SUNY New Paltz earns top 50 nationwide ranking for helping students climb the socioeconomic ladder

SUNY New Paltz was ranked No. 49 out of 1,449 U.S. colleges and universities in the 2020 Social Mobility Index, which evaluates schools’ ability to provide economically disadvantaged students with opportunities to succeed. The No. 49 ranking puts New Paltz in the top 3% nationwide.

CollegeNET’s Social Mobility Index, now in its seventh year, is a data-driven analysis that rates four-year colleges and universities based on how effectively they enroll students from low-income backgrounds and graduate them into good-paying jobs.

This year’s edition comes as the worldwide pandemic is disproportionately affecting students who were already facing economic hardship, underscoring the importance of efforts by colleges to provide outstanding, underprivileged students with the support they need.

While many other national college rankings rely on a mix of data and more subjective measures like survey responses, the Social Mobility Index considers objective indicators of a college’s ability to provide affordable access to higher education and post-graduation success.

It does so via a weighted formula that measures five key factors, listed here in descending order of sensitivity:

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

“Unlike other college rankings that are aimed primarily at helping students select a college, the SMI helps families and policymakers determine which colleges are addressing the national problem of economic mobility,” said CollegeNET President Jim Wolfston. “Administrators have a better chance to help strengthen U.S. economic mobility and the promise of the American Dream if they can identify and learn from colleges that are skilled at doing this.”

To learn more about the Social Mobility Index, its methodology, and to browse the 2020 rankings, please visit

SUNY New Paltz in College and University Rankings
SUNY New Paltz is consistently ranked among the nation’s top public colleges by a variety of highly regarded publications. Recently, the College was named a top 10 public college in the Northeast by U.S. News & World Report; made the Top 10 list of Military Friendly® Schools; and was named the No. 3 Best College Value in the SUNY system by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.