Cal Poly Pomona is a top-performer in the country when it comes to universities that help low-income students find financial success, according to a new ranking.
The “Social Mobility Index” developed by Payscale and CollegeNET looked at five criteria when ranking U.S. colleges and universities: tuition cost, the percentage of the student body from low-income households, graduation rate, salaries of graduates, and the size of a school’s endowment. When combined, they placed Cal Poly Pomona fourth in the nation.
The ranking differs considerably from others in that it attempts to provide a glimpse into the value schools offer to their students. Whereas schools like Harvard, Stanford and Yale tend to dominate other rankings, they appear near the bottom of this one. Cal Poly Pomona scored high marks for its comparatively low annual tuition cost, the average starting salary for its graduates and the size of its endowment, which was boosted in recent years by the Campaign for Cal Poly Pomona.
According to the developers of the index, a “high SMI ranking means that a college is contributing in a responsible way to solving the dangerous problem of economic immobility.”
Leticia Guzman Scott, executive director of Cal Poly Pomona’s Student Support and Equity Programs, says the ranking is evidence that the university is helping change student lives for the better.
“Our primary mission, our goal is to help our students obtain their college degree, so that they have the option to get their dream job or continue on to graduate school,” Guzman Scott says. “We want them to achieve their goals in life; we work towards empowering them to become educated and engaged citizens who go on to lead productive and meaningful lives.”
Earlier this year, Cal Poly Pomona also scored highly on the 2014 College ROI Report, which attempts to measure the return on investment that colleges offer. Cal Poly Pomona was ranked 74th out of 1,312 college and universities in the country.
For more information about the Social Mobility Index, visit http://www.socialmobilityindex.org.