Monday, November 6, 2017

Social Media Celebrations for Social Mobility

The 2017 Social Mobility Index (SMI) identifies US colleges and universities that are committed to advancing economic opportunities for low-income students. CollegeNET salutes those top-ranking schools, and we’re excited to join in social media celebration.

Monday, October 30, 2017

2017 Social Mobility Index (SMI) Identifies Universities that are Consistently Providing Low-Income Students with Educational Opportunity

The 2017 Social Mobility Index (SMI) -- a measurement of US higher education's commitment to growing success and opportunity for economically disadvantaged students -- has identified several consistently high-ranking institutions, based on their success at emphasizing and developing academic support programs to help low-income students obtain college degrees and good-paying jobs.

“Unlike other college rankings that are aimed primarily at helping students select a college,” says Jim Wolfston, CEO of CollegeNET, “the SMI helps policymakers determine which colleges are addressing the national problem of economic mobility. Administrators have a better chance to help strengthen US economic mobility and the promise of the American Dream if they can identify and learn from colleges that are skilled at doing this.”

According to the 2017 SMI, several such leading institutions include:

* Baruch College, which ranked #1 in the SMI for the third consecutive year
* UC and CSU schools, which dominated the rankings, placing 13 schools in the top 20
* Winston-Salem State University in North Carolina, which remains in the top 20 for the fourth straight year

“I am thrilled that Winston-Salem State University is once again recognized as a leader in social mobility,” says Dr. Elwood L. Robinson, Chancellor at Winston-Salem State. “Through a culture of engagement, innovative programs and community partnerships, we are helping to make the American dream a reality for under-resourced students. Our efforts are transforming, not only the lives of our students and their families, but also their communities, our state and our nation.”

The SMI ranks schools according to five variables:
Published tuition
Percentage of student body from families below the US median income
Graduation rate of low-income students
Reported salary after graduation for low-income students

For more information about the SMI and the 2017 SMI rankings, visit

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

CollegeNET Awards Five Key Social Mobility Innovators in Higher Education

The 2017 Social Mobility Innovator Awards were presented July 17 at CollegeNET’s first Social Mobility Summit, in Portland, Oregon, to five key thought leaders from universities across the nation.

The award recipients included:

  • Dr. Rory McElwee, Vice President for Enrollment and Student Success at Rowan University in New Jersey
  • Dr. Kristin Croyle, Vice President for Student Success at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
  • Dr. Michael Dennin, Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning and Dean of the Division of Undergraduate Education at the University of California, Irvine
  • Dr. Elwood L. Robinson, Chancellor at Winston-Salem State University in North Carolina
  • Dr. Jaye Padgett, Vice Provost for Student Success and Professor of Linguistics at the University of California, Santa Cruz

During the Summit, the five award recipients participated in a roundtable discussion on best practices for student success, and heard a keynote address by CollegeNET CEO Jim Wolfston.

"Higher education is the most important rung on the ladder of economic mobility,” said Wolfston. “But, even more importantly, by offering a challenging mix of diverse ideas and experiences, higher education serves as society's most effective vehicle for preparing students to encounter, navigate, and appreciate the unfamiliar. Since innovation always depends upon the ability to consider what could be different, economic inclusion is not only a solution to a social justice issue, it is a key strategy for building sufficient diversity on campus to spark innovative minds."
The goal of the Social Mobility Index (SMI) is to help redirect the attribution of "prestige" in our higher education system toward colleges and universities that are advancing economic opportunity, and thus addressing one of the most pressing issues of our time.
The latest SMI rankings will be published during fall 2017.

For more information about the SMI and to see the 2016 SMI rankings, visit