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Social Mobility Index Takes Aim at U.S. News & World Report

college rankings

Make no mistake. The constant onslaught of rising tuition costs is due to one over-riding factor: the persistence of U.S. News and World Report to quantify its rankings based on the amount of money a college rakes in.

A study published in Research in Higher Education by a former Provost at the University of Rochester noted that if a college or university wanted to move into one of the top 20 slots in the US News rankings it would have to increase spending by tens of millions of dollars a year.

Simply put, U.S. News is ruining our educational system. One way around this problem is to recast the definition of prestige away from money, and reposition it toward social inclusion.

Enter the Social Mobility Index.

CollegeNET has painstakingly created this new ranking system, calculating the amount of service to the lower economic demographic: notably, obtaining entry to college, reaching graduation, and securing a job.

While there are many variables used by the SMI to determine its list, these are the top five:

  • Tuition
  • Economic Background
  • Graduation Rate
  • Early Career Salary
  • Endowment

The Social Mobility Index just released its inaugural 2015 list, and closely paralleling the New York Times’ College Access Index, the University of California, placed prominently in the top 25:

#4. UC Irvine
#8.  UC Santa Cruz
#10.  UC Santa Barbara
#20.  UC Riverside
#24.  UC Davis

U.S. News and World Report has been getting so much flack for its biased national ranking system, we can only hope the message starts to take hold.

Click here for the full Social Mobility Index ranking.

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Lindy is an independent UC admissions consultant, who works with both transfers and freshmen. She also has just completed her first novel, a supernatural thriller set in San Francisco.

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