10:30 AM

CSUSM Ranks Among National Leaders in Social Mobility

Cal State San Marcos stands among the national leaders in the social mobility of its graduates, according to new rankings by the online publication CollegeNET.

CSUSM ranks 36th nationally out of almost 1,500 schools measured in the sixth annual Social Mobility Index (SMI) by CollegeNET. 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 and graduates them into good-paying jobs.

CSUSM improved its ranking in the SMI for the fourth consecutive year. The university ranked 74th in 2015, 62nd in 2016, 54th in 2017 and 52nd last year.

The SMI differs from most other rankings of colleges and universities in that it focuses directly on the factors that enable economic mobility. The index is computed from five variables: published tuition, percentage of students whose families have incomes below $48,000 (slightly below the U.S. median), graduation rate, median salary approximately five years after graduation, and endowment size.

“Nationally, higher education is often called out for reinforcing inequality rather than closing socioeconomic gaps,” CSUSM President Ellen Neufeldt said. “However, our rising SMI ranking embodies our collective efforts to serve any student who dreams of the opportunities that come with a college education as we help them reach their full potential.”

Since its founding 30 years ago, CSUSM has been dedicated to student success and social mobility. From first-year programs, to learning communities, community-based learning opportunities, internships, undergraduate research and more, the university works to foster deep learning and academic success by engaging students in meaningful and innovative educational experiences.

These practices are especially beneficial to underserved student groups. Approximately 50% of CSUSM students are underrepresented minorities and 54% of graduates are the first in their families to earn a bachelor’s degree. One in nine students is a veteran, service member or military-affiliated dependent. CSUSM is also a major contributor of bachelor’s degree holders to the region’s workforce, with more than 80% of students remaining in the region following graduation.

“Our university community is always fostering new and innovative ways to ensure positive student outcomes,” Neufeldt said. “As president, it is so impressive to see how our faculty and staff focus on the success of our students each day. I look forward to continuing our efforts to be a national model in this area – building on the important work already in place and taking it new heights through innovation, collaboration and inclusion.”


About California State University San Marcos

Building on an innovative 30-year history, California State University San Marcos is a forward-focused institution, dedicated to preparing future leaders, building great communities and solving critical issues. Located on a 306-acre hillside overlooking the City of San Marcos, it is the only public four-year comprehensive university serving North San Diego, Southwest Riverside and South Orange Counties.

The university enrolls more than 16,000 students. With approximately 2,000 employees, the institution is a Great College to Work For® (The Chronicle of Higher Education). As a recipient of the annual HEED Award since 2014—a national honor recognizing U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion—CSUSM is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment.