Mamata Elangovan / The Highlander

Just last year, the University of California, Riverside was ranked by U.S. News & World Report as the No. 1 university in social mobility. This year, the newly released report saw UCR go down one spot in social mobility which measures how well educational institutions help move their students into higher income groups. Cal State Long Beach now dons the number one spot in social mobility. Factors that assessed UCR’s social mobility ranking were “…Pell Grant six-year graduation rates and Pell Grant graduation rate performance, which considers grant recipients’ graduation rates relative to non-Pell Grant recipients rates,” as stated in an article under UCR’s School of Business. 

The Federal Pell Grant is awarded to undergraduate students annually if they meet the eligibility requirements. With this in mind, the report shows that 62% of UCR-enrolled students graduate, with 82% receiving financial aid assistance from the school. Different types of aid aside from the Pell Grant include scholarships, work-study and loans that are offered every academic year. 

A 2021 article written by UCR Professor of Sociology and Public Policy, Steven Brint, titled “Raising Graduation Rates While Maintaining Racial-Ethnic Equity In Graduation: The UC Riverside Recipe” highlights the university’s efforts in maintaining high graduation rates while also focusing on near-equity graduation rates among a diverse body of students. The paper describes how UCR has offered academic opportunities to under-represented students with the aid from campus faculty to ensure social mobility is reached across different demographics. 

Brint wrote, “In 2013, then-governor Jerry Brown called out the campus for its low graduation rates. He was right to do so; four-year graduation rates for full-time freshman admits stood at an abysmal 41 percent and six-year rates were hovering below two-thirds.” Dallas L. Rabenstein, previous Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost of UCR, initiated the Graduation Rate Task Force after this. Factors to improve graduation rates included “…institutionalizing enrollment modeling, providing increased access to high-demand courses in the summer, and revamping of the introductory mathematics curriculum and instruction.”  

Brint later writes that in 2021, the “…four-year graduation rates [were] 62.4% and six-year graduation rates [were] 77.3%.” 

UCR dedicates itself to maintaining graduation rates to aid its students during their educational years and helping them land into larger income sectors, UCR provides on-campus resources such as the Highlander One-Stop-Shop, Costo Hall organizations and college advisory departments.