HomeArchitectureRanking of Eleven CUNY Colleges for Supporting Students' Social Mobility

Ranking of Eleven CUNY Colleges for Supporting Students’ Social Mobility

York College’s ranking as No. 2 in the country provides additional evidence of the university’s success in moving students up the economic ladder.

According to CollegeNET, a provider of web-based on-demand technology for higher education, who recently announced their ninth annual rankings list, eleven CUNY institutions have been listed among the top national U.S. colleges and universities for fostering social mobility. The study focuses on institutions that accept students from underprivileged origins and prepare them for successful careers after graduation.

Six educational institutions were in the top 20 according to the Social Mobility Index (SMI). York College (2), Brooklyn College (5), Baruch College (6), Queens College (7), the College of Staten Island (12), and Lehman College (18) are among them.

The other universities mentioned are Medgar Evers College (174), City Tech (61), John Jay College (43), Hunter College (32), and City College (49).

“CUNY is pleased to receive additional confirmation of its effectiveness in promoting social mobility, which we regard as a crucial element of the University’s historical mission. Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodriguez stated, “Our aim is to help all students, particularly first-generation or immigrant college students, get an education that propels them onto a solid job path.

The SMI is determined by applying a formula that takes into account the notions of access, result, and institutional capacity. CollegeNET gathers information from outside sources, such as IPEDS and the College Scorecard from the US Department of Education. Here you can find more details on the SMI.

A number of factors go into calculating CollegeNET’s SMI, including published tuition, the percentage of students whose families make less than the national median (in fall 2021, 34% of CUNY’s undergraduate students came from households making less than $20,000 annually), graduation rate, the median salary five years after graduation, and endowment.

This year, the SMI includes 1,414 colleges with four-year programs and added a sixth metric dubbed “ethos.” The element dictates how messaging and communications from schools convey information about their institutional missions and the importance of a college education to both students and the general public. The socioeconomic background of the student body, the graduation rate, early career net salaries, and endowment are other quantitative variables.

CUNY has maintained high ranks over the years, demonstrating the success of its social mobility aim. According to Third Way, which created a special “economic mobility index,” 10 senior schools were named among the top in the US in March for giving low- and moderate-income graduates a path to economic mobility.

In 2020, the Brookings Institution rated six of CUNY’s senior schools and six of its community colleges among the nation’s top ten four-year and two-year institutions for “middle class mobility,” confirming data made public in 2017 by Raj Chetty, a Stanford economist at the time.


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