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Buffalo State Climbs Social Mobility Index National Rankings

Buffalo State Climbs Social Mobility Index National Rankings

Posted: February 1, 2019

SUNY Buffalo State moved up 19 spots to enter the top 100 of CollegeNET’s most recent Social Mobility Index (SMI) national rankings.

The SMI, which is now in its fifth year, ranks four-year U.S. colleges and universities according to how effectively they enroll economically-disadvantaged students and graduate them into well-paying jobs. Buffalo State now ranks 82nd nationally in the SMI out of 1,380 benchmarked schools.

“Buffalo State has a proud and successful history of lifting students up toward better futures,” said Buffalo State President Katherine Conway-Turner. “Higher education is a great equalizer in today’s society—opening the door to a better life for all individuals, no matter their race, ethnicity, gender, or socio-economic status. That is the Buffalo State story. We take great pride in providing students from all backgrounds with the opportunity to believe in themselves, to be inspired with knowledge, and to achieve their goals.”

Jim Wolfston, CEO of CollegeNET said, “Given that the U.S. is now the least economically mobile among developed nations, it is irresponsible to say an education institution is ‘better’ because it has a huge endowment, or because it admits students with higher SAT scores—which are most tightly correlated to family income. It is irresponsible to say an institution is ‘better’ because it drives up admissions application counts, turns away more students and then boasts about ‘selectivity.’ In today’s world, where the American Dream is threatened, real prestige must accord to universities that educate and advance all motivated students, regardless of their economic background. This is the new kind of prestige that the Social Mobility Index seeks to promote.”

The new SMI ranking follows news from the Chronicle of Higher Education last fall that showed Buffalo State at the top of a national list (all public master’s institutions) of campuses that experienced the largest percentage increase in the enrollment of underrepresented minorities between 2010 and 2016. In 2010, unrepresented minorities made up 23.1 percent of the student body. By 2016, 42.4 percent of all students were underrepresented minorities (a 19.3 percentage point increase).

In addition to the accolades from CollegeNET and the Chronicle, Washington Monthly magazine has named Buffalo State a “Best Bang for Your Buck” college four years in a row, while Insight Into Diversity magazine has awarded the college the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity award six years in a row. 

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