US News and World Report has released its annual rankings of colleges and universities, and while the usual suspects were in the usual places, I’m pleased to report that we’re doing just fine, and remain in a much better position than we were when I got here.
Newberry was ranked in a 5-way tie for 16th among colleges in this region, and for the fourth straight year, we were named in the region’s top 10 best values. And while these rankings don’t necessarily operate with Olympian detachment, nor are they definitive indicators of where your kid belongs, it’s nice to be noticed.
But the thing that most pleased me somehow escaped the notice of our press release people. We ranked #1 in the region for “Performers on Social Mobility.” To wit:
Economically disadvantaged students are less likely than others to finish college, even when controlling for other characteristics. But some colleges are more successful than others at advancing social mobility by enrolling and graduating large proportions of disadvantaged students awarded with Pell Grants. The vast majority of these federal grants are awarded to students whose adjusted gross family incomes are under $50,000. [Newberry] performed best on U.S. News’ social mobility ranking factors.
In short, we do a pretty damned good job of helping kids in this poor, rural state make their lives better. That’s good to know.