SUNY New Paltz in top three percent of all U.S. colleges in Social Mobility Index

The College ranked number 45 out of 1,363 U.S. colleges and universities in the 2017 edition of the Social Mobility Index (SMI), placing it in the top three percent nationwide in this measurement of schools’ ability to help students – especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds – climb the socioeconomic ladder.

“The SMI measures the extent to which a college or university educates more economically disadvantaged students (with family incomes below the national median) at lower tuition, so they can graduate and obtain good paying jobs,” said Jim Wolfston, president of CollegeNET, Inc., in an essay accompanying the publication of the most recent index.

“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.”

The Social Mobility Index is unique among college rankings in that it does not factor any subjective criteria, such as the opinion of college faculty or administrators. It instead aims at defining “economic mobility” on an independent, accountable and quantitative basis.

SUNY New Paltz listing at number 45 (up from number 72 in 2016) places it in the 97th percentile among all colleges and universities in the weighted formula that CollegeNET uses to produce its index. The formula considers five factors:

  • Cost of tuition
  • Students’ economic background
  • Graduation Rate
  • Early Career Salary
  • Endowment

“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.

To learn more about the Social Mobility Index, its methodology, and to browse the 2017 rankings, please visit

SUNY New Paltz is nationally ranked among the nation’s top public colleges by a variety of highly regarded publications. Most recently, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance ranked New Paltz number 76 among public colleges on its “Best College Values” list; Forbes ranked New Paltz in the top 100 public colleges in the nation; U.S. News and World Report placed New Paltz at No. 7 among public universities in the North region; Princeton Review named New Paltz among its best colleges and universities in the northeast; and the Business Journals placed New Paltz among America’s top 75 public colleges and universities.