New Paltz was placed in the 97th percentile among colleges and universities nationwide in the Social Mobility Index (SMI). Out of the 1,363 schools, the college was ranked No. 45 in the 2017 issue of the Social Mobility Index (SMI). In 2016, the school ranked No. 72 in the SMI.
The criteria considered includes: cost of tuition, students’ economic background, graduation rate, early career salary and school funding. The study was conducted by CollegeNET, a web technology developer for higher education and non-profit institutions.
“The new SMI rankings show that through wise policy-making, colleges and universities can be part of improving both economic opportunity and social stability in our country‚“ said president of CollegeNET Jim Wolfston in an essay following the SMI release.
The study revealed that 31.7 percent of students enrolled at SUNY New Paltz come from low-income families. The college’s $7,737 base tuition makes higher education a reasonable option for these students, according to the SMI.
The $18.8 milion the school receives in endowments supports the school’s accessibility.
SUNY New Paltz also participates in the Excelsior Scholarship which passed in April of 2017. The program provides tuition-free education for SUNY and CUNY schools to families earning up to $100,000 a year.
Not only is admission more accessible, but the college has a 72.7 percent graduation rate and the median early career salary of an alumni is $44,800.
“This recognition is a strong testimony to our impact and effectiveness as a public university committed to improving the lives and futures of our students and graduates,” said President Donald P. Christian.
The college’s Equal Opportunity Programs (EOP) economically assists students through their college career. The program provides academic and educational to students who do not meet admission requirements, but display academic potential. It provides financial aid for room, board, books and a number of services to aid in students‚ education and future career.
Jacob Wilt is a second-year visual arts major from Tannersville, New York, who is enrolled in the EOP.
“If it wasn’t for the EOP program, I would not be at SUNY New Paltz,” Wilt said. “I couldn’t afford this school and my grades were lower from high school because my town didn’t offer any opportunities or support.”
According to CollegeNet, a high SMI ranking is given to a school that is responsibly helping to combat economic immobility in America. The site argues that this mobility can be achieved through graduating with a degree and finding a good paying job.
New Paltz has also been acknowledged in this respect by Forbes, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance and U.S. News and World Report among others.
It has come to the attention of The Oracle that this article published on Feb. 8 contained several statistical inaccuracies. New Paltz ranked No. 45 out of 1,363 schools, not 1,038. The Excelsior Program also provides tuition-free education for SUNY and CUNY schools to families earning up to $100,000 a year, not $125,000. We have also corrected New Paltz being ranked in the 97th percentile in the SMI.