CollegeNET ranks Baruch No.1 for social mobility

Judah Duke, Business Editor

Baruch College was recognized as the United States’ No.1 institution for social mobility for the seventh year in a row by CollegeNET.

Baruch was one of seven CUNY schools to make the top 20 of the company’s annually released Social Mobility Index. The index included a ranking of over 1,400 four-year colleges to determine which schools most effectively admit students who come from low-income households.

“The CollegeNET #1 ranking has once again confirmed Baruch’s unique value proposition —achieving academic excellence while advancing the social mobility of our students,” Baruch President S. David Wu said.

One way CollegeNET defines this mobility is the capability of a student to begin to earn more than their parents did during their career, according to a purpose statement for the index.

The Social Mobility Index looks at the extent an institution educates economically disadvantaged students, defined byfamily incomes below the national median, at lower tuition and sends them into good-paying jobs.

Five different metrics were used to determine that the goal was met, including data on tuition rates and the economic condition of a college’s student body.

These two variables accounted for the bulk of any four-year college’s probability to reach a higher ranking in the index, followed by graduation rates, students’ net salaries near the beginning of their careers and endowment funds.

Graduation rates were not the only data used to determine social mobility because wealthier students are more likely to graduate than lower-income students, CollegeNet said.

The website wrote that early net salaries also gave the index beneficial direction, though like graduation rates, the figure statistically favors wealthier students.

To maximize the index’s observance of true social mobility, these other data points had to be given a subtler effect on ranking; and were granted half the sensitivity as tuition rates and student economic background.

Such prized figures as graduation rates and early net salary are secured when colleges enroll students that come from families with higher income.

CollegeNET provides web-based administrative products to both non-profits and universities worldwide.  It has remained a self-proclaimed partner in helping institutions bring students to their full educational potential since 1979, its website reads in part.

CollegeNET also has allocated over $2.25 million worth of college scholarships and other financial support to campus programs that support social mobility, according to its website.

“At a time when the value and relevance of a college education is increasingly questioned, our ability to propel students from all social and economic backgrounds to excellence and opportunity is more important than ever before,” Wu said.