Friday, January 26, 2024

The Tenth Annual Social Mobility Index Reveals Encouraging New Trends in Higher Education

The 2023 Social Mobility Index (SMI) was released in December, marking 10 years of ranking U.S. colleges and universities according to how well they advance educational opportunities and successful outcomes for economically disadvantages students. A quick look at the rankings reveals Cal State and CUNY schools dominating the top 20 spots, with California State University, Dominguez Hills placing number one. It’s exciting to see state schools take pride in advancing access and opportunity across multiple campuses/institutions. California, New York, and New Jersey ranked the highest in social mobility by state. 

While State schools in California and New York have historically led the national in social mobility as measured by the SMI, this year highlights a remarkable shift from the norm: the advancement of typically low-scoring elite institutions. For example, Harvard University moved from 1363 in 2022 to 363 in 2023, and Stanford University jumped from 1260 to 236. 

We're looking forward to seeing which schools take another leap in supporting social mobility in 2024 and which schools continue the excellent work they’ve been showing in the last few years.  

The Top 20 SMI Schools for 2023 

1. California State University – Dominguez Hills 

2. Winston-Salem State University  

3. California State Polytechnic University – Pomona 

4. CUNY Lehman College 

5. Farmingdale State College 

6. CUNY Bernard M Baruch College 

7. California State University – Long Beach  

8. California State University – Los Angeles 

9. California State University – Northridge 

10. New Jersey City University  

11. CUNY Brooklyn College 

12. CUNY City College 

13. California State University – Channel Islands 

14. California State University – Fresno 

15. CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice 

16. California State University – San Marcos 

17. SUNY Buffalo State University  

18. The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley 

19. CUNY York College 

20. California State University – Sacramento  

Visit for the full 2023 SMI ranking.