New data reveals that Arkansas Tech University ranks among the top 5 percent of U.S. institutions of higher education in providing students with an opportunity to improve their economic standing.
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 2017 data, ATU has a SMI score of 57.8 to rank 68th among the 1,363 universities and colleges included in the survey.
It marks the second consecutive year in which Arkansas Tech has been among the top 70 institutions in the nation, and it is the fourth consecutive year in which ATU has been No. 1 in social mobility in Arkansas. No other Arkansas university or college ranks among the top 200 in the 2017 data.
“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.”