Arkansas Tech University is the No. 1 option in Arkansas for students seeking an opportunity to improve their economic standing for a third consecutive year.
CollegeNET’s Social Mobility Index (SMI) looks at the economic background of a university’s student body and compares it to the institution’s tuition rate, graduation rate and endowment as well as the early career salary for its young alumni.
For 2016 data, ATU has a SMI score of 51.64 to rank among the top 7 percent of the 931 institutions across the United States included in the survey. Arkansas Tech has increased its national SMI ranking from 93rd in 2014, to 90th in 2015 and 61st in 2016. No other Arkansas institution appears in the top 170 for the most recent ranking.
“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,” wrote Jim Wolfston, president of CollegeNET, in an explanation of the theory behind the rankings. “Let’s recast the chase for quality to include lowering tuition, recruiting more economically disadvantaged students, and ensuring that enrolled students graduate into good paying jobs.”