Brooklyn College finished no. 36 in the nation in Education Reform Now’s new “Social Mobility Elevator” rankings. The rankings measure the impact that over 1,400 four-year colleges have on improving opportunities for students.

The Social Mobility Elevator highlights the four-year colleges and universities that enroll large numbers of underrepresented students and graduate them at high rates. Campuses were highlighted for helping to “lift students from low-income households and underrepresented students of color by providing them an education that leads to graduation and greater economic security.” 

These rankings are the first college rankings to:  

  1. include measures for the enrollment of underrepresented students of color, since closing racial and ethnic bachelor’s attainment gaps represents an important aspect of upward social mobility;
  2. take state context into account, since eligibility for Pell Grants and the percentage of students who are African American, Latin, or Native varies by state;
  3. tie affordability to accessibility, to avoid over-rewarding wealthy colleges and institutions that may be very affordable for students from low-income households, but enroll very small numbers of those students; and
  4. include a penalty for colleges that provide a legacy preference, since giving the relatives of alumni a birthright advantage in the admissions process is essentially the opposite of driving social mobility.

The updated Social Mobility Elevator rankings are designed to raise awareness about the institutions that are the real engines of social mobility in their state and the nation and to build support for greater investment in these institutions and the students they enroll. These are not the institutions that always get the most attention or the most financial support from policymakers and philanthropists. 

The Social Mobility Elevator rankings website includes a range of offerings, including a comparison to the U.S. News & World ReportBest Colleges list; charts of underperformers and overperformers; rankings of small, medium, and large institutions; and an interactive map that lets users see how colleges and universities in their state do when it comes to generating social mobility. 

You can learn more about social mobility elevators and view this year’s rankings here. 

This latest report comes after Brooklyn College finished no. 5 in the nation on CollegeNET’s latest Social Mobility Index in (2022);  as well as no. 12 by U.S. News & World Report (2022) and no. 9 in a study by the Brookings Institute (2020). 

You can find more Brooklyn College awards here.