Texas A&M University is the top-ranked institution in The Washington Monthly‘s new “College Guide,” which its editors say focuses on “tangible contributions to the public interest.”

The publication, based in Washington, D. C., has consistently ranked Texas A&M among the top five institutions in its annual rankings, but this year’s guide is the first to rank it No. 1.

In the magazine’s announcement of its new rankings, the editors say they rate individual schools on such factors as the degree to which they encourage students to serve in ROTC programs, the Peace Corps and other service programs, along with their emphasis on research that drives economic growth.

“While other guides ask, “What can colleges do for you?’ The Washington Monthly asks, “What are colleges doing for the country?’,” its editors say.

The Washington Monthly ranking is the latest in which Texas A&M fares well, especially on the basis of “value” or “best buy.” Earlier this month, Texas A&M was ranked third nationally among public universities in the “Great Schools, Great Prices” category in the 2008 edition of U.S. News & World Report‘s “America’s Best Colleges.” The Princeton Review, also out this month with its annual college guide, included Texas A&M in its “best values” listings. Kiplinger’s and Barron’s also have listed Texas A&M in similar ratings in their most recent guides.

For more information, contact Lane Stephenson at (979) 845-4662 or e-mail l-stephenson@tamu.edu.

Read all about it: The Washington Monthly‘s Third Annual College Rankings