Jim Wolfston, President of CollegeNET, Inc. and developer of the Social Mobility Index (SMI), delivered a keynote address during the national Social Mobility Summit at California State University, San Marcos, on October 5, 2023. The Social Mobility Symposium is designed to convene the leading voices in social mobility among academia, think tanks, and policymakers throughout the country. Mr. Wolfston discussed the imperative of shifting the value system in US higher education from the pursuit and celebration of wealth to one that prioritizes access, opportunity, and social mobility for all students.
A highlight of the Symposium was the student panel, where students shared their personal stories, detailing the obstacles they have overcome and the opportunities that have shaped their educational journey towards achieving social mobility. The panel offered a powerful and inspiring perspective on the real-life impact of social mobility efforts.
The SMI measures the extent to which a college or university educates economically disadvantaged students (with family incomes below the national median) at lower tuition and graduates them into well-paying jobs. In determining institutional ranking, the SMI considers proportion of endowment dedicated to supporting under-resourced students, among other metrics. It also considers the extent to which each institution eschews any bragging or other promotions that draw attention to the U. S. News & World Report College Rankings.
The 2023 SMI Rankings will be released this fall, revealing which schools have improved their social mobility outcomes over the past year.
Learn more about the SMI and find the 2023 rankings here.