50 Colleges & Universities Providing The Most Opportunity for Upward Social Mobility in 2021

Social mobility is a key factor in the improvement of the social conditions of people of less privilege. It is defined by the Encyclopedia Britannica as the “movement of individuals, families, or groups through a system of social hierarchy or stratification.” Upward mobility occurs when people or groups move from one social class to a higher class. Education is the driving factor for this achievement.

This list provides a handy reference for identifying the colleges and universities that provide the most opportunity for upward social mobility. It is divided into two sections of twenty-five schools each. The first features colleges and universities that charge tuition, but offer Pell Grants, which are awarded to students from low-income backgrounds, and other forms of scholarships and financial aid. The second group lists highly selective schools that offer full tuition, room, and board for low-income students that are accepted.

Table of Contents

SCHOOLS WITH LOW TUITION

University of California-Los Angeles

Social Mobility Standouts:

UCLA boasts one of the most outstanding records of advocating and realizing social mobility among all public universities. Ranked by several outlets in the top 25 out of all U.S. colleges and universities, UCLA’s outstanding reputation and academic quality are open to candidates from all levels of society. Through the outstanding allocation of financial aid through Pell Grants and other forms of student aid for low-income applicants, UCLA provides ample opportunity for upward social advancement. Not only does UCLA make social mobility possible through financial support, but the university’s faculty has also produced cutting-edge research into the conditions that prevent upward change in social status and opportunity and ways to overcome these barriers through access to quality education and social connections.

Location: Los Angeles, California

Accreditation: UCLA is accredited by the WACS, 985 Atlantic Ave, Alameda, CA 94501

Graduation Rate: 91%

Graduation Outcomes:

UCLA’s ethically diverse faculty and student body, coupled with its outstanding support for non-privileged students, give graduates excellent resources for achieving upward social movement. Faculty publications and course offerings teach students the causes for the lack of social mobility and provide the tools needed to overcome these barriers. With a graduation rate of over 90%, students are very happy with their UCLA experience.

LEARN MORE ABOUT SOCIAL MOBILITY FACTORS AT UCLA

University of the Pacific

Social Mobility Standouts:

The University of the Pacific has long been ranked as one of the top schools for promoting social mobility through its students and graduates. Recently Pacific earned a ranking of 53rd for overall value and was ranked 11th among California universities for social mobility. In a closely related area, Diverse: Issues in Higher Education placed Pacific among the top universities for the greatest number of minority students. In 2021Pacific was ranked #36 in the nation for social mobility.

Location: Stockton, California

Accreditation: The University of the Pacific is accredited by the WACS, 985 Atlantic Ave, Alameda, CA 94501

Graduation Rate: 70%

Graduation Outcomes:

High graduation rates, a student body made up of a large number of minority students, and excellent financing options make the University of the Pacific a top institution for achieving social mobility. As a private university with very high student satisfaction, the University of the Pacific is a great place for understanding, achieving, and spreading upward social mobility.

LEARN MORE ABOUT SOCIAL MOBILITY FACTORS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF THE PACIFIC

University of Illinois-Chicago

Social Mobility Standouts:

Ranked 89th nationally according to World University Rankings the University of Illinois-Chicago has climbed in the rankings of colleges and universities that promote social mobility. Fifty-seven percent of all Illinois-Chicago students receive Pell Grants that are allocated for low-income students. UIC was 14th by U.S. News & World Report in social mobility for 2021 and 20th nationally in terms of ethnic diversity.

Location: Chicago, Illinois

Accreditation: The University of Illinois-Chicago is accredited by the 230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500, Chicago, Illinois 60604-1413

Graduation Rate: 63%

Graduation Outcomes: As a top regional and national university, UIC graduates go on to employment or continuing education at a rate of 76%. UIC graduates make an impact at home. Over 90% of graduates taking advantage of the upward social mobility opportunities at UIC stay close to home and are employed in Illinois.

LEARN MORE ABOUT SOCIAL MOBILITY FACTORS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO-ILLINOIS

CUNY City College

Social Mobility Standouts:

CUNY is recognized by several outlets as one of the top colleges in promoting social mobility. The Brookings Institute places CUNY in the top 10 in several colleges, and U.S. News & World Report ranks CUNY at 17th nationally in social mobility. Regionally, CUNY is a top performer, and students graduate with an average very low debt. Further proof of CUNY’s effectiveness in promoting social mobility is the high graduation rate for a student body, half of which is composed of students from families with a yearly income of under $20,000, including undocumented students.

Location: New York, New York

Accreditation: CUNY is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, Suite 2, West, Philadelphia, PA 19104

Graduation Rate: 60%

Graduation Outcomes:

Graduates of CUNY’s diverse and socially mobilizing programs will be equipped to make an immediate impact upon their local communities and beyond. The excellent education they received without incurring a large amount of debt will be a needed first step towards establishing themselves and their families upon a socially upward trend for generations. Learn more about upward social mobility at CUNY

LEARN MORE ABOUT SOCIAL MOBILITY FACTORS AT CUNY NEW YORK

University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras

Social Mobility Standouts:

The University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras is ranked 196th overall in 2021 by U.S. News & World Report in terms of national university rankings. When it comes to social mobility, the same outlet gave the University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras a 6th place ranking nationwide. This top university for social mobility blazes educational paths for an impressive number of low-income students. Over 70% of the students at the university receive Pell Grants. The diverse and inclusive community at the University of Puerto Rico stands out as one of the very top colleges to attend to gain upward social mobility.

Location: San Juan, Puerto Rico

Accreditation: The University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, Suite 2, West, Philadelphia, PA 19104

Graduation Rate: 53%

Graduation Outcomes:

This is university offers a top-notch education, backed by a solid academic reputation. The outstanding student and financial support for low-income applicants mean increased social mobility with a smaller debt burden.

LEARN MORE ABOUT SOCIAL MOBILITY FACTORS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF PUERTO RICO-RIO PIEDRAS

University of California-Merced

Social Mobility Standouts:

The University of California-Merced is another outstanding university from the Golden State that majors in academic reputation and upward social mobility. Graduates score highly on career success and university experience satisfaction, and UC Merced awards to Pell Grants to 65% percent of its students. An impressive graduation rate of 60% means that UC Merced is being very successful in providing social mobility for low-income students. A top 200 overall ranking among all schools and categories in the U.S. indicates the quality of a UC Merced education. A #5 national ranking in social mobility performance in 2021 by U.S. News & World Report is a sure sign that UC Merced is committed to giving everyone a chance to achieve a better life and position in society.

Location: Merced, California

Accreditation: The University of California-Merced is accredited by theWASC Senior College and University Commission, 985 Atlantic Ave, Alameda, CA 94501

Graduation Rate: 69%

Graduation Outcomes:

The top ranking in social mobility, generous financial aid, and excellent graduation rates all combine to emphasize the widely recognized truth that UC Merced is one of the very best colleges for achieving social mobility. UC Merced outperforms in expected graduation rates, earning the top ranking among all U.S public universities in 2021. UC Merced boasts many nationally ranked degree programs that will help any high-achieving, low-income student move upward in social position.

LEARN MORE ABOUT SOCIAL MOBILITY FACTORS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA-MERCED

University of California-Davis

Social Mobility Standouts:

UC Davis is a top college in agriculture or veterinary medicine. UC Davis also ranks high in affordability and is considered one of the very best overall public universities in the U.S. For fostering social mobility, UC Davis is a top choice as well. Thirty-three percent of all UC Davis students receive Pell Grants, and a very impressive 86% of students graduate. The willingness to help low-income students get a high-quality UC Davis education and the satisfaction and success of graduates make UC Davis of the best colleges for social mobility.

Location: Davis, California

Accreditation: The University of California-Davis is accredited by theWASC Senior College and University Commission, 985 Atlantic Ave, Alameda, CA 94501

Graduation Rate: 86%

Graduation Outcomes:

UC Davis provides outstanding education, professional and personal connections, along with financial assistance for low-income students to achieve upward social mobility. The university’s commitment to assisting its graduates to reach their goals is further manifested in the low debt rate of graduates: 58% of all graduates are debt-free.

LEARN MORE ABOUT SOCIAL MOBILITY FACTORS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA-DAVIS

University of California-Irvine

Social Mobility Standouts:

For top social mobility, excellent academics, high student satisfaction, UC-Irvine is another top California university. UC Irvine has started the American Dream campaign for upward social mobility. The university understands that outstanding education for too long has been overly limited to the elite and the wealthy. To make social mobility a reality for low-income students UC Irvine has created a financial aid system that is ranked in the top 10 in several outlets for social mobility promotion, and for 2021 is #2 in the nation according to U.S. News & World Report. In terms of mid-career salary, UC Irvine graduates earn, on average, almost $119,000 per year.

Location: Irvine, California

Accreditation: The University of California-Irvine is accredited by theWASC Senior College and University Commission, 985 Atlantic Ave, Alameda, CA 94501

Graduation Rate: 85%

Graduation Outcomes:

Graduates from UC Irvine will be the beneficiaries of excellent financial support through Pell Grants and other sources of low-income financing. With the excellent employment and salary prospects, UC Irvine offers, graduates from underprivileged sectors of society will be able to change the course of their life in a socially upward direction that will benefit not only themselves but also their families and broader communities.

LEARN MORE ABOUT SOCIAL MOBILITY FACTORS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA-IRVINE

University of California-San Diego

Social Mobility Standouts:

UC-San Diego has been a leader in advocating social mobility in education. In 2019 the university held the first-ever social mobility conference where more than 100 participants to part in the two-day conference. Efforts to promote and achieve upward mobility are pursued through admissions processes, academic courses, and financial aid. At UC-San Diego 32% of all students receive the Pell Grant, and out of all students almost 90% stick around and graduate. In 2019 40% of all incoming freshmen were from low-income situations and 37% of freshmen were first-generation college students.

Location: San Diego, California

Accreditation: The University of California-San Diego is accredited by theWASC Senior College and University Commission, 985 Atlantic Ave, Alameda, CA 94501

Graduation Rate: 87%

Graduation Outcomes:

Graduates from UC-San Diego come from a wide variety of social and economic backgrounds, but low-income and first-generation college students are placed in an outstanding position to achieve. Faculty understand what it takes to move up in one’s social position because 30% of faculty come from historically underrepresented groups. Quality education and strong financial backing make UC-San Diego a great choice for low-income students or those underrepresented demographics who look to understand, foster, and achieve upward social mobility.

LEARN MORE ABOUT SOCIAL MOBILITY FACTORS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA-SAN DIEGO

University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley

Social Mobility Standouts:

Young UT-Rio Grande Valley (founded in 2013) has quickly taken its place among the top colleges for upward social mobility. It is the number one school in Texas, and ranks 36th nationally in 2021, according to U.S. News and World Report. Seventy percent of UTRGV students receive Pell Grants, and already almost 50% of students graduate.

Location: Edinburg, Texas

Accreditation: The University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley is accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges, 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia

Graduation Rate: 47%

Graduation Outcomes:

Graduates from this university are the beneficiaries of an extensive career support system that helps students move into their fields of employment without a hitch. Students are put into contact with potential employers, able to post resumes and receive career guidance and direction.

LEARN MORE ABOUT SOCIAL MOBILITY FACTORS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS-RIO GRANDE VALLEY

Metropolitan State University

Social Mobility Standouts:

Economically disadvantaged students thrive at Metropolitan State University. Widely recognized as a top university for promoting social mobility, MSU tailors its academic and financial programs to meet the aspirations of all its students. At MSU 70% of students receive Pell Grants. Classes are structured to accommodate those in economically disadvantaged conditions. MSU offers academic and career guidance throughout students’ time at the university.

Location: St. Paul, Minnesota

Accreditation: Metropolitan State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, 230 S LaSalle St suite 7-500, Chicago, IL 60604

Graduation Rate: 46%

Graduation Outcomes:

MSU graduates benefit from strong and effective social mobility initiatives and programs in the university. Statistics have shown that MSU has been effective in mobilizing low-income and first-generation students to rise out of poverty.

LEARN MORE ABOUT SOCIAL MOBILITY FACTORS AT METROPOLITAN STATE UNIVERSITY

Florida A&M University

Social Mobility Standouts:

Florida A&M prides itself on “providing access to high-quality, affordable education to many students who otherwise may never have the opportunity to fulfill their dreams of getting a college degree.” Recognized regionally and nationally as a top school for social and economic mobility, 55% of Florida A&M students receive Pell Grants. As a historically Black college, Florida A&M carries a profoundly important legacy forward in achieving social and economic equality.

Location: Tallahassee, Florida

Accreditation: Florida A&M University is accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges, 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia

Graduation Rate: 55%

Graduation Outcomes:

Graduates from this university are given the tools and the opportunities to achieve social advancement. The undergraduate success center at Florida A&M ensures that students are able to learn on their own, have the needed university resources to succeed both during their time in university and as they embark on their careers.

LEARN MORE ABOUT SOCIAL MOBILITY FACTORS AT FLORIDA A&M UNIVERSITY

California State University-Fresno

Social Mobility Standouts:

CSU is at the top of national rankings for both promoting upward social mobility and graduating low-income students. This combination of advocacy in terms of financing and curriculum and successful completion of degree programs, make CSU an outstanding option for disadvantaged students, looking to move up in society. Over 60% of CSU students receive Pell Grants, and an impressive 58% percent of students go on to graduate from CSU.

Location: Fresno, California

Accreditation: California State University-Fresno is accredited by theWASC Senior College and University Commission, 985 Atlantic Ave, Alameda, CA 94501

Graduation Rate: 62%

Graduation Outcomes:

At CSU low-income students are part of a success story in establishing economic equality towards the end of rebuilding the economy.

LEARN MORE ABOUT SOCIAL MOBILITY FACTORS AT CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY-FRESNO

University of California-Riverside

Social Mobility Standouts:

Part of the prestigious public university system of California, UCR as one of the “fastest rising” universities in the country, is also one of the top colleges for promoting social mobility. Situated on over 1,000 acres and boasting over 26,000 students, Riverside makes it possible for low-income students to move up in social and economic status. Almost 50% of all UCR students receive Pell Grants, making it possible for ambitious learners from every sphere of society to take advantage of the outstanding educational and career resources offered at UCR. With a 77% graduation rate, UCR makes sure that students coming into the university complete their degrees and get good jobs.

Location: Riverside, California

Accreditation: The University of California-Riverside is accredited by theWASC Senior College and University Commission, 985 Atlantic Ave, Alameda, CA 94501

Graduation Rate: 77%

Graduation Outcomes:

UCR is committed to student success. Rated in 2021 as #1 in the country in promoting social mobility, UCR offers the financial, educational, and career-based tools for low-income students to move out of a disadvantaged lifestyle.  

LEARN MORE ABOUT SOCIAL MOBILITY FACTORS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA-RIVERSIDE

Howard University

Social Mobility Standouts:

Howard University is a historically Black college that is quickly climbing to the top of the rankings charts. In 2020 Howard moved to number 80 among all colleges and universities in the U.S., an outstanding accomplishment for an institution founded for serving the needs of underprivileged college students. A big part of this overall rise of Howard is the unyielding support and promotion of social mobility. Almost half of the total student body of Howard receives the Pell Grant, and almost 80% of students, once enrolled, go on to graduate. In 2021, Howard was recognized by U.S. News & World Report as the 11th most effective promoter of upward social mobility out of all U.S. colleges and universities.

Location: Washington D.C.

Accreditation: Howard University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, Suite 2, West, Philadelphia, PA 19104

Graduation Rate: 77%

Graduation Outcomes:

Howard is a leader in the STEM fields and has awarded the most on-campus PhDs to African-American students in the country. High graduation rates, an institution-characterizing emphasis upon the promotion of social mobility, excellent career guidance, and education come together to make not only Howard a rising university, but Howard graduates a rising force in every segment of society and governance.

LEARN MORE ABOUT SOCIAL MOBILITY FACTORS AT HOWARD UNIVERSITY

Rutgers University-Camden

Social Mobility Standouts:

Rutgers-Camden is one of the best-value colleges in the country. This was recognized in 2019 by Washington Monthly magazine. This value extends in powerful ways to students from low-income families and/or backgrounds, trying to rise in social and economic status. In 2021 Rutgers-Camden was ranked #26 in the nation as a top school for promoting upward social mobility. At Rutgers-Camden 53% of all students receive Pell Grants, giving disadvantaged communities access to outstanding education and career training and connections.

Location: Camden, New Jersey

Accreditation: Rutgers University-Camden is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, Suite 2, West, Philadelphia, PA 19104

Graduation Rate: 65%

Graduation Outcomes:

Low faculty to student ratios (10 to 1), outstanding education, and financing options make Rutgers-Camden an outstanding choice in attaining upward mobility. Rutgers-Camden offers a full range of academic majors, and throughout the learning experience, students receive continuous educational support and assistance. Graduates from Rutgers-Camden are ready to make their mark on the world with little debt burden.

LEARN MORE ABOUT SOCIAL MOBILITY FACTORS AT RUTGERS UNIVERSITY-CAMDEN

University of California-Santa Barbara

Social Mobility Standouts:

Located on the edge of the Pacific Ocean, UC Santa Barbara is a vibrant university family that prizes and promotes upward social mobility. A strong culture of interdisciplinary cooperation and multicultural community combine to make UC Santa Barbara a vibrant and beautiful school for moving to greater social and economic prominence. UC Santa Barbara has recently been recognized as one of the top three most economically diverse universities in the country, and, in 2021, U.S. News & World Report, ranked UC Santa Barbara as the 13th best performer in the nation in the area of upward social mobility. Almost 30% of students receive Pell Grants, and a very impressive 84% of enrollees go on to finish their degrees at the university.

Location: Santa Barbara, California

Accreditation: The University of California-Santa Barbara is accredited by theWASC Senior College and University Commission, 985 Atlantic Ave, Alameda, CA 94501

Graduation Rate: 84%

Graduation Outcomes:

Offering over 200 majors and credentials and ranked 74th out of all universities in the country, UC Santa Barbara is a top university destination for almost any high school graduate. However, UC Barbara is truly special in its vision to uphold values of equity through the promotion of upward social mobility for low-income and minority students.

LEARN MORE ABOUT SOCIAL MOBILITY FACTORS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA-SANTA BARBARA

Stony Brook University-SUNY

Social Mobility Standouts:

Stony Brook University is one the very best performers among public universities in terms of the mid-career salaries of its graduates who earn on average $110,000 per year. Combine excellent job prospects and a commitment to the promotion of upward social mobility makes Stony Brook one of the very top colleges in the country. Stony Brook’s conviction about the necessity of achieving social and economic equity is indicated by the fact that over thirty percent of its students receive Pell Grants.

Location: Stony Brook, New York

Accreditation: Stony Brook University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, Suite 2, West, Philadelphia, PA 19104

Graduation Rate: 76%

Graduation Outcomes:

Stony Brook graduates are strongly represented in the STEM fields. This means that Stony Brook is creating opportunities, through its promotion of upward social mobility, for less and underprivileged students to get the education they need to break into the socially impactful and economically lucrative careers in the sciences at a higher rate than average.

LEARN MORE ABOUT SOCIAL MOBILITY FACTORS AT STONY BROOK UNIVERSITY

University of North Carolina-Greensboro

Social Mobility Standouts:

UNC Greensboro is a beacon of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Carrying its long-standing reputation for academic excellence into the future, UNC Greensboro has made giant strides in advocating for diversity, equity, and inclusion on all fronts. In this area, UNC Greensboro has also been recognized by U.S. News & World Report in recent years as the top school in North Carolina and as the 23rd ranked school in the country for the promotion of social mobility. UNC Greensboro in 2020 was also recognized for the low amount of debt that students take with them after graduation, making it an even better school for minority and low-income students.

Location: Greensboro, North Carolina

Accreditation: The University of North Carolina-Greensboro is accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges, 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia

Graduation Rate: 59%

Graduation Outcomes:

UNC Greensboro combines excellent affordability, financing for low-income students (53% of all students receive Pell Grants), and very low debt for graduates. Mid-career salary numbers are very respectable. The majority of graduates from UNC Greensboro graduate in non-STEM fields.

LEARN MORE ABOUT SOCIAL MOBILITY FACTORS AT UNC-GREENSBORO

Florida International University

Social Mobility Standouts:

FIU combines affordable tuition and strong advocacy of social mobility with solid academics to make it one of the top universities for upward social mobility. U.S. News & World Report rated FIU the 19th best school in 2021 in the United States for performance in promoting social mobility. The student body of FIU is quite diverse with 60% of the student population from Hispanic backgrounds. Over half of the students at FIU receive Pell Grants. FIU was rated a top 50 public research university by Washington Monthly, and the same publication included FIU in their list of the top 20 schools contributing to the public good.

Location: Miami, Florida

Accreditation: Florida International University is accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges, 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia

Graduation Rate: 67%

Graduation Outcomes:

FIU is the first and only public research university. It is considered a top-tier institution. The FIU resources are fully open to low-income students. Graduates from FIU have some of the best opportunities for social upward movement through outstanding resources, faculty, and facilities, supported by clear institutional vision and commitment to fostering the social and economic advancement of less-privileged students.

LEARN MORE ABOUT SOCIAL MOBILITY FACTORS AT FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY

Montclair State University

Social Mobility Standouts:

Montclair State is a solid public university (ranked 87th in the country by U.S. News & World Report) with an outstanding record in the promotion of social mobility. In 2021 Montclair State was ranked in the top 20 of all U.S. colleges and universities. A Green campus with a diverse student population, Montclair’s state-of-the-art facilities, and the incredible number of majors, make a Montclair degree a great value and investment for first-generation students and students from low-income backgrounds.

Location: Montclair, New Jersey

Accreditation: CUNY is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, Suite 2, West, Philadelphia, PA 19104

Graduation Rate: 68%

Graduation Outcomes:

A good student-to-faculty ratio (17 to 1) and small class sizes help make Montclair inviting. Quality education and a commitment to causing upward social movement of lower-income and marginalized communities make Montclair the right decision.

LEARN MORE ABOUT SOCIAL MOBILITY FACTORS AT MONTCLAIR STATE UNIVERSITY

Russell Sage College

Social Mobility Standouts:

RSC is a small private liberal arts college that awards degrees from undergraduate to PhD. Class sizes are small. RSC has an excellent student-to-faculty ratio of 11 to 1, making interaction and feedback from instructors much easier and timely than at some larger institutions. In terms of social mobility performance, don’t let RSC’s size mislead you. RSC’s impact is much larger than its student population would suggest. However, what RSC might not possess in numbers, it produces in terms of the quality of its commitment to the promotion of upward social mobility for low-income and minority students. In 2021, RSC was named the eighth most impressive promoter of social mobility among all U.S. colleges and universities.

Location: Troy, New York

Accreditation: Russell Sage University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, Suite 2, West, Philadelphia, PA 19104

Graduation Rate: 62%

Graduation Outcomes:

Russell Sage offers a close-knit community that emphasizes equality and diversity through excellent academics and the systematic commitment to the promotion of upward social mobility. At Russell Sage College 50% of all students receive Pell Grants.

LEARN MORE ABOUT SOCIAL MOBILITY FACTORS AT RUSSELL SAGE UNIVERSITY

St. Catherine University

Social Mobility Standouts:

St. Kate’s was founded as a college for women. The university has long fostered a vision that promotes social justice in the light of its Catholic heritage. With the rise of the increased awareness of the need to adjust in favor of the upward social mobility of low-income background students. St. Kate’s has succeeded in promoting social mobility, becoming one of the top-performing schools in the nation in the area of social mobility. St. Kate’s has been recognized for several years as a university promoting justice, inclusivity, equity. In 2021 was ranked 39th in the country for the promotion of social mobility by the U.S. News & World Report.

Location: St. Paul, Minnesota

Accreditation: St. Catherine’s University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, 230 S LaSalle St suite 7-500, Chicago, IL 60604

Graduation Rate: 64%

Graduation Outcomes:

Graduates from St. Kate’s will be empowered by an education that is educationally sound and ethically rooted in justice. With its strong religious focus on promoting justice in the realm of promoting social mobility, low-income and first-generation graduates from St. Kate’s will embody the goals of the university: “To help each of our students develop the knowledge and empowerment to transcend what they thought was possible.”

LEARN MORE ABOUT SOCIAL MOBILITY FACTORS AT ST. CATHERINE UNIVERSITY

Georgia State University

Social Mobility Standouts:

GSU is a university that is on the rise. Bill Gates noted that “no other university has accomplished what GSU has the last decade.” GSU is known for its outstanding education and faculty as well as for its incredibly diverse student body. This translates into the university functioning as one of the most successful institutions in promoting upward social mobility. Just over half of all GSU students receive Pell Grants.

Location: Atlanta, Georgia

Accreditation: Georgia State University is accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges, 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia

Graduation Rate: 53%

Graduation Outcomes:

Graduates from GSU will have had their lives transformed through top education and student support. The urban setting of GSU and its diverse student body help give GSU its distinctive character as one of the top universities for the promotion of upward social mobility.

LEARN MORE ABOUT SOCIAL MOBILITY FACTORS AT GEORGIA STATE UNIVERSITY

Rutgers University

Social Mobility Standouts:

Rutgers prides itself on being the “state university of New Jersey.” Rutgers has it all: excellent academics, diversity, tradition, and support for low-income and first-generation students. As the oldest, largest, and top-ranked university in New Jersey, Rutgers also is ranked in the top three schools nationwide for the promotion of social mobility.

Location: New Brunswick, New Jersey

Accreditation: Rutgers University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, Suite 2, West, Philadelphia, PA 19104

Graduation Rate: 84%

Graduation Outcomes:

Focusing mainly upon New Jersey residents, Rutgers makes its innovative research facilities and outstanding faculties and degree programs accessible to low-income students. Through forward-thinking use of scholarships, grants, student support, and educational programs, Rutgers makes upward social mobility more than just a dream for its students.

LEARN MORE ABOUT SOCIAL MOBILITY FACTORS AT RUTGERS UNIVERSITY

SCHOOLS WITH FREE TUITION

The American Talent Initiative is an alliance of colleges and universities that are committed to expanding access and opportunity to low- and moderate-income students. Although the colleges listed below are free for students who are from families with a low income, their acceptance rates are often low making them highly competitive schools. However, for highly motivated and talented students, few schools offer more opportunities for social advancement than those listed below which cooperate in the American Talent Initiative in order to make superior education available to all.

In a recent report, the ATI showed that U.S. colleges and universities with graduation rates of 70% or higher enrolled more than 20,000 more students who qualified for Pell grants over the course of 2 years. The American Talent Initiative, along with the colleges and universities listed below are clearly creating wonderful opportunities for students who are motivated toward upward social mobility.

Williams College

Social Mobility Standouts:

Williams College, ranked #21 in the country by Times Higher Education, and #1 in the country as a liberal arts college by U.S. News and World Report, grants low-income families 100% tuition assistance. As one of the only colleges in the country to guarantee free textbooks and course materials to students who receive financial aid, Williams College makes college affordable for those students who are accepted. Travel expenses as well as personal expenses, winter study courses, summer plans, and goals to study away are all considered in Williams College’s comprehensive and personalized approach for their students.

Location: Williamstown, Massachusetts

Accreditation: Williams College is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education, 3 Burlington Woods Drive, Suite 100, Burlington, MA 01803-4514

Graduation Rate: 96%

Graduation Outcomes:

With a student-to-faculty ratio of 6 to 1, students at Williams College will be uniquely advantaged in their access to their professors. Graduation from Williams College, according to college statistics, ensures immediate employment for around 75% of graduates. Approximately 13% of graduates choose to go on to higher education. Additionally, 6 months after graduation from Williams College, 82% of graduates are “satisfied with current activity.”

LEARN MORE ABOUT SOCIAL MOBILITY AT WILLIAMS COLLEGE

University of Pennsylvania

Social Mobility Standouts:

One of the original colonial colleges with a vast array of notable alumni, including 25 Noble Laureates, the University of Pennsylvania grants full tuition for students with an income of less than $140,000. Accounting for family size and income, the University of Pennsylvania’s financial aid allows young people from various backgrounds to become Penn students. Families with an income of less than $65,500 who have a student attending the University of Pennsylvania can expect to have tuition, fees as well as room and board completely covered by institutional and government grants. Additional benefits such as laptops and funding for summer opportunities are also available for these students.

Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Accreditation: The University of Pennsylvania is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA

Graduation Rate: 96%

Graduation Outcomes:

According to the undergraduate study from 2020, University of Pennsylvania graduates have a median income of $85,000 annually. 74% of graduates enjoy full-time employment with around 15% pursuing higher education. As an important factor in upward social mobility, according to University of Pennsylvania statistics, “only 27% of students receiving need-based aid took out loans to supplement their aid packages in 2018-2019 compared to 80% of students in 2004.”

LEARN MORE ABOUT SOCIAL MOBILITY FACTORS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA

Duke University

Social Mobility Standouts:

Duke University, ranked number 5 in U.S. College Rankings by Times Higher Education, grants full tuition to accepted students with a family income of $60,000 or less. Over 50% of Duke students receive financial aid. Parent contribution is based on factors such as income, assets, siblings attending college, and family size. 12% of Duke students receive a Pell Grant. Other assistance in the form of merit scholarships and grants also help to make Duke affordable for low-income families.

Location: Durham, North Carolina

Accreditation: Duke University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033

Graduation Rate: 96%

Graduation Outcomes:

The outcome for graduates of Duke University is one that gives them the opportunity to maintain a high level of social status. Career advisers and student ambassadors assist students in selecting careers and finding jobs. Over 67 percent of students meet with career advisers during their time at Duke and 95% of students with positions are hired by companies directly related to recruiting through Duke Career Center.

LEARN MORE ABOUT SOCIAL MOBILITY FACTORS AT DUKE UNIVERSITY

Princeton University

Social Mobility Standouts:

Although considered one of the most highly regarded universities in the United States and in the world, Princeton University has made highly-rated education affordable for all students, providing highly motivated young people from diverse backgrounds an opportunity to become Princeton educated.

Tuition, fees, and room and board are all completely free for students from families with an income of $65,000 or less. The average grant for an aid student is over $50,000 and amazingly, over 83% of Princeton graduates are student-debt free. With a financial aid program that is considered one of the most generous in the country, Princeton University grants students from all backgrounds equal opportunity.

Location: Princeton, New Jersey

Accreditation: Princeton University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA

Graduation Rate: 98%

Graduation Outcomes:

An impressive 72.7% of 2018 Princeton graduates accepted employment and 18.7% had been admitted to graduate school within 6 months of graduation. Graduates of Princeton work for a higher salary than almost any other university. With a beginning average salary of over $70,000 a year, Princeton alumni make an average of 8% more than their peers.

LEARN MORE ABOUT SOCIAL MOBILITY FACTORS AT PRINCETON UNIVERSITY

Stanford University

Social Mobility Standouts:

Stanford University has long held the honor of being one of the most prestigious universities in the world. In 2021-22 Stanford will expand eligibility for their financial aid program. Tuition will be kept at a flat rate and lower-income undergraduate families’ threshold of income for full financial aid will be raised to $150,000. The undergraduate tuition at Stanford is $55,473 for the 2021-22 academic year which will not be increased. Families with an income of $75,000 or less can expect to receive financial aid that will cover tuition as well as room and board.

Location: Stanford, California

Accreditation: Stanford University is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Commission on Colleges, 533 Airport Boulevard, Suite 200 Burlingame, CA 94010-2009

Graduation Rate: 95%

Graduation Outcomes:

Graduates from Stanford University earn an average of $93,000 early in their career-making them some of the highest-paid graduates in the world. After ten years, Stanford alumni can expect to make an average of $122,000 yearly. The average income of a Stanford graduate along with the ability of students from low-income families to attend the school makes Stanford a university that provides a great deal of upward social mobility for highly educated students.

LEARN MORE ABOUT UPWARD SOCIAL MOBILITY AT STANFORD UNIVERSITY

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Social Mobility Standouts:

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has an undergraduate financial aid program that ensures that an MIT education is “accessible to all qualified candidates regardless of their financial circumstances.” 90% of undergraduates in the 2018-2019 academic year received $160.3 million in financial aid at MIT. Students with a family income of less than $90,000 are ensured tuition-free scholarships at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts

Accreditation: The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education, 3 Burlington Woods Drive, Suite 100, Burlington, MA 01803-4514

Graduation Rate: 96%

Graduation Outcomes:

According to MIT Graduating Student Surveys, 51% of graduates find employment within 6 months of graduation. Another 39% go on to graduate school with only 10% of graduates unsure or still looking for employment. MIT graduates work for a variety of companies including Harvard University, JP Morgan, and the U.S. Airforce.

LEARN MORE ABOUT UPWARD SOCIAL MOBILITY AT THE MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

Vanderbilt University

Social Mobility Standouts:

According to the Princeton Review, Vanderbilt University is ranked #1 for Best Financial Aid. According to their website, no specific income automatically qualifies a family to receive financial aid. However, family income is considered along with family size, the number of children in college, private elementary and secondary tuition expenses, and family assets. Vanderbilt University’s admirable claim is to “meet 100% of every student’s demonstrated financial need, without loans,” leveling the playing field of social mobility.

Location: Nashville, Tennessee

Accreditation: Vanderbilt University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033

Graduation Rate: 93%

Graduation Outcomes:

Career outcomes at Vanderbilt University are as impressive as one may expect from the school’s reputation. 86% of the graduates of the class of 2019 were employed or continuing their education within 6 months of their graduation date. Vanderbilt University seeks to prepare students “for success as our world’s next leaders, public servants, knowledge creators, and engaged citizens.”

LEARN MORE ABOUT UPWARD SOCIAL MOBILITY AT VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY

Columbia University

Social Mobility Standouts:

The mission of Columbia University is to evaluate applications outside of financial circumstances. To this end, the school provides a strong factor of upward mobility for lower-income families whose students are admitted into Columbia’s undergraduate programs. Families with an income of $60,000 or less are expected to have no family contribution and generally receive significant aid.

Location: New York, New York

Accreditation: Columbia University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA

Graduation Rate: 96%

Graduation Outcomes:

Graduates of Columbia University have a median, starting, working salary of over $70,000 annually. Over 3,000 on-campus interviews took place at Columbia in the year 2020 as well as over 8,000 one on one career counseling sessions, giving Columbia students an advantage as competitors in the workplace.

LEARN MORE ABOUT UPWARD SOCIAL MOBILITY AT COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY

Yale University

Social Mobility Standouts:

Yale University has been lauded by the American Talent Initiative, an initiative to introduce more Pell Grants for low-income students at universities with high graduation rates, for their outstanding success in offering Yale education to more low-income families. At Yale University in 2020-21, there were 350 more Pell grant recipients enrolled than there were in 2015-2016. Applications from students in low-income neighborhoods have increased 100% and the number of Pell Grant recipients at Yale is increasing by around 25% – 50% every year. Families with an income of $75,000 or less are eligible at Yale to receive full financial aid for tuition, room, and board.

Location: New Haven, Connecticut

Accreditation: 96%

Graduation Rate: Yale University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education, 3 Burlington Woods Drive, Suite 100, Burlington, MA 01803-4514

Graduation Outcome:

Graduates from Yale University earn an initial income of over $70,000 a year. The top five industries that Yale graduates are employed in are Financial Services; Education; Consulting; Technology; and Healthcare. Almost 92% of Yale graduates are employed or accepted to graduate school within 6 months of graduation.

LEARN MORE ABOUT SOCIAL MOBILITY AT YALE UNIVERSITY

Brown University

Social Mobility Standouts:

Brown University, ranked #5 in the U.S. by Times Higher Education, has implemented unique financial aid initiatives. One of these is the Brown Promise, an elimination of all packaged loans from undergraduate financial awards. Families with an income of less than $60,000 receive full tuition, room, and board at Brown University. Brown also offers health insurance scholarships to low-income students. For middle-income students, Brown University has expanded its financial aid to include more grants, work-study opportunities, and scholarships rather than student loans.

Location: Providence, Rhode Island

Accreditation: Brown University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education, 3 Burlington Woods Drive, Suite 100, Burlington, MA 01803-4514

Graduation Rate: 95%

Graduation Outcome:

Brown graduates are employed in diverse situations from health care and law to education and finance. With a top-ranking among U.S. colleges, graduates from Brown can expect to earn over $65,000 immediately following their graduation.

LEARN MORE ABOUT SOCIAL MOBILITY AT BROWN UNIVERSITY

Harvard University

Social Mobility Standouts:

Although Harvard University is a name that has carried a load of respectability and quality since its inception in 1636, most Americans may be surprised to find that for 90% of them, attending Harvard is cheaper than attending a public university. With high standards and a high graduation rate, it is a real accomplishment to be accepted into Harvard University. However, for low-income families, that is a real possibility. In fact, families with an income of less than $65,000 annually will attend Harvard for free, granting them the widest possible range of upward social mobility.

Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts

Accreditation: Harvard University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education, 3 Burlington Woods Drive, Suite 100, Burlington, MA 01803-4514

Graduation Rate: 98%

Graduation Outcome:

99% of Harvard freshmen will stay on for their sophomore year. Not only that, but their impressive 98% graduation rate speaks volumes about Harvard’s commitment to their students as well as students’ satisfaction with their education. 83% of undergraduates at Harvard will continue with professional or graduate education.

LEARN MORE ABOUT UPWARD SOCIAL MOBILITY AT HARVARD UNIVERSITY

Cornell University

Social Mobility Standouts:

Cornell University has been working hard to provide students with a lower debt burden. As an Ivy League University, that entails a high level of upward social mobility for talented low-income students. Families with an income of less than $60,000 and assets of less than $100,000 will have $0 expected parent contribution and students will receive no loans. For those with a higher income, Cornell caps the number of loans that a student may receive based on their family income. Therefore, the student debt for Cornell alumni is less than $24,000, $8,000 less than the national average.

Location: Ithaca, New York

Accreditation: Cornell University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA

Graduation Rate: 95%

Graduation Outcome:

The average beginning salary for Cornell graduates in 2015 was around $63,000 – almost $10,000 higher than the average U.S. income in 2014. According to Cornell’s website, “low debt burden, excellent job placement, and strong salaries help….students build a solid foundation for their future.”

LEARN MORE ABOUT SOCIAL MOBILITY FACTORS AT CORNELL UNIVERSITY

University of North Carolina

Social Mobility Standouts:

The University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill has a slightly higher acceptance rate than some of the other prestigious universities on this list. Ranked as the third-best public university by Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education and ranked 33rd nationwide, UNC’s reputation and level of education are very high. With a program called the Carolina Covenant, UNC covers the full financial needs of families whose income is at 200% or less of the poverty guideline. Covenant scholars remain tuition-free for the entirety of their undergraduate education.

Location: Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Accreditation: The University of North Carolina is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033

Graduation Rate: 91%

Graduation Outcome:

The Career Outcomes Rate at The University of North Carolina is 86% with an average beginning salary of over $51,000. However, these outcomes are taken from the 2020 career outcomes report from UNC. According to the report, 32% of graduate outcomes were affected by the pandemic. Nonetheless, the numbers speak for the high success rate of UNC alumni.

LEARN MORE ABOUT UPWARD SOCIAL MOBILITY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA

Texas A&M University

Social Mobility Standouts:

Texas A&M University has provided tuition support for low and middle-income families since 2008. Students whose family’s income is under $60,000 will have their tuition covered by grants and/or scholarships. Because Texas A&M is ranked in the top 100 universities in the country, has a fairly high admissions rate of almost 60%, and also, 23% of students receive Pell Grants, it may be one of the most well-rounded socially mobile schools on this list. Providing diverse opportunities, Texas A&M “promotes affordability and encourages Texans to pursue higher education at a flagship, research institution.”

Location: College Station, Texas

Accreditation: Texas A&M University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033

Graduation Rate: 83%

Graduation Outcome:

Attaining a degree at Texas A&M places graduates in excellent career positions. Almost 70% of graduates from Texas A&M have achieved a full-time career position within 6 months of graduation with an average starting salary of around $60,000.

LEARN MORE ABOUT SOCIAL MOBILITY AT TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY

Amherst College

Social Mobility Standouts:

Amherst College, ranked #2 in National Liberal Arts Colleges by U.S. News and World Report, has a policy of need-blind admissions and provides generous need-based financial aid. Recently expanding access to financial support for lower-income families, Amherst provides 55% of its students with financial aid. The average financial aid package in 2016-17 at Amherst College was almost $52,000. Considering the reputation of Amherst, an impressive 22% of its students are eligible for federal Pell Grants.

Location: Amherst, Massachusetts

Accreditation: Amherst College is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education, 3 Burlington Woods Drive, Suite 100, Burlington, MA 01803-4514

Graduation Rate: 95%

Graduation Outcome:

According to the Amherst College website, “92% of the class of 2020 was employed, continuing education, serving in the military, or volunteering six months after graduation.”

LEARN MORE ABOUT UPWARD SOCIAL MOBILITY AT AMHERST COLLEGE

California Institute of Technology

Social Mobility Standouts:

Upward Social Mobility is guaranteed for low-income students who are accepted into the California Institute of Technology. Admitted students who present financial needs are provided with a generous financial aid package from Caltech. The school’s admission process is need-blind, providing all applicants with an equal opportunity for a high-level college education. Providing substantial financial aid for lower-income families has been a long-standing policy at the California Institute of Technology.

Location: Pasadena, California

Accreditation: California Institute of Technology is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Commission on Colleges, 533 Airport Boulevard, Suite 200 Burlingame, CA 94010-2009

Graduation Rate: 92%

Graduation Outcome:

According to the Caltech website, “alumni have been successful in every imaginable field, from academia and research to industry and professions like law, medicine, public service, and even performance art.” Additionally, 60% of the class of 2017 had jobs immediately after graduation with an average starting salary of over $100,000. The career development center at Caltech also provides useful career tools, holds career fairs, and brings in recruiters from a variety of career fields.

LEARN MORE ABOUT SOCIAL MOBILITY AT CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

Wesleyan University

Social Mobility Standouts:

Wesleyan University is ranked #20 in the country for National Liberal Arts Colleges and #23 in the category of Colleges with the Best Value. As a university with a high reputation for excellence and value, Wesleyan provides a great opportunity for social advancement. Wesleyan University provides 61% of first-year financial aid recipients with scholarships and grants that exceed $59,086. 87% of first-year financial aid recipients receive scholarships and grants that are over $25,000. Families with an annual income of below $30,000 who have students enrolled at Wesleyan University pay a typical net price of $3,950 for a high-level education.

Location: Middletown, Connecticut

Accreditation: Wesleyan University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education, 3 Burlington Woods Drive, Suite 100, Burlington, MA 01803-4514

Graduation Rate: 91%

Graduation Outcome:

Although 2020 was not anywhere close to a typical hiring year, Wesleyan graduates were still employed at a rate of 59% within the first months after graduation. 17% of graduates pursued higher education. Some of the top employers of 2020 included Booz Allen Hamilton, Goldman Sachs and IBM.

LEARN MORE ABOUT SOCIAL MOBILITY FACTORS AT WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY

Dartmouth College

Social Mobility Standouts:

Dartmouth College, ranked #13 in the country by U.S. News and World Report and #12 by Times Higher Education has a long reputation for excellence. Along with Harvard, Dartmouth is one of the first two institutes of higher education in the United States and has produced exceptional graduates ever since. With a continued desire to offer a high-level education to all social groups, Dartmouth covers full tuition for students from families with a total income of $125,000 or less. For families with an income over $125,000, Dartmouth College a number of significant scholarship opportunities and grants which are applied after careful consideration of each application.

Location: Hanover, New Hampshire

Accreditation: Dartmouth College is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education, 3 Burlington Woods Drive, Suite 100, Burlington, MA 01803-4514

Graduation Rate: 95%

LEARN MORE ABOUT SOCIAL MOBILITY AT DARTMOUTH COLLEGE

Rice University

Social Mobility Standouts:

Rice University, known as “The Ivy League School of the South,” has taken big steps toward making education at Rice affordable for all families. Based on income and assets, Rice covers full tuition, fees and room and board; half-tuition; or provides other scholarships, grants and loan opportunities. 100% of demonstrated financial need for families that do not fall within the income ranges listed on Rice University’s website is met by the school.

Location: Houston, Texas

Accreditation: Rice University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033

Graduation Rate: 94%

Graduation Outcome:

61% of Rice graduates are employed in a regular organization following graduation. Top employers of Rice graduates include Accenture, Deloitte, Teach for America, and Microsoft. Business and Financial Operations Occupations is the top industry for alumni of Rice University.

LEARN MORE ABOUT SOCIAL MOBILITY FACTORS AT RICE UNIVERSITY

University of Southern California

Social Mobility Standouts:

The University of Southern California is known for its high academic standard and has recently expanded its financial aid packages to include full-tuition scholarships for low-income students. In 2020, two-thirds of the first-year students received some form of financial assistance and 21% received a USC merit-based scholarship. 4,100 low-income undergraduate students are enrolled at USC which is more than most private research universities. In the fall of 2020, 21 percent of enrolled undergraduates received Pell Grants. Low-income and underrepresented minority students graduate from USC at comparable rates to the general undergraduate population, making USC an excellent school choice for those seeking upward social mobility

Location: Los Angeles, California

Accreditation: The University of Southern California is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Commission on Colleges, 533 Airport Boulevard, Suite 200 Burlingame, CA 94010-2009

Graduation Rate: 92%

Graduation Outcome:

90% of the class of 2020 graduates from the University of Southern California had a graduate outcome within 6 months of graduation. The top 5 industries of employment of USC alumni are Technology, Consulting, Accounting, Financial Services, and Postsecondary Education.

LEARN MORE ABOUT SOCIAL MOBILITY FACTORS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

Carleton College

Social Mobility Standouts:

Carleton College works with families on an individual basis in order to offer financial aid that will keep student debt low. Generous financial aid awards allow students from low-income families to attend the highly ranked school. Average financial aid packages cover 74% of the cost of attending Carleton College and even more importantly, student debt of Carleton alumni is $14,000 dollars less than the national average.

Location: Northfield, Minnesota

Accreditation: Carleton College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, 230 South LaSalle St. Suite 7-500 Chicago, Illinois

Graduation Rate: 94%

Graduation Outcome:

According to college surveys, over 70% of Carleton graduates are employed shortly after graduation. Between 20-25% of Carleton College seek higher education and Carleton College is also ranked as among the top 25 small colleges with the greatest number of Peace Corps volunteers by the Peace Corps.

LEARN MORE ABOUT SOCIAL MOBILITY FACTORS AT CARLETON COLLEGE

Pomona College

Social Mobility Standouts:

Pomona College is a small liberal arts college ranked in the top 20 nationwide by multiple ranking agencies. Return on investment for the graduates at Pomona is high based on the evaluation of outcomes, as is student satisfaction and graduation rate. Pomona College is committed to meeting the full cost of students who enroll with financial need. Each family’s financial documents and unique circumstances are carefully reviewed and loans are not used to meet student needs.

Location: Claremont, California

Accreditation: Pomona College is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Commission on Colleges, 533 Airport Boulevard, Suite 200 Burlingame, CA 94010-2009

Graduation Rate: 94%

Graduation Outcome:

Pomona graduates are diverse in their choice of successful careers following their education. Jobs and internships, service fellowships, and graduate school are the top destinations of Pomona alumni. 78% of Pomona graduates in 2020 accepted jobs or internships immediately following graduation, 14% accepted a graduate school offer, 4% accepted a fellowship or graduate school fellowship, 3% accepted a service opportunity, leaving only 1% who were unsure about their future career.

LEARN MORE ABOUT SOCIAL MOBILITY AT POMONA COLLEGE

University of Chicago

Social Mobility Standouts:

The University of Chicago, beginning with the class of 2023, initiated the UChicago Empower program which increases access to the University of Chicago. Admissions policy enhancements and free tuition for families with incomes of less than $125,000 as well as free tuition, fees, room, and meals for families earning less than $60,000, make the University of Chicago an ideal stepping stone to a higher potential. Committed to ensuring that “students from every background, regardless of financial need, can find a home” the University of Chicago also has a No Barriers policy that allows students to graduate without debt and prepares them for future success.

Location: Chicago, Illinois

Accreditation: The University of Chicago is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, 230 South LaSalle St. Suite 7-500 Chicago, Illinois

Graduation Rate: 96%

Graduation Outcome:

According to the University of Chicago website, 96% of graduates have “substantive post-college plans.” The top 15 law schools in the U.S. have around a 90% acceptance rate for University of Chicago graduates and the medical school acceptance rate is around 85%.

LEARN MORE ABOUT UPWARD SOCIAL MOBILITY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO

Wellesley College

Social Mobility Standouts:

Ranked #4 in the nation by U.S. News and World Report, students at Wellesley College have a right to be proud of their acceptance as well as a likelihood of having secure futures. Wellesley College pledges to meet 100% of enrolled student need. Nearly 60% of Wellesley students receive financial aid from a school financial aid budget of over $70 million.

Location: Wellesley, Massachusetts

Accreditation: Wellesley College is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education, 3 Burlington Woods Drive, Suite 100, Burlington, MA 01803-4514

Graduation Rate: 94%

Graduation Outcome:

96% of Class of 2019 Wellesley graduates were either employed, accepted into graduate school, participating in a service or volunteer organization, or serving in the military within 6 months of graduation. Top employers of Wellesley graduates include Google, Microsoft, and Goldman Sachs.

LEARN MORE ABOUT UPWARD SOCIAL MOBILITY FACTORS AT WELLESLEY COLLEGE

Tufts University

Social Mobility Standouts:

Frequently ranking in the top 25 U.S. universities by Forbes and U.S. News and World Report, Tufts University enjoys a reputation for excellence that the school is committed to extending to all social groups. Students who are accepted into Tufts University will have 100% of their demonstrated needs met with only grant aid and work-study funding in order to assist them in graduating without student loans. Additionally, families who have annual incomes of less than $60,000 will receive unique financial aid packages.

Location: Medford, Massachusetts

Accreditation: Tufts University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education, 3 Burlington Woods Drive, Suite 100, Burlington, MA 01803-4514

Graduation Rate: 94%

Graduation Outcome:

Based on annual student surveys, graduates of Tufts University 94% of 2020 Tufts graduates were employed, enrolled in graduate school, or participating in a service or fellowship within 6 months of graduation. In addition to this impressive statistic, 79% of those who enrolled in graduate school from Tufts University were accepted into their graduate school of choice.

LEARN MORE ABOUT SOCIAL MOBILITY AT TUFTS UNIVERSITY