Baruch ranks No.1 for first-generation students

Tahreem Ashraf

Student Loan Hero ranked Baruch College No.1 across the United States for first-generation students. Baruch earned this rank based on its affordability, low student debt load and its high enrollment of first-generation students.

The researchers used five equally-weighted metrics to come up with the results: percentage of first-generation students, median debt load for those students, net price, percentage of graduated first-generation students and their five-year repayment rate.

“Academic success rate of schools is the percentage of students who are graduating within that six-year timeframe,” Andre Pentis, a student loan counselor and higher education finance expert, said. “So essentially, we’re looking at graduation rates to determine whether these schools are good at making sure their students stay on track for a degree.”

Student Loan Hero considered 300 of the largest public and private schools in the country, according to Pentis.

Baruch is ranked No. 20 in first-generation student percentage, No. 16 in median debt, No. 71 in the percentage of students who graduated within six years, No. 77 in five year repayment rate and No. 8 in net price.

The median debt first-generation students face at Baruch is $9,500, which is lower than the average college debt, according to Student Loan Hero.

“Baruch ranks well in our study because of those costs being low and because the debt is relatively low for their students,” Pentis said.

Sarah McGuire, a junior majoring in operations management and consulting, is a first-generation student at Baruch. She said that Baruch has not only helped her discover her chosen field, but also aided her to create social mobility in her family “by accomplishing something that can be achieved.”

“Baruch College is a great place to meet people who are passionate about their majors and hobbies,” Claire Lehane, a Baruch sophomore double majoring in journalism and political science, said. “It feels like a level playground where everyone has the potential to succeed regardless of their background.”

Baruch is hosting a virtual teach-in to support first-generation students on Feb.18. It will be led by first-generation Baruch alumni, staff speakers and moderators to explore the opportunities Baruch provides.

“We will hear their stories, struggles and triumphs,” the event’s description stated. “We will listen, reflect, and connect. Together, we will explore the ways in which we all can make a difference in students’ lives.”