Each year, the U.S. News and World Report publishes a list of college rankings within the United States. For the year 2021, UCR has, once again, placed first as a top performer in the category of social mobility.
This is only the second year in which the U.S. News and World Report has included a completely separate social mobility ranking for all schools across the nation. According to U.S. News, economically disadvantaged students are far less likely than others to finish college, even when considering other factors. Thus, the social mobility ranking measures the rate of successfully graduated, Pell Grant students amongst all universities in the country.
They stipulated that the students given these grants tend to come from households whose total family incomes are less than $50,000 annually, although the majority of the grants are awarded to students with family incomes of below $20,000.
UCR was also generally ranked higher than the year prior, at No. 34 among all the universities and colleges across the country. In an interview with The Highlander, Chancellor Kim Wilcox revealed his pride in the university’s achievement and recognition. ”The university’s reputation has been growing each year, as evidenced by the major university rankings. We’re a top public university as ranked by not only U.S. News & World Report, but also by Forbes, Money Magazine, Washington Monthly and CNBC,” he stated.
Wilcox added that the mission of UCR, like other top research institutions, is to provide students with a top-notch education. However, UCR is different in that the school consciously provides first-class education to students who are largely first-generation, underrepresented minorities and those who come from low income families. Just last August, the nonprofit organization, Education Trust, listed UCR as one of the nation’s top universities in terms of Black and Latino graduation rates.
Social mobility recognition is especially important, as that ranking might be the best indicator of how a university improves peoples’ lives, Wilcox stated. In the past, college rank reports often did not place value on this facet of higher education, as is evidenced by “social mobility” only becoming a valid category within the last couple years. Higher learning institutions that are rated highly within this bracket are those that not only graduate less privileged students, but set them up for success in the future.
Wilcox cautioned that the social mobility category might sound like “boardroom-talk” but clarified that it is one of the best ways to measure success for the students who were not born with the many privileges that others their age might have. “They had to fight for success, and UCR provides them with the tools to help,” he concluded.