozarks was recently ranked by Washington Monthly, earning No.1 Best Bang for the Buck in the Midwest and No. 2 Bachelor’s College. Washington Monthly compared a sampling of 1,466 colleges, including public, private nonprofit, and for-profit institutions.

Washington Monthly released its 2021 college guide and rankings in the September/October issue of the magazine and online.

“College of the Ozarks is honored to be recognized by Washington Monthly for the value it brings to students,” said College President Jerry C. Davis. “We are a unique college where students earn their education by working, rather than paying for it out of pocket. Graduates from our institution enter the workforce debt free, and have the opportunity to start a business, buy a home, or serve the community as teachers, ministers, missionaries, and world-changers.”

Washington Monthly uses the U.S. Department of Education’s Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) to calculate its ratings. The ranking system is equally weighted, ensuring that top-ranked colleges are excellent across a full breadth of measures, rather than excelling in just one.

The Best Bang for the Buck colleges (across each of the five regions) are primarily the unsung heroes of American higher education — colleges with strong regional reputations that serve large numbers of students from low-income families and help them graduate and succeed in the labor market.

According to Washington Monthly, College of the Ozarks “maintains its top rankings thanks to economic diversity, relatively strong graduation rates, and commitment to meeting students’ financial need.” Students attending College of the Ozarks work, rather than pay, to offset the cost of a degree and earn a debt-free education at Hard Work U.

C of O ranks as No. 2 Bachelor’s College

College of the Ozarks was ranked the No. 2 Bachelor’s College for 2021. Washington Monthly considers bachelor’s colleges to be four-year institutions that award almost exclusively bachelor’s degrees and that focus on arts and sciences rather than professional programs.
The rankings are based on colleges’ contributions to the public good in three broad categories: social mobility, research, and promoting public service.

To view the 2021 rankings, visit