PORTLAND, Ore.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--CollegeNET, Inc., a leading provider of web-based on-demand technologies for higher education and the creator of the Social Mobility Index (SMI), a data-driven system that ranks 4-year US colleges and universities according to how effectively they enroll students from low-income backgrounds and graduate them into promising careers, today announced that Baruch College of the City University of New York has been selected as the fifth of 10 Social Mobility Innovators for 2017.
The goal of the SMI -- now in its third year -- is to help redirect the attribution of "prestige" in our higher education system toward colleges and universities that are advancing economic opportunity, the most pressing issue of our time.
Baruch has more than 15,000 undergraduate students who speak 130 languages and represent 168 countries. The college has been ranked #1 on CollegeNET’s Social Mobility Index (SMI) for two consecutive years (2015-2016).
“Most higher education rankings approach the problem of comparing colleges and universities as steering consumers toward a brand or purchase,” says Jim Wolfston, CEO of CollegeNET. “The SMI, on the other hand, helps policymakers, students and their families see which colleges and universities are addressing the national problem of economic mobility. Administrators in higher education will be more effective in strengthening US economic mobility and restoring the promise of the American Dream if they can identify and learn from colleges and universities like Baruch that are already skilled at doing this.”
Making Sure No One Falls Through the Cracks
Baruch was selected as a CollegeNET Social Mobility Innovator for 2017 because it offers low-income students a substantive Start-to-Finish program that supports them every step of the way -- from matriculation to career. This effort is critical, because 35% of Baruch’s students represent the first generation in their families to attend college and about 60% come from families with household incomes of less than $40,000.
“We make sure no one falls through the cracks,” says Baruch President Dr. Mitchel B. Wallerstein. “We don’t admit students just to let them languish. We identify their academic vulnerabilities, and we provide specialized programs that ensure they get the support they need to graduate. We take great pride and care in doing this; but, in the end, it’s our students who work extraordinarily hard to overcome obstacles. They are strivers; they are hungry for success and they roll up their sleeves. And that’s why Baruch College is such a life-changing experience for them.”
Baruch’s Start-to-Finish approach is generating significant results. The school has an average one-year retention rate of 91% and a six-year graduation rate of 70%. Ultimately, the average Baruch graduate lands a job with a starting salary of nearly $50,000 -- which is often more than the student’s overall family income.
“We are helping propel students into the middle class,” explains Wallerstein, “and there is new data to substantiate this. A recent study, led by researchers from Stanford, Brown and Harvard universities, showed that Baruch (and the City University of New York) is six times more effective in moving its students from the lowest income quintile than the entire Ivy League, plus MIT, Duke, Chicago and Stanford, combined. But, again, it’s about our students’ work ethic. Approximately 85% of our students have jobs while they’re in school. Many are putting themselves through school, and many are helping to support their families.”
Baruch’s dedicated alumni are also assisting with active mentoring and meaningful internships that help prepare current students for career success. This helps explain why Baruch is the #1 feeder school for jobs at Morgan Stanley, the #4 feeder school for JP Morgan Chase and the #13 feeder school for Goldman Sachs.
Reversing Higher Education’s Harmful “Tri-Imperfecta”
“Baruch is providing real educational opportunity to promising students regardless of their economic background,” says CollegeNET’s Wolfston. “Its civic contribution is key given that economic mobility and the American Dream are rapidly deteriorating. Indeed, higher education is now caught in a damaging ‘tri-imperfecta.’ Tuitions are increasing, economic inclusion is declining on campuses and Pell Grants -- intended for disadvantaged students with financial need -- are being awarded more generously to richer families. Baruch’s innovation provides a strong example toward reversing these trends.”
See the complete SMI rankings.
About CollegeNET, Inc.
CollegeNET, Inc. builds on-demand SaaS technologies that help institutions improve operational efficiency, enhance communication with constituents, and save money. The company’s systems are used by 1,300 institutions worldwide for event and academic scheduling, recruitment and admissions management, web-based tuition processing, instructor and course evaluation, and web-based career services for students. Additionally, the company operates CollegeNET.com, a social network through which students create topics, write about them, and vote to determine who will win scholarships. CollegeNET.com has awarded more than $2 million in scholarships to date. The company is headquartered in Portland, Oregon.